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Tebbit's comparison is crass : LETTER

LORD Tebbit's assertion that his plight as a Europhobe could be compared to that of Nelson Mandela and other black South Africans compensates with crassness what it lacks in resonance ("Tebbit predicts civil unrest", 12 February). He displays a scarcely credible disregard for the oppression of black South Africans prior to democratic elections - and for the sake of political opportunism. This from a former Government minister whose Prime Minister publicly boasted at the ineffectiveness of UK contributions to EC sanctions against South Africa, despite calls from black South Africans for tough and effective measures against apartheid.

Worse still is Lord Tebbit's inference ("I begin to understand how it was that Nelson Mandela was not able to tell black South Africans that it was their duty to obey the law") that he might possibly have the same moral authority as Mandela. Compared with the President of South Africa, Tebbit scarcely attains the status of a historical footnote, however much he may wish to misappropriate the credentials of genuine statesmen.

Colin Driver

Kings Lynn, Norfolk