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

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The Independent Online
Sir: Racism and sexism, which are different forms of xenophobia, share a common thought process: the definition of a group to which the practitioner does not belong, the attribution to that group of unpleasant characteristics and the willingness to punish all supposed members of the group on the assumption that they possess those characteristics.

Polly Toynbee is not exempt from xenophobic reasoning. She contemptuously attributes a marmalade of disagreeable attitudes to all us Conservative voters. We represent somewhere between a third and half of her fellow- citizens, yet I feel that if she could she would abolish the lot of us. We do disagree with many of her prescriptions for improving economic and social conditions, but if our analysis is different our motives are no baser than hers.

COLIN ANGWIN

London W8

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