Angus Deaton’s five-year review of inequalities can’t succeed while it excludes people from different ethnic communitiesSome years back, when I was working at the New Economics Foundation as a researcher, a trustee of the organisation called me. I had met him briefly the day before, but was still surprised to hear his voice on the line. He told me he organised art events and eventually got to the point of his call by saying that a panel he had organised was a bit too stale and having met me he thought I could bring some “edge” to the conversation. I laughed, saying I didn’t know anything about art, and in any case wasn’t available. I put the phone down, bemused. I am assuming by “edge” he meant that he needed me – a brown woman from a working-class background – to counter his panel, which was presumably all white, and no doubt too male and too posh. I suppose I should have been happy to be invited; and, while this was textbook tokenism, if I’d known something about the topic I might have accepted. After all, at the very least I was asked.
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