Letter: Tebbit revealed double standards

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The Independent Online
WHAT A wondrous thing is the logical mind of the white male politician in our society. In his interview with Lord Tebbit of Chingford ('The skinhead's last stand', Review, 20 June) William Leith quotes him commenting on the 'snobbishness' of Harold Macmillan over his Cockney accent, as follows '. . . well, one gets one or two people like that . . . you just go round them. It doesn't worry me at all, except that it shows the paucity of mind of people of that kind, who can't recognise people for what they are. I think that's rather . . . sad.'

Three paragraphs later Norman Tebbit says 'I backed the right horse in backing Margaret Thatcher . . . the idea of backing this middle-class woman with the funny accent that wore blue twin-sets as the leader of the Conservative Party, was something that a lot of my friends found strange . . . I had moments of doubt. It was a case of: what were the other alternatives anyway? If there had been a man who had run her close, I would have gone for the man.'

'Paucity of mind' indeed. Alas, his earlier experience appears to have given the noble lord no insight into the real issue here, which is unfair discrimination.

Amanda Parkyn

Penkridge, Staffs

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