Letter: Tory Britain: inequality and the promise of tax cuts

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The Independent Online
Sir: I have just returned from a visit to London, where I was very impressed with the deep sense of history on every corner. As a typical tourist, I went to the British Museum. One has to admire the British for spending so much to preserve and display others' history; and not even charge an admission fee.

A couple of days later, when I had grown used to seeing magnificent buildings on every corner, I stopped looking up as I walked, and started to look around. I saw desperate people on almost every corner and in almost every Underground station. Next to the fanciest restaurants, there was always some old person with coat and sleeping bag. Others passing seemed not to notice.

How can a society that is willing to bear the expense of showcasing others' history not have enough to afford basic necessities for its own old people? The contrast between your pageantry and your homeless was so striking that I kept searching for a solution. Here is my proposal: charge a pounds 1 admission fee for the museum and use the money to help these people. That might improve tourism more than shining up Big Ben. For those who can't afford the pounds 1 fee, make admission free one day each week.

Yours sincerely,

T. ABOULNASR

Ottawa,

Ontario, Canada

3 June

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