Letters: Victims of Dover

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The Independent Culture
Victims of Dover

Sir: David Aaronovitch's language conveys the impression that the citizens of Dover should be left to suffer the problems brought about by the influx of immigrants into that town ("Let Dover stew in its disgusting narrow- mindedness and prejudice", 18 August).

His article was peevish because he castigates people who have made every effort to come to terms with the problem, such as the leader of Kent County Council, Mr Sandy Bruce Lockhart, who had warned of the impact of asylum-seekers on the town and the possibility of violence and even a fatal confrontation.

Mr Aaronovitch would have us believe that numerical immigration is inconsequential, pointing out that in many years there has been a net outflow. He is presumably unaware that at least a third of London's population consists of ethnic minorities, which means millions. He has presumably never been to Southall.

I have been approached by a single mother of three young children, who live next door to an (overcrowded) family of asylum-seekers, for help in trying to tackle the problem of their shouting, fighting and noise that goes on inside and outside the house, often as late as midnight and beyond. These people are doing nothing wrong by their own lights but if they are not housed with sensitivity then antagonism and hatred will ensue.

David Aaronovitch referred to the young people who were knifed in Dover as "victims" in quotation marks. I wonder, does he have a 13-year-old daughter and how he would feel if she were knifed? Writing from the heights of Hampstead, no doubt, he will never experience such problems but he should try removing the blinkers of his own prejudice and find out what those problems really are.

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