The ethnic disparity report is now online here, and well worth looking at (if you have a spare few hours). A few quick thoughts (1/?)…
Whatever you think of the conclusions, this is clearly a serious piece of work. They have clearly sifted through a mountain of evidence and the final report is pretty darn hefty.
We're used to reports like this saying 'X is a disgrace and we will fix it' or 'this is how we will improve things'. But the central message of this one is basically 'it's a bit more complicated than that' - which obviously makes it harder to land.
The commissioners make a good case that the experience of different ethnic minorities in the UK is different enough in terms of life chances/outcomes that lumping them together as 'BAME' is indeed outdated.
(See for example the stats on educational attainment, or Asian over-representation in the senior ranks of the NHS)
They also make a good case that improving outcomes and opportunities more generally helps the most disadvantaged - see eg the section on the need for a longer school day to drive post-Covid catch-up. And they're clear-eyed on family breakdown as a huge driver of disadvantage.
Of the four core areas (education, work, health, crime) it's probably crime where they get angriest, especially about stop and search - very clear that there is a chasm between police and community about how it's used (also good stats on Black under-representation in the Met)
Lots of the overnight reporting presented the message as 'we don't have a problem, unlike Europe'. The actual report is more nuanced, but there are useful reminders throughout that other societies have these problems too, and generally have them worse.
Those who were always going to hate it will obviously hate it, not least because it deliberately rebuts the talk of structural/historical/institutional prejudices - ie its starting point is not that our democracy is institutionally racist, but that it is trying its best
In other words, the most important thing about this (on my gloss) is not the recommendations specifically but the general message. Whether it cuts through, we'll see...

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More from @rcolvile

17 Mar
This Uber announcement is fascinating - a big test of how well Britain's new 'worker' status (which AFAIK is still unique) plays out, in which you're not a pure contractor, but not employed either 1/?…
As I pointed out in a thread just the other day, one of the really weird things about the debate on the gig economy is that it ignores the fact that most people in it are there by choice (and that actually full-time work has been going up not down...)
See for example this academic study of Uber's own drivers - which involved Uber's co-operation, but was done by some pretty respectable academics -…
Read 8 tweets
15 Mar
Quick thread on why I can't understand EU decisions on Oxford/AZ, based on this illuminating contribution from @olivernmoody
Oliver cites German concerns about cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) - apparently 7 cases in the 1.6 million people jabbed (vs background rate of 3-4/year, or possibly 15/year by another method)
The IFR of Covid in developed countries is roughly 1% (as of August, may have changed since). Germany has approx 9,000 infections per day.
Read 7 tweets
15 Mar
This is a good piece by @jessicaelgot on how Covid ripped through Whitehall. But the quote at the end from @JonAshworth has induced a minor paroxysm of nerd-rage. Brief thread follows…
Whether or not you think sick pay rules affected the spread of Covid, the claim at the end that we've 'built an economy characterised by zero hours contracts, temporary work' is just not true. In fact, it's complete and utter bollocks, no matter how many times Labour say it.
Here are the @ONS figures for employment growth over the last five years. Until Covid hits, most jobs created are very clearly full time rather than part time.
Read 11 tweets
14 Mar
In my column today, I try to get to grips with one of the big puzzles of the pandemic - how can the same state that is doing the vaccine rollout so well have done testing & tracing so badly? (1/?)…
If you listen to the Left, it’s simple. The Tories bunged £37 billion to Serco and their private-sector mates, who screwed everything up. Here’s Jezza, for example
Leaving aside the fact that ‘Track and Trace’ is what the Royal Mail do to parcels (I made that mistake SO often while writing), the whole £37bn figure is a great example of Twyman’s Law - which holds that the more interesting a figure is, the more likely it is to be wrong.
Read 13 tweets
7 Mar
Have written my column this week on the NHS pay row, and how a 1% pay rise isn't actually a 1% rise. You can read it here, but a few highlights below…
The most important thing to know is that the NHS pay system is incredibly weird (except to all the NHS staff in my mentions for whom it is completely normal...)
We put out a paper on this a few years ago… but under the 'Agenda for Change' system (which doesn't cover doctors, but they have their own version) each job is broken down into its components, with points allotted
Read 21 tweets
23 Feb
Have tweeted this already but the fact that the pandemic has utterly slammed young people's prospects (pretty much exclusively) demands significantly more attention.
This is partly because they tend to work in the sectors that have been worst hit (all this via HMRC PAYE, via ONS)
Read 8 tweets

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