Magazine article The Spectator

Institutional Nonsense

Magazine article The Spectator

Institutional Nonsense

Article excerpt

Sir: Charles Moore warns against the danger that a new inquiry into police racism by the Metropolitan Police Authority might 'feed the monster' of racist lobbying (The Spectator's Notes, 11 October). He reminds us of the 'unfairness' of the Macpherson Report.

'Unfair' is an understatement.

For all its uncritical reception, and its profound and mainly pernicious impact on policing, the Macpherson Report is blatantly a fatally flawed document.

Macpherson states plainly, right at the beginning of his report, that he had been unable to find any evidence of police racism. On personal racism, Macpherson said that his inquiry had 'not heard evidence of overt racism or discrimination' (para. 6.3, p. 20). On institutional racism (in the ordinary meaning of 'institutional') Macpherson wrote that it was 'vital to stress that neither academic debate nor the evidence presented to us leads us to say or conclude that an accusation that institutional racism exists in the Met implies that the policies of the Met are racist. …

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