Letter: Tories and race

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Sir: Rupert Cornwell ("Even Canute would not try to hold back the tide of multiculturalism", 9 October) offers a refreshing riposte to Lord Tebbit's narrow and zero-sum view of British society, where other cultures apparently have little to offer and may well Balkanise us into mutually hostile tribes.

Cornwell points to the United States' continuing vitality, drawing strength from its diversity. One could go further, in that American success in developing the sinews of a global market - with its predominance in IT, media, finance and energy flows - is not simply attributable to having available capital and powerful transnational corporations, but also to the experience it has derived from being the world's leading multicultural society. Yes, there are domestic problems of adjustment. But this has given the US an edge in striking deals with other nations and being flexible and culturally attuned to their local markets as the US seeks further to prise open world trade.

Britain with an equally divergent domestic culture should celebrate the opportunities and advantages this may offer us.


Senior Lecturer in Politics

South Bank University

London SE1