Letter: Asian attitudes towards British racism

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your otherwise intelligent article "Strangers in a strange land" (17 June) failed to mention several important factors that need to be taken into consideration when looking for causes and seeking remedies to the present situation in Bradford.

The huge increase in the population has given rise to very large numbers of non-English speaking children who have to be taught in large classes. An ever-increasing number of children are leaving school at a time when the fight for jobs is difficult for for all sections of society. The population of Bradford has risen by over 12,000 in the last 15 years, largely due to the birth rate among the Pakistani community. The present forecast by the city council is that 3,000 new jobs a year will need to be created over the next 10 years in order to accommodate school leavers. The Pakistani community does not appear to take this into consideration when looking at reasons for lack of job opportunities but prefers to point the finger purely at racism.

One other fact not mentioned is the huge amounts of money already invested in building new schools and refurbishing old ones to accommodate the rapidly rising numbers, and employed in paying for large numbers of extra teachers to help non-English speakers in schools (the majority of Pakistani children still arrive at school speaking no English). Millions of pounds' worth of grants have also been given to the Asian community to improve and enlarge houses and make them suitable for large families.

None of these facts appear to have be acknowledged by the Pakistani community or by those seeking to apportion blame. A little more introspection on the part of that community would not go amiss.

Yours sincerely,


Checkheaton, West Yorkshire