LETTER:The sound of sinister laughter

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Sir: Sadly, there are dozens of so-called comedians of the Bernard Manning stamp performing regularly in public clubs and at private parties, week in week out, all over Britain ("Action ruled out over Manning's racist cabaret", 26 April). The wonder is that the offensive nature of these acts has only just featured in a TV documentary and in the press.

As a once semi-professional musician, working on cabaret bills at weekends for a number of years, I have lost count of the number of racist, sexist and generally objectionable comedians who have bored me and my fellow- musicians to death. With few exceptions, some pathetic excuses are made for the racist content of the act. Whether such acts actually incite racial hatred or not, I cannot say - there is no doubt they degrade the audience and add to the veiled racism present in many British people.

If the Commission for Racial Equality wants to gather evidence of racist behaviour, it should send its members out for a night at a club or two.

Yours faithfully,

MICHAEL AINSCOUGH

Henfield,

West Sussex

26 April

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