Letter: When difference is seen as a threat

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The Independent Online
Lord Tebbit ('Tebbit attacks 'lack of common values' ', 23 November) wants our society to have in common 'laws, customs, standards, values, language, culture and religion'.

In Hitler's Germany, they believed in this, too. They called it Gleichschaltung, which my dictionary tells me means 'bringing into line'. A cardinal sin in Joseph Stalin's Russia was inakomyslie, which we translate as dissidence, but which literally means 'thinking differently'.

Lord Tebbit seems to be suffering from a complaint known as 'intolerance of difference', a disease whose effects are only too obvious to see in the former Yugoslavia.

Yours faithfully,


London, NW5

23 November