Legislation And Conflict

Police engage in Stop And search (right) adding to the volatile atmosphere surrounding the black community.

(below) A house party in New Cross, London, attended by black teenagers and is bombed. 13 are killed.



Legislation passed between 1958 and 1968 had the unfortunate effect of instituionalising racism. Politicians under pressure from the right had made one concessions after another, ensuring that they could not be outflanked. Immigration laws became an admixture with elections, described by one politician Hugh Gaitskel as 'Miserable, shameful and shabby'.

By 1962 the admission of commonwealth settlers to Britain was linked to employment vouchers. It was the period of Mosley and Cross burning in Coventry, Rugby and Leamington Spa, Ilford, Plaistow and Cricklewood. By the 1980's Coventry among other major towns and cities was gripped by rebellion brought on by a mixture of policing methods, indifferent politics, and underestimation of blacks unwillingness to contenance intimidation and racism.

Race relations has since then been in the duldrums as blacks became increasingly sceptical about the sincerity of those who claim they want a multicultural society.



In 1985, widespread rebellion hit Wandsworth and other major towns and cities throughout the country.
This lead to the tragic death of two Asians trapped in a post office in Handsworth after they had been warned to vacate the premises by both police and those involved in the rebellion.