It's sad David Starkey's career has ended this way but the fallout sends a clear message that racism will not be tolerated

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Saturday 04 July 2020 16:38
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David Starkey claims that slavery 'wasn't genocide' or there 'wouldn't be so many damn blacks'

I am sorry to tell David Starkey that he brought all this furore on himself. Whatever possessed this highly educated man to utter such vile comments?

I agree with Sajid Javid and David Olusoga that this mindset is extremely worrying and disturbing and should be called out, as it widely has been. It is sad to finish an illustrious career like this, but this widespread condemnation is encouraging and sends out an irrefutable message that such casual and dire racist comments will not be tolerated.

He is the only son of Quaker parents and this movement was strong in the fight against slavery so that in itself is a further indictment.

Judith A Daniels
Cobholm, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Confused reader

I am fairly certain that Keith Jacques in yesterday’s Letters is slightly confused over how this country has dug itself into such a hole domestically and our obligations internationally.

Firstly, the housing shortage has nothing to do with immigration – we simply have not been building enough houses. I must emphasise, cheap housing, not mansions, we have plenty of them.

As for schools, think back to 2010 and the coalition government announcement of austerity. In plain language, we had cutbacks across every aspect of education including adult evening classes. This is, funnily enough, the reason for other public services being reduced or even removed: Sure Start, policing, probation services, prisons, and not forgetting the NHS which was underfunded despite the rhetoric from our politicians.

The Brexit vote may have been about foreigners for some voters, but the problems we faced were nothing to do with immigrants.

We must remember that for over 150 years we made huge sums of money through our imperial occupation of a territory on the edge of mainland China. We told the citizens of Hong Kong that they were British subjects and we promised to uphold their rights after we left in 1997. There must be no debate: we shall welcome all the good people of Hong Kong and I for one endorse that enthusiastically.

Robert Boston
Kingshill, Kent

Misplaced principles

So our esteemed prime minister is capable of open criticism of Putin’s Russia and the actions of Xi Jinping’s China but refuses to criticise his own father for breaches of lockdown protocols. Nice to know he has some principals, I suppose, even if they are those of nepotism.

Alan Mackay
East Lothian

Portugal omission

This government’s omission of Portugal from its list of “safe to visit” countries has put a centuries-old alliance at risk. Portugal is the only country in Europe that we haven’t upset at some point. Portuguese people know this (how many Brits do?) and often mention it in their conversations with British visitors. They are proud of this long history of peace and cooperation.

The temporary spike in coronavirus cases in Portugal seems to be related to a number of illegal parties and the Portuguese government took immediate steps to contain the outbreak. It has had an extensive and efficient testing service in place throughout the pandemic.

Perhaps a graceful U-turn is in order.

Lynda Newbery
Bristol

Everything’s a game to Boris

After months of preparation and practice Boris Johnson has announced our national strategy for dealing with Covid-19 is like a game of Whack-a-Mole! He gleefully uses the phrase at every opportunity rather like a 5-year-old who has just learned a new rude word.

The game itself, as most know, relies on a clear focus, fast reactions, anticipation of events and accurate strikes – interestingly almost a complete list of the inadequacies and deficiencies of our government in the Covid-19 crisis. As we continue into an uncertain future I am more confident about the safety of the mole population than that of their human equivalent.

John Dillon
Northfield, Birmingham

Meaningless gesture

I don’t believe that Keith Jacques (Letters) has to worry about three million people coming from Hong Kong to this country. Apart from them probably preferring to travel to Canada or Australia, I’m pretty certain that the UK government knew exactly what the Chinese response would be – that they would move to block citizens leaving the region and this was purely another of Boris Johnson’s grand meaningless gestures that looked good on a world stage but would in effect amount to nothing. Another in his growing list of empty promises

Steve Lawrence
Enfield

Takes one to know one

In his Independence Day speech, on land sacred to Native Americans, Trump calls his opponents fascists. This from the president who tear-gassed peaceful protesters, his fellow citizens, all so he could pose for a photo in front of a church.

Well, takes one to know one, I guess. No mention of the hundreds of his fellow citizens he is killing every day by not opposing Covid-19.

Ian Henderson
Norwich, Norfolk

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