It was based upon an enquiry set up in 1997 by the Home Secretary, Jack Straw. Here are a few of the things it said:
"Britishness and Englishness are racially coded terms with a Whites-only connotation."When the Runnymede report was released, Nicky Gavron, vice-Chairman of the Runnymede Trust, remarked that the Royal Family should take the lead in promoting racial integration. She was quoted in The Telegraph thus:
"A rethinking of the nation's self-image is needed."
"Britishness, as much as Englishness, has systematic, largely unspoken, racist connotations."
"It is widely understood that Englishness, and therefore by extension Britishness, is racially coded. The unstated assumption is that Britishness and whiteness go together like roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.”
“The absence from the national curriculum of a rewritten history of Britain as an imperial force, involving dominance in Ireland, Africa, the Caribbean and Asia, is proving to be an unmitigated disaster.”
“There ain't no black in the Union Jack".
"It would have been great if Prince Charles had been told to marry someone black. Imagine what message that would have sent out…As regards much loved British hymns such as Jerusalem and I Vow To Thee My Country, Gavron said:
They're a symbol of our unmeritocratic tendency and, of course, they're all white. It is part of a very unattractive hierarchy…
We don't need them but they're fun for tourists to look at.”
"I am embarrassed by the words."Until Ken Livingston's New Labour rehabilitation, the woman who made these comments was to be New Labour's official candidate for the post of Mayor of London.
Gavron is Jewish.
When a flurry of pro-British criticism greeted the release of the report, Trevor Phillips, the Chairman of the Greater London Assembly at the time, dismissed the dissent as:
"The knee-jerk reactions of little Englanders."
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Rogues' Gallery continued...