Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
25 May 2021updated 04 Sep 2021 12:23pm

Half of voters want to tackle racism – but aren’t prepared to talk about it

One year on from George Floyd’s murder, 28 per cent of Britons think we have discussed racism too much.

By Ben Walker

The murder of George Floyd one year ago sparked a chain reaction of rallies and movements around the world that called on societies to break down structural and racial inequality. 

According to a recent Ipsos MORI survey, most Britons are keen on doing just that – albeit with a catch.

The poll, conducted between 7 and 13 May, found 54 per cent of UK adults believe we must do more to tackle racism. Among ethnic minority respondents, this figure rises to 65 per cent.

Only 17 per cent think the country is doing enough to end structural racism, against the 13 per cent who believe we are doing too much.

However, while most Brits are prepared to take action against racism, they are less keen on talking about it. 

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Voters agree we need to do more to tackle racism, but aren’t prepared to talk more about it
Ipsos MORI survey of UK adults, 7 – 13 May

Just 30 per cent told Ipsos MORI that race issues are not being talked about enough, but almost as many (28 per cent) said it has been discussed too much. Some 33 per cent believe the subject has been talked about to an appropriate level.

The disparity – between the 54 per cent who believe Britain must do more to tackle racism and the 30 per cent who believe we should talk more about it – risks holding Britain back. Until the country recognises that doing more to confront racism also means talking about and engaging with it more, the aspirations of the 2020 activists who protested in the wake of George Floyd’s murder will never be realised.

Content from our partners
What are the green skills of the future?
A global hub for content producers, gaming and entertainment companies in Abu Dhabi
Insurance: finding sustainable growth in stormy markets