Letters: Xenophobia: more sad than serious

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Sir: Your front page story strikes exactly the right note ("Don't be beastly to the Germans", 25 June). There is no point inciting xenophobic feelings towards our neighbours and trading partners, and then complaining that the European club constantly seeks to exclude us. It is hypocritical to use the language of the thugs one moment and condemn their violence the next.

The English are world champions when it comes to dreaming nostalgically about golden-ages-that-never-were. We should admire the courage and forward- looking approach of the Germans, who have built a civilised and prosperous country out of the ruins of 1945. We should be looking to the demanding and challenging future, not indulging in barren, backward-looking jingoism.

Tough, honest competition will characterise our domestic and international future. That will mean playing an intelligent and constructive role within Europe. Ignorance, prejudice and irresponsibility will only ensure that Little England has a little future.

JO GARDINER

Campaign Manager

The Industrial Society

London W1

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