After the inquest, the Lawrence familyrncomplained formally to the Police ComplaintsrnAuthority about the investigation.rnThe Kent police, who conducted the review,rnfound that the investigation had notrnbeen perfectly conducted and recommendedrndisciplinary action against onernofficer. But this did not suffice. Regrettably,rneven Mrs. Lawrence began sayingrnthat the investigation had been mishandledrnbecause of police racism, not humanrnerror. (After the report’s publication,rnshe said that the police “acted in arnmanner that can only be described asrnwhite masters during slavery.”) Otherrnmurders of black men, such as that of arnmusician in north London in Januaryrn1997, were instantly treated as racial murdersrn(it was not unhl March of this yearrnthat it became clear that, in the latterrncase, there was no racial motive whatsoever).rnNever mentioned was the fact thatrnthe clear-up rate for murders of blacks isrnactually higher than for murders ofrnwhites, nor that the Commission forrnRacial Equality has estimated thatrn238,000 of the 382,000 crimes in 1995rnthought by the victims to be motivated byrnracism were committed against whites.rnIn December 1997, with Labour inrnpower. Home Secretary Jack Straw announcedrnthat a new public inquiryrnwould be directed by Sir WilliamrnMcPherson, a retired High Court judgernregarded as a “conservative” and thereforerninstantly dismissed as “insensitive”rnby the Lawrences. He seems to have takenrnthis very much to heart, and his judgmentrnwas clouded in consequence. Certainly,rnas the left-wing Guardian noted,rn”From early on, his plain speaking madernit clear his sympathies lay entirely withrnthe Lawrence family.” The other membersrnof the committee were even tamer-rnBishop John Mugabe Sentamu (describedrnby the Guardian as a “radical”rncleric who has “championed the causesrnof women priests and anti-racism”); TomrnCook, an obscure laborer in the witheredrnvineyards of “anti-racism”; and Dr. RichardrnStone, chairman of the Jewish Councilrnfor Racial Equality.rnThe public inquiry’ opened on Marchrn16, 1998, and was featured in the newspapersrnand on the television almost everyrnday from then until the report’s publication.rnWliile the Lawrences were listenedrnto reverentially (Sir William chivalrouslyrnbut wrongly halted the proceedings onernday when Mrs. Lawrence protested, “AmrnI on trial or something here?”), left-wingrnextremists had a field day ranting aboutrnpolice brutality, police corruption, policernracism, and the racism they saw in everyrnpart of society. OnJime29, 1998, dozensrnof dark-glassed, clip-on-bow-tied Nationrnof Islam skinheads stormed the buildingrnwhere the inquiry was being held. (Thernpolice had caused them to attack, accordingrnto the TV news!) On the way out, thernfive were pelted with bottles, and, understandablyrnenough, they returned thernpunches thrown at them by the frenziedrnmob. The following day, the Daily Mailrnshowed a photograph of the five, lookingrnboth afraid and angry as they wentrnthrough the murderous crowd, under therncaption “Faces of hate.” The five werernfair game for anyone; the black newspaperrnNew Nation carried an article headlinedrn”Do you know where they live?”rnand suggested that black Londonersrnmight like to visit them and “offer ourrnsuggestions as to how their media imagernor indeed their facial features may be enhanced.”rnWhen the Press ComplaintsrnCommission declared that the article wasrnan incitement to racial hatred and violence.rnNew Nation’s editor replied, “I wasrnshocked to receive the PCC letter. It’srnanother example of them discriminatingrnagainst the black community.”rnWhile the inquiry was continuing,rnother race-related stories kept the kettiernboiling over. The chairman of the Commissionrnfor Racial Equality (formerly thernchief executive of Lambeth Council at arntime when several high-profile and welldocumentedrncases of racial harassmentrnof black staff by the council occurred)rnlaunched a hectoring extravaganza, lambastingrneverybody from soldiers and doctorsrnto teachers as “racists” and trying tornbuild up the levels of angst in the bodyrnpolitic generally. A memorial stonernplaced in the pavement where Lawrencernhad met his death was defaced severalrntimes (most recently on February 26,rnwhen a black youth was arrested). SirrnPaul Condon, commissioner of thernMetropolitan Police, a left-leaning manrnwho had earned himself the nicknamern”PC PC” for his earnest attempts to combatrnracism in the force, began to face increasingrnpressure to resign, especially afterrnhe refused to accept that his force wasrn”institutionally racist” (unlike his Manchesterrncolleague, who knew on whichrnside his bread was buttered). In an effortrnto avert the coming storm. Jack Strawrnsaid that there would be nationwide policernquotas (euphemistically called “targets”)rnfor ethnic minorih- recruitment.rnThe report, issued on Februar}’ 2 5 (althoughrnleaked beforehand), concludedrnthat the force was guilty of “racism, professionalrnincompetence and bad leadership.”rnBut it went much, much furtherrnthan that, offering a list of 70 recommendations,rnfrom multiple internal reviews torn”sensitivity” training. The report also recommendedrnthat racial incidents shouldrnbe considered to include both crimesrnand non-crimes and that both should bernreportable 24 hours a day and investigatedrnwith equal thoroughness. Sir Williamrnthen strayed far beyond his remit by arguingrnthat the national school curriculumrnshould reflect “cultural diversity” (as if itrndoes not now!), suggesting that the rulernagainst double jeopardy should be “reviewed,”rnand saying that “racist” languagernand behavior, even in private,rnshould be curtailed. As the Daily Telegraphrndeclared, the proposals “representrnthe wild dreams of the Left, kept down,rnjust, in the 1980s, and now reaching forrnpower.”rnThe effects of the report were predictable.rnThe battle against crime, whichrnthe police were losing anyway, has beenrnfurther hindered, and the police have becomerndemoralized. A British TransportrnPolice officer said that his fellow officersrnnow think twice about arresting black orrnAsian suspects and that they were “spittingrnblood” about the media’s inaccuraternand unbalanced coverage of their work.rnThe Home Office postponed the publicationrnof a crime trend survey carried outrnby a senior female researcher whichrnshowed that black people are more likelyrnto become involved in crime than Asiansrnor whites. A feeling of resentment grewrnamong whites, who began to realize thatrnthey really are second-class citizens inrntheir ancestral homelands. This resentmentrnwas typified by a correspondent tornthe Daily Telegraph: “These proceedingsrnhave given grave offense to ordinary Englishrnpeople, most of whom have fathersrnor grandfathers who fought to put downrnreal institutionalized racialism.” But perhapsrnthe last word ought to go to StevernDunne, whose brother Patrick, a welllikedrnClapham policeman, was killed sixrnmontiis after Lawrence’s death by a blackrngang who were likewise released becausernof insufficient evidence: “If we don’trncounter blanket accusations with balancedrnrealities, then we, the public, willrnbe guilty of allowing our country to driftrninto anarchy.”rnDerek Turner is the editor of RightrnNOW!, published in London.rn40/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn