Letters: In Brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: It is never right to blame to the victims of mass murder for their deaths. That is what John Pollock does in his piece on Kitchener (Historical Notes, 2 September), when he says of the deaths of 26,000 civilians during the Anglo-South African War, that "the insanitary habits of the Boer women formed the primary cause of the epidemic". The real reason for the deaths was that Kitchener and the British made war against civilians by incarcerating them in concentration camps. This it has to be acknowledged as a war crime.

JOHN STRAWSON

London N19

Sir: "Britain is becoming a multiracial, multicultural society": Lesley Downer joins the ranks of Independent writers who, with monotonous regularity, trot out this inaccurate statement ("Wanted: a brand new caste", 2 September).

London may be multiracial and multicultural. Britain (94.5 per cent white), Scotland (98.7 per cent white), Wales (98.5 per cent white) are not.

LINDA MITCHELL

Usk,

Gwent

Sir: I wonder how many of your readers gazed at the image of our planet on page 5 of the Wednesday Review ("Life on Earth doesn't need us", 2 September) and marvelled at its beauty. I wonder how many of those readers noticed that Madagascar now lies off the west coast of Africa and that the Arabian Peninsula lies west of the Red Sea.

We are clever but obviously not clever enough, and I would agree with Lynn Margulis that the long-term outlook for the human species is not good.

C STEPHEN FROST

Colwyn Bay,

Clwyd

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