Dear Sir, IN reply to Anna Nicholas' comments regarding Benjamin Zephaniah's article in 'The Guardian' on his reasons for not accepting an OBE, I must ask which part does she believe incites racism and hatred? I have read this article three times and cannot find these supposedly inflammatory remarks.
What I did find, were comments from a man using his right as a resident of a free and democratic country, (as Ms Nicholas rightly points out), making use of that freedom to express a viewpoint to which he is perfectly entitled. Or does Ms Nicholas believe that only white British–born residents may make use of this freedom?
Surely the democracy which she trumpets should allow all its citizens freedom of speech.
It is ironic that she accuses Mr Zephaniah of ineloquence and racism, then trots out the lamest old argument in the book, that if he doesn't like it he should get on the plane back to Jamaica, thereby making herself guilty of both of these crimes in her closing sentence. In fact at no point did Mr Zephaniah claim to hate Britain, rather he explained why he has a problem with the continued celebration of an empire which brought misery to many, hardly the same thing and hardly the incitement to racism and hatred of which Ms Nicholas accuses him.
Yours faithfully, Kate Walker
BY Email
Turn the clock back
Dear Sir, THE recent Letters to the Editor and general press coverage on the proposed motorways, whilst it is quite natural for everyone to have their own opinions, in many cases it is “the heart ruling the head,” as whilst we would no doubt all like to “turn the clock back,” the reality is that there is a volume of vehicles that certain present roads just cannot cope with. As someone who drives Monday-Friday from Palma to Alcudia and return each day, and the thousands of others who realise this, that the tail backs, delays, accidents, etc., just cannot continue on the stretch between Inca and Alcudia on a road that has not changed, beyond an additional few roundabouts, in the 35 years I have lived here. Where I think protesters could direct their attention to, is the possibility, as reported in the press, that the airport will be increased in size in 10-20 years to accommodate almost double of the present passengers. What an extra ten millions of visitors will do to the services such as water, electricity, refuse and of course roads is unimaginable. Any dual-carriageways built today will be out of date tomorrow. It was interesting to read in the Bulletin recently, that there is now a group called “Plataforma Volem Carreteres Segures” with web site www.carreteras-seguras.com who represent all those in favour of the necessary road improvements, representing the tens of thousands of professional motorists who have until now proved to be the long-suffering silent majority. We pay the price today for the greed and lack of control yesteryear. I wonder if anyone has learnt a lesson for the future?
Yours sincerely, Graham Phillips
Palma

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