The prime minister and the home secretary have both condemned racist abuse received by England football players after their Euro 2020 final defeat.
Speaking during a press conference yesterday evening, Boris Johnson told those responsible to “crawl back under the rock from which you emerged”, while Priti Patel tweeted that she is disgusted that players “who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse.”
But it was only a few months ago that the government’s report on race disparities in the UK was criticised for being “culturally deaf”, with public health experts labelling it as misleading for stating there was minimal evidence of systemic health differences caused by ethnicity.
“No racism in the UK” according to UK government report
Political commentator Alison Brown said yesterday: “I want to just remind people that not very long ago the government faked a report that said there was, effectively, no racism in Britain.
“Wonder how they’re feeling about that.”
also I want to just remind people that not very long ago the government faked a report that said there was, effectively, no racism in Britain. Wonder how they’re feeling about that.— Alison K. Brown (@alisonkatebr) July 12, 2021
The authors of the report had been accused by public health experts of “cherry-picking” the data.
Professor Azeem Majeed, head of the department of primary care and public health at Imperial College London, said: “The panel doesn’t contain any health experts, and they overlook 30 or 40 years of evidence about health inequalities.
“It’s very, very disappointing, not systematic at all. And health is one of the areas that most affects minority groups in the UK.”
Majeed, alongside two other academics, wrote an article for the British Medical Journal said the conclusions on health by the commission amounted to “a political manifesto rather than an authoritative report”.
Dr Mohammad Razai, clinical fellow in primary care at St George’s, University of London, said: “They make a big deal of the fact that most of these disparities are explained by poverty and socioeconomic status, but they haven’t said why socioeconomic status is adversely distributed along ethnicity.
“The view of the commission are actually not supported even by their cherry-picked data. That’s not how you write a rigorous, evidence-based report.
“The conclusions of the report were written before they looked at the data. Many of the authors have said on many occasions they do not believe in institutional racism. There would be no question of this section getting past even an editor, let alone a peer reviewer.”
Boris Johnson and Priti Patel on taking the knee
And on top of the controversial report, Boris Johnson took a while to make a statement on football fans booing players taking the knee, and Priti Patel told fans it’s “their choice” to do so.
After failing to condemn booing, Johnson’s spokesperson eventually told England fans to “cheer, not boo” players taking the knee.
And asked whether England fans had a right to boo the national team during the European Championships, Patel said last month: “That’s a choice for them quite frankly. I’ve not gone to a football match to even contemplate that.”