Letters in Brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Anne McElvoy suggests that there is merit in continued hereditary succession of the head of state, because a non-political monarch can embody the "growing diversity" of this country's governance ("Charles could save the monarchy, but only if his mother abdicates", 28 October). But there is another "growing diversity", that of Britain's people, that monarchy can never embody. Our law recognises that a business that fills its job vacancies through family connections is institutionally racist. A nation that does the same with its chief public office is no less guilty. That gives added urgency to removing this vestige of a pre-democratic order.


Centre for Citizenship

London SE23

Sir: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (Comment, 29 October) rightly draws attention to the injustice experienced by the Muslim community in this country. I am also shocked by her good friend, an imam, who asked whether criticisms of her columns might be attributed to a "Jewish conspiracy". How sad that such gross and ludicrous prejudice should be exhibited by someone who is a teacher in his community. I am also disturbed that Ms Alibhai-Brown didn't feel his views worthy of comment and hope that her friendship with this man will encourage her to teach him about prejudice and its evils.


London SW14

Sir: I noted the letter by Ian Sparks from the Children's Society (27 October) concerning the pupils I excluded from The Ridings school in November 1996. We made every effort to place the pupils involved. In fact, 11 out of the 12 were found places within three weeks of their exclusion. I agree that it is extremely important for all the agencies involved, especially schools and local education authorities to collaborate effectively to find good-quality alternatives which fulfil the needs of children who have been permanently excluded from school.


Almondbury, West Yorkshire

The writer was brought in as head teacher to turn The Ridings around within six months in November 1996.

Sir: May I introduce myself to Maurice Millen (letter, 31 October) as one who is delighted in October when the country's chronology is restored. One has to despair at the unintelligence of a community that, whilst recognising suddenly each spring the need to get up in the morning, has to kid itself that, nevertheless, it is starting the day at a later hour.