Letter: Beware the Tory MP and his racist gaffe-or was it?

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Sir: Far from being a buffoon, David Evans MP is likely a sharp, if repugnant operator. Offensive and ugly racist language became the stock- in-trade of right-wingers in the Australian election campaign a year ago - and far from unsuccessfully.

Polly Toynbee's point ("A glimpse at the dark heart of Toryism", 6 March) about "political correctness" - by any standards a slippery concept - is nicely made. It has indeed become the ideal sop for right-wing commentators, used to fend off on any demand for intellectual exertion. With Evans in mind, is "political correctness" not just the politically correct term for civility and good-manners ?

I have no doubt that we shall hear more boorish and inflammatory outbursts in the coming campaign; but think twice before labelling them ill-judged or naive.


Oriel College, Oxford