Letter: Fans' crime was to be English

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Sir: I was saddened but not surprised by the conduct of many of our football supporters in Holland. Some people are asking why the youth of other countries do not riot in our streets. Could it be that, deep down, we despise all foreigners and feel superior to other countries? After all, we British have had a long experience of throwing our weight around in other peoples' countries.

Isn't it high time that we as a nation decided to stop this infantile tribalism?

The press could decide, in everyone's interest, to stop using emotive and offensive headlines about other countries. Maybe 'nationalism' should be added to the list of prohibited topics, along with racism, sexism and the like.

The Government urgently needs to set an example. The succession of ministers at the recent Blackpool conference trying to outdo each other in ridiculing our fellow Europeans was very embarrassing and gave exactly the wrong leadership.

A few humble apologies would not be out of place.

Yours sincerely,


London, SE3

14 October