From: Edward Thomas
You printed two letters last week deriding Sir Vince Cable’s patronising comments about Brexiteers (Opinon, March 23) . Whilst agreeing with most of what was written, my approach is slightly different. It was ironic that days after Sir Vince’s conclusion about older British white males, like me, it was announced that investment would be made to discourage ethnic communities from keeping themselves in enclaves, so that there would be greater integration between them. Is there any grouping on Earth that does not feel the most comfortable within its own kind? It was true of the Chibemba people of northern Zambia among whom I worked in the 70s. The same applied ten years later to the old men smoking their hookah pipes in the town square by the Red Sea. Both were areas, incidentally, where I served for as long as the respective authorities wanted me there, not the other way around. I doubt that Sir Vince would describe their attitudes as racist. Yet the one grouping which can never be allowed to show signs of affinity amongst its own is the white British.
As one of the latter grouping, I do feel that way. I don’t know that it provided an impetus for my voting to leave the EU, for I was more stimulated by the notion of regaining control of our laws, our borders and our money.
However, Sir Vince could be right in that subconsciously I do want to return to a past whereby, just as much in the afore-mentioned territories, I can live my life immersed in my own culture, with all its foibles and its faults as well as its joys, and not in a melting pot of other people’s cultures, no matter how beneficial that is perceived to be for my own culture. If that makes me a racist, so be it.