Letter: Tebbit's Britain

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Sir: Let it pass that Norman Tebbit has no more claim to be an aboriginal of this island than anyone else. Let it pass that many of the heroes of the narrow history he was taught at school were themselves immigrants or foreigners. His speech might have been marginally less repulsive if he had the balls to address immigrants and the descendants of relatively recent immigrants directly. Instead he was talking to an extraordinary alliance of skinheads, hooray Henries and little old ladies in elaborate blue hats.

History is not only what he was taught in school, it is also what happened last year, last week, this evening - and it can go in any direction, including towards the Balkanisation he fears. He mistakes the causes, however. Like Karadzic in Serbia or Paisley in Northern Ireland, he may find himself the catalyst of the very hatred and violence he pretends to be saving us from.

JON GRAY

Bath

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