LETTER: It gets ugly quite quickly

What a nasty message from letter-writer John Harvey in last week’s paper [Express November 25]!

His assertion that 600,000 fewer people ticked the ‘white British’ box in the last census leads him to conclude (without evidence) that people are moving out of London to places like Sussex because London is too overcrowded – and that the problem is driven by immigration.

I’ve news for Mr Harvey (assuming his facts are correct, and despite his drawing conclusions from dodgy data): there’s a large number of problems with drawing conclusions from this ethnicity classification, only one of which is confusion over the concepts of ethnicity and race.

As an obvious example (to me anyway), my father came here from India in 1947, and married my mum, a white British person. I was born here, and have lived and paid taxes here all my life. So I consider myself British (though after the Brexit vote, I’m not sure I want to share this island with the little-Englanders of whom I suspect Mr Harvey is one), so I’m not entirely white – even though I have quite pale skin. It gets ugly quite quickly, doesn’t it Mr Harvey? Would I be one of those people you complain about?

And what about those whose antecedents arrived here from elsewhere – such as Saxony, France, Denmark – in other words, most of the population?

I fear that the Brexit vote has emboldened those who harbour prejudices to air them in public.

Manek Dubash

Lewes