ASLEF slams the Sewell Report on racism

08 April 2021

ASLEF has slammed the ill-informed Sewell report on racism as an abdication of responsibility to those men, women, and children who suffer abuse at the hands of racists.


Mick Whelan, ASLEF's general secretary, said: 'The best thing you can say about the Sewell report is that it is totally inadequate. The worst is that Boris Johnson chose the right man for the job – to write the report he wanted to see. Because, proverbially, there are none so blind as those who will not see. And this government does not want to see the structural and systemic racism that is still, sadly, rampant in this country. It is, frankly, shameful, if not especially surprising, that the Conservative Party – a party historically riddled with racists – turns a cheerful blind eye to problems endemic in Britain.'



ASLEF's Black & Minority Ethnic representative committee said: 'The government's report on racial disparities will do more damage than good and should be rejected in all forms. To suggest that systemic racism is non-existent is an insult, and a kick in teeth to those who, previously and currently, have been and are being discriminated against. This report fails to acknowledge the past and present and we have no faith in it addressing issues in the future.


'The Windrush scandal, the Grenfell disaster, the ethnic pay gap in Britain, and the disproportionate BAME covid death rate, have all been attributed to systemic racism and yet these barely get a mention in the government report. This behaviour from the government is nothing new. But ASLEF will continue to fight for equality and justice and for a society where the colour of your skin, your age, your gender, your sex, and any other protected characteristic, is no longer barrier to education, jobs, health care, or housing.'


The Sewell report was produced for the UK Government by Dr Tony Sewell. Click here for details.


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