EDITORIAL

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Dear Readers,

Welcome back to the Black & Asian News!

Following the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, an interesting new report by the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) and Autonomy Think Tank has looked at the explosion of employment insecurity over the past 17 years. It has found that ethnic minorities have seen a 105% increase in insecurity since 2005 compared to a 32% increase amongst White Britons.

A statement by Iceland managing director Richard Walker on the cost of living crisis captures it all for me: “We’re hearing about some food bank users declining potatoes and root veg because they can’t afford the energy to boil them.”

You will also find below several news stories relating to the monarchy and the Caribbean tour of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Keep Well & Stay Safe,

Thushari Perera

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UK NEWS

CULTURE, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

Bridgerton: South Asian faces on TV ‘makes me happy’, BBC News, 22 March 2022

“Hit period drama Bridgerton returns for a second series on Friday – with two of its lead characters portrayed by actresses of South Asian heritage. Young actors from the same background tell BBC News why on-screen representation is so important to them.”

CONSUMER ISSUES

What is absolute poverty?, The Independent, 24 March 2022

“Chancellor Rishi Sunak attacked for failing to do more to help low-income families through cost of living crisis in Spring Statement as household bills climb…Reliance on food banks can be expected to increase if the Resolution Foundation’s dire predictions are realised…“We’re hearing about some food bank users declining potatoes and root veg because they can’t afford the energy to boil them.””

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, CAP News, ASA, 24 March 2022

“The ASA recently published its report on tackling harmful racial and ethnic stereotyping in advertising. It found that, although some stereotypes are not inherently harmful, adverse portrayals in ads could reinforce existing or create new stereotypes, have the potential to cause harm by limiting an individual’s beliefs, or perpetuate racist attitudes. It also found that many people, when they were represented in ads, did not feel they were portrayed accurately or were negatively stereotyped.”

People of colour may face ‘ethnicity penalty’ on car insurance in England, The Guardian, 22 March 2022

“Hundreds of thousands of people of colour may be paying an “ethnicity penalty” of at least £280 a year each in higher car insurance costs, an investigation by Citizens Advice has claimed. Citizens Advice said it found that in some areas “the difference in price was more than 100%,” and that common risk factors such as crime rates and deprivation levels could not account for this. “We’re concerned this suggests that areas with large communities of colour may be identified as more risky, even when objective risk factors are controlled,” it said.”

 Working BME and disabled parents paying higher childcare costs, HR Magazine, 18 March 2022

“Research published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found 32% of BME and disabled parents spent a third of their salary on childcare, while 12% had childcare expenses which were more than half of their monthly income.”

EDUCATION

Apprentice star backs education campaign addressing parental concerns for children’s futures, Hull Daily Mail, 21 March 2022

“According to new research from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation nearly nine in ten (87%) parents think the job market will be concerning and uncertain when their child leaves education…Designed with employers across multiple industries, T-levels offer young people aged 16-19 an ideal first step into their future career. Combining classroom study with a 45-day industry placement, young people can put learnt skills, attitudes and knowledge into action, while also getting exposure to potential employers.”

Experienced teachers in England less likely to work in poorest schools compared to other developed nations, The Independent, 14 March 2022

“The Government has announced a “levelling up premium” which will give teachers in maths, physics, chemistry and computing a £3,000 bonus during the first five years of their career if they work in certain disadvantaged areas.”

 

EMPLOYMENT & WORK

The Insecure Economy: Measuring and Understanding the Contemporary Labour Market, CLASS, 23 March 2022

“The report lays bare how job insecurity impacts every aspect of people’s lives, from maintaining relationships to where in the country they are able to live, revealed through case studies on three sectors; hospitality, care and academia…Crucially, the report calls for job insecurity to replace unemployment as the key metric for measuring the health of the Labour Market…Ethnic minorities have seen a 105% increase in insecurity since 2005 compared to a 32% increase amongst White Britons.”

IMI report highlights lack of diversity in motor sector, MotorTrader.com, 21 March 2022

“Without diverse role models the sector will struggle to attract the talent that we urgently need as we face the biggest skills shortage for more than 20 years.” Click here to get the full report.

GOVERNMENT, MIGRATION & COMMUNITIES

Ethnicity pay gap reporting will not be mandatory, Lewis Silkin, 21 March 2022

“Employers will not have to publish their ethnicity pay gaps after the government reversed a previous commitment and decided against making it mandatory. Voluntary guidance will instead be published “this summer”.”

 Students starting life in Southampton after facing racism on their escape from Ukraine, ITV, 18 March 2022

“Thousands of African students have been assisted by ad-hoc organisations, like Black Foreigners in Ukraine, which Janine Anthony has volunteered for. They use social media to raise thousands of pounds and arrange safe passage… It is hoped the students tourist visas that allowed them into the UK, can be turned into student visas so they can finish their studies here.”

Home Office under investigation for extracting data from hundreds of migrants’ phones, Sky News, 14 March 2022

“The investigation, which could result in a £17m fine, comes as Priti Patel faces increasing pressure over three consecutive years in which small boat crossings have risen.”

Migration and the Ukraine crisis, The Migration Observatory, 14 March 2022

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to large-scale displacement. In the first three weeks of the crisis alone, more than 3 million people fled the country, according to UN estimates. While Eastern European countries are at the front lines of this crisis—particularly Poland, but also Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova and Romania—there has been fraught debate about the UK response. This briefing reviews statistics on what we know about Ukrainian migration to the UK before and after the Russian invasion.”

JUSTICE & POLICE

Revealed: 90% of Met officers disciplined for racism still work for force, Open Democracy, 24 March 2022

Despite hundreds of complaints of racism towards colleagues over the past five years, only four officers lost their jobs

 Adam Price calls for prohibition of the use of ‘racially biased’ police facial recognition technology on Senedd steps, Nation Cymru, 22 March 2022

“Policing is not yet devolved to Wales, but Adam Price called on Mark Drakeford to back his call to ban the technology from the steps of the Senedd, where protests are often held…privacy campaigning organisation Big Brother Watch, put out a statement saying there was a danger of “mission creep with this Orwellian surveillance technology and now we see that this new policy specifically allows innocent people to be put on facial recognition watchlists”.”

Anti-racism protests across Europe highlight rise in Sinophobia, CGTN, 22 March 2022

“London’s Metropolitan Police said it witnessed a significant rise in Sinophobia-related attacks in 2020 following the outbreak of COVID-19, and in coordination with the mayor’s office has been attempting to engage with the Chinese community to raise awareness of the issue, improve reporting of crimes and provide better support for victims. In 2018 there were 344 Sinophobia-related attacks recorded in the UK, but in 2020 that jumped to 596, a rise of 73.2 percent.”

 

SCIENCE, HEALTH & WELL-BEING

Deltacron and Stealth Omicron differences explained as Covid infections in UK surge again, The Independent, 21 March 2022

“Overall coronavirus cases in the UK continue to rise, with more than 170,000 new cases reported on March 14 alone. New Covid-19 sub-variants are believed to be behind a global surge that has resulted in China’s first deaths in a year, record numbers of infections in South Korea, a 14 per cent jump in cases in Africa and, here in the UK, rising hospital numbers.”

Covid fourth wave in India: All you need to know about ‘Stealth Omicron’ which is highly infectious, International Business Times, 20 March 2022

“A recent study carried out by researchers at Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut (SSI) suggests that the Stealth Omicron is 1.5 times more infectious than its predecessor… It is still unclear whether this newly detected variant of Covid will trigger the fourth wave of the pandemic in India.”

TECH

Tech Data launches DEI focused business resource group Embrace, PCR, 21 March 2022

““Embrace is about making sure that everyone has the same opportunities, and no-one experiences discrimination due to their background, colour, ethnicity, or beliefs…”

 BAME and LGBTQ+ youths have a higher risk of online harm, Happiful, 18 March 2022

““Our research makes clear that we must work with young people – particularly those from minority backgrounds – to identify and develop solutions that effectively prevent online harms,” said Dr Emily Setty, co-author of the study and lecturer in criminology at the University of Surrey. “A one-size-fits-all approach to minimising harm can’t hope to tackle the discrimination that seems to be hard-wired into young people’s online experiences.”

ROYALS & THE MONARCHY

Prince William and Kate face more protests in Bahamas, The Independent, 24 March 2022

“Prince William and Kate are set to fly into yet another slavery storm in The Bahamas as protest groups repeat demands for reparations – and take issue with their government paying for the trip.”

Kate Middleton and Prince William Have Reportedly Heard About Jamaica’s Plans to Become a Republic, Vanity Fair, 23 March 2022

“Along with a special blend of Ruby Appleton Rum, the country’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness also reportedly gave the couple the news that the queen will be out as head of state…According to ABC News, roughly 350 protesters gathered outside of the British High Commission and activists from the Advocates Network delivered an open letter calling for the royal family to formally apologize for Britain’s colonial past.”

Duke of Cambridge expresses ‘profound sorrow’ for slave trade but stops short of full apology, Sky News, 24 March 2022

“Speaking in Jamaica, in what will be his only speech of a three-day visit to the fourth-largest Commonwealth realm, Prince William describes slavery as “abhorrent”, adding: “It should never have happened”.”

Jamaica Against the Royals, Tribune, 24 March 2022

“The latest visit has sparked significant resistance—influential Jamaican leaders in academia, music, and law have expressed their anger at the institution responsible for overseeing the enslavement of over one million Africans on the island of Jamaica in an open letter to the British Monarchy.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Make Donations to Six Frontline Charities in Ukraine, Vanity Fair, 18 March 2022

““Thank you for being so brave and being so amazing,” Harry said in a conversation with employees from the HALO Trust,  [a charity that removes landmines from conflict zones], one of the organizations whose work they are supporting…They are also working with refugee organization HIAS, which is helping to resettle refugees from the region, and Are We Europe, which is supporting independent media in Ukraine including The Kyiv Independent.”

SPORT

DCMS committee urges Yorkshire to vote through reforms to aid racism fight, The Guardian, 24 March 2022

“The recommendations of the DCMS committee report on racism in cricket, published in January, have now been endorsed by the UK government… Anyone who still fails to acknowledge the deep-seated nature of racism in the sport, while using distraction tactics to frustrate much-needed reforms, is in the minority. “Next week, by voting for the reforms put forward by Lord Patel, Yorkshire members can continue the process of the club’s rehabilitation. This should be just the first step in cricket putting its house in order.”

Sikh fan ‘racially attacked’ at Arsenal’s Premier League match against Liverpool, Eastern Eye, 22 March 2022

“A Sikh fan was reportedly attacked and his turban knocked off in the toilets of the Emirates Stadium during the halftime of the match on Wednesday (16) evening. Arsenal said it established contact with the season ticket holder and informed the Met Police of the incident.”

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