LETTER: Merely regret – not racism

We are reminded that writer Will Self declared, ‘Not all Brexiters are racist but all racists are Brexiters’ [Letters, July 1]. In turn I was reminded of the similar rhetoric a couple of years ago, ‘Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims.’ True or not, such generalisations do not get us very far.

Nor am I any longer entirely certain how valuable is the charge of ‘racist’, which has become such a once-size-fits-all tag of convenience as to be losing its currency. I imagine there are those who would charge me with racism because I would like to see a return to the indigenous character of our country. I speak from a certain amount of experience, having seen two of my old stamping grounds, the London boroughs of Hackney and Newham, lose so much of that indigenous character as to be unrecognisable.

In the case of Newham, 73 per cent of its population is now made up of various ethnic minorities. If I am to be charged with racism because of the mere expression of regret at that situation, so be it. The effect on me would be akin to water off a duck’s back.

I too saw Will Self on Channel 4 last Friday night expressing incandescence at the impudent voters’ majority decision. I have to admit to a certain satisfaction at witnessing London literati smugness converted rather swiftly into London literati apoplexy. And thereby hangs a further generalisation to ponder. Not all Remainers are metropolitan elitists, but all metropolitan elitists are Remainers.

Edward Thomas

Collington Close

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