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It is clear what action needs to be taken to fight racial inequality – the government just has to do it

Editorial: Various reports into this issue have made hundreds of recommendations between them and they should all have been fully implemented long ago

Monday 15 June 2020 20:53 BST
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Demonstrators take part in a Black Lives Matter protest in Leeds
Demonstrators take part in a Black Lives Matter protest in Leeds (PA)

Boris Johnson’s great hero Winston Churchill, a figure once again looming large over national life, famously had some special red stickers made up that he could affix to wartime official memos when he wanted something done immediately: “ACTION THIS DAY”.

It seems Churchill’s biographer and successor, 80 years on, is not always so swift to act. Instead of action this day on racial injustice, Mr Johnson promises some vague internal “commission” that might come up with some suggestions by Christmas. Mr Johnson tells us that: “We should stop the sense of victimisation and discrimination.” Which implies a distinction between what is being protested against now and what he calls “real racism” which we must “look carefully at”.

The obvious response to that condescending attitude is: “How would you know?” Mr Johnson makes much of his cosmopolitan ancestry but he cannot know the hurt of a casual racial insult, the stomach-churning disgust at walking past a monument to slavery or indeed the devastating impact of discrimination over a job or promotion.

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