LETTER: Self-selection

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The Independent Online
From Mr Len Clarke

Sir: Robyn Willis (Letters, 26 September) shouldn't worry too much over uncouth remarks about Australia by Britain's noisy chattering classes, for there is a positive aspect.

As a person (not unconnected with the Australian government) put it to me some years ago:

We've found that in general, unthinking Brits don't emigrate as they tend to believe many such remarks about Australians being uncivilised beer-swillers who are mostly descended from convicts. But intelligent aspiring emigrants from Britain get their facts from reliable sources, and often spend a holiday in Australia first. So we get a pretty high proportion of the bright people - whom Britain can least afford to lose.

Yours sincerely,

Len Clarke

Uxbridge, Middlesex