With people in the UK confined to their homes during lockdown – and already glued to the news media for regular coronavirus updates – the aftershock of Floyd’s killing reverberated through society and underscored issues that have been waiting, impatiently, to be discussed. In the aftermath, with demonstrations in British cities, concern about race relations hit the highest level Ipsos MORI has ever measured in its monthly Issues Index.
COVID-19 has intensified some of the disparities in our society. While the epicentre of recent events may be in the US, make no mistake, Britain has fissures which will become clearer still as we deal with the financial aftermath of the pandemic, coupled with a messy Brexit.
The level of inequality in our society is something that we should all be concerned about. Michael Johnson, the four-time Olympic gold-medallist and BBC pundit, described the atmosphere well: “This is not only black people, this is everyone who understands and appreciates fairness; they’re fed up. They’re demanding change … I’m hopeful that change truly does come, but that’s going to take time.”