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New Report Says Race Relations Are Getting Worse

Professor Muhammad Anwar
Originally Published 8 September 1998
A new report to be launched on Wednesday 9th September will reveal that almost three quarters of ethnic minorities felt that race relations were not improving, furthermore, many of those also believed that race relations were actually getting worse.

This new report, entitled Ethnic Minorities and the British Electoral System, by Professor Muhammad Anwar of the University of Warwick?s Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations, and commissioned by Operation Black Vote (OBV) also reveals that the concentration of ethnic minorities in many inner city areas of Britain has maximised their statistical significance in the electoral process.

However, this research also highlights the concern that a significant proportion of ethnic minorities did not appear on the Electoral Register: 27% of ethnic minorities compared with 18% of Whites, and therefore were excluded from the political process. The report will recommend action to tackle this problem. Lee Jasper, chair of OBV stated:-

I welcome this report on the eve of the party conferences. The point that needs to be made is, is it surprising that so many reject a system that often ignores Black peoples? concerns and at times actually works against them.

On a brighter note, the report shows a higher voter turn-out from some ethnic minorities, particularly the Asian communities, and that more ethnic minorities were likely to vote compared with whites if a system of proportional representation was introduced.

The report concludes that all major political parties are failing to fully integrate ethnic minorities into the political process and that recruitment and selection processes for party members and potential candidates? needs to be monitored, reviewed and thoroughly modernised. The author of the report Professor Muhammad Anwar argues that:

Equality of opportunity in the political process is crucial if we are to achieve equality in other fields. Without full participation of Britain?s ethnic minorities in the political process, the chance of achieving good race relations is greatly diminished.

For further details contact:
Professor Muhammad Anwar, Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations,
University of Warwick
Tel: 024 76 524870

or Simon Woolley, Operation Black Vote, Tel: 020 7 833 1988