“The equality watchdog Trevor Phillips used to irritate the hell out of me. To be frank, I never felt he properly engaged with the real issues affecting modern multi-racial Britain. He always seemed to pussyfoot around the edges, indulging himself in the soft option of political correctness. Either I was plumb wrong … or the guy has just awoken from a kind of intellectual torpor and emerged, virtually overnight, as a clear-sighted, acerbic and fearless crusader against the long-held dogmas and obsessions of our traditionally self-serving race-relations industry.
“Phillips has transformed the office of Head of the Commission for Racial Equality into an abattoir for the slaughter of sacred cows. This week he took a series of cherished beliefs held dear for decades and put them to the sword. Some of the principal pillars of multi-culturalism – one of the most pernicious, wrong-headed creeds of modern times – were shaken to their foundations as he actually dared to ask questions that have been long proscribed. Such as, why it is necessarily wrong to describe people as coloured; why town halls should print forms in a variety of different ethnic languages; why Muslim pupils should be excused from wearing full school uniform.
“Another shibboleth to be chucked overboard was the traditional condemnation of the British Empire. Phillips actually praised it for mixing people of different races and religions, and exhumed the long-buried truism that the British people are not, by nature, bigots. ‘We created something called the Empire where we mixed and mingled with people very different from those of these islands,’ he said. This is terrific stuff….”
Richard Madeley (of Richard & Judy) in the Daily Express, 8 October 2005