SIR: In response to Mr Pitt’s letter “Britain’s record on treating immigrants” (Chronicle, July 16) I would hope that this is at best a satirical jibe at those who may agree and at worst a genuine belief held by some. If so, this blind ignorance epitomises the issues that we as a country are facing.

As a white, middle class straight man living in Winchester I am unequivocally aware of how lucky I am. Whatever disasters may come my way, I will never have to walk down the street with the background tape of harassment looping in my head. I have never had the guillotine of xenophobia hanging over me, being a spectre on my every day. Just try to think of one derogatory racial term that could be used against me. I am bulletproof.

We are a country built on the fading glory of an invasive empire. We colonized half the world and wonder why those who were subjected to our rule no longer see us as superiors. Although we have collapsed, the attitude lingers, especially in places like Winchester which has a 92 per cent ‘White British’ population. We were the bad guys and we should never forget it.

To say Britain is not racist is to blindly ignore our past and be blissfully unaware of what others may go through. Not only is it ignorant, it is dangerous. We should not be so foolhardy.

To point out three Conservative politicians who are children of immigrants as the writer put it is not evidence, it is tokenism. It is the same defence as “I have a black friend”. It no longer cuts the mustard and treats them not as a humans but as objects.

I suggest to the writer that try to expand his viewpoint outside of Winchester. He doesn’t have to go far. Start with Southampton, a city with a wider ethnic population. Talk to people. Ask questions. See what others may have gone through. I’m sure even those who are not referred to by the antiquated ‘coloured’, such as the Polish, may expand their horizons. If you’re not curious, you are not growing.

Jack Dunford,

Lansdowne Avenue,


SIR: Rupert Pitt posed the question, “Which other country in the world would allow three of the highest offices of state to be held by the children of immigrants?” (Chronicle, Letters, July 16).

May I suggest the following countries that have the highest offices of their states held by non-indigenous citizens, therefore by definition the children of immigrants. USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Brian Millett,

Clausentum Road,

St Cross