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Leavers are not racist

Dr Adam Poole really does excel in the art of denigrating the intellectual capacity of those with whom he disagrees, and he manages it once again in his latest diatribe against the result of the 2016 EU referendum, and the 2019 General Election.

I think that Swindon Adver readers, including those who voted to Leave the political construct that is the EU will be amazed that Dr Poole continues to suggest that voters were inclined to vote Leave because they are racist. Indeed Dr Poole states that far from being only 34 per cent of Leave voters who are racist, the true figure could be as high as 80 per cent. The best bit about his argument is that it is predicated on his belief that “many leave voters are either in denial about their racism or simply do not understand the concept of racism.” This sounds terribly like the charge laid against Leave voters that they are all uneducated or thick – how dare he suggest that 80 per cent of 17 million people lack any understanding of what racism is, as opposed to what he would like it to be defined.

In Dr Poole’s myopic view of society, having been the beneficiary of a higher education, he considers he is much better placed to decide on what is good for the country, certainly more so than me or any of the 17 million people who voted Leave.

I always like how Dr Poole finds nothing wrong in restating a tired trope, even though the repetition is itself amplifying the perceived racist slur he objects to. For the record Boris Johnson said full-face veils should not be banned, but it was “absolutely ridiculous” women chose to “go around looking like letterboxes.”

Dr Poole may well take the view that such a comment is conceptually racist, whereas others might see it as a figurative or metaphorical use of words in other than a literal sense. As for whether someone can be classed as racist for being annoyed on overhearing a foreign language, I leave that judgement to greater minds than mine.

Dr Poole ends his letter by suggesting “the UK retakes its rightful place at the heart of the EU.” At this point his academic qualifications prove to be as useful as a pair of trousers without a belt, as they fall about his ankles. The UK never, ever was at the heart of the EU.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Transport campaign

Across Wiltshire more than 10,500 people are living with dementia and 850,000 are affected UK-wide.

Dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes and too many face the condition alone.

Alzheimer’s Society has joined up with Department for Transport on their ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ campaign, to address the fact that too many disabled people, including people with dementia don’t feel confident using public transport.

It can be a lifeline in helping people retain their independence to go shopping, collect their prescriptions, go to a hospital or doctors appointment or visit friends and family.

So we are calling on the travelling public to help beat the isolation and loneliness faced by people affected by learning more about some simple steps to support people with disabilities to travel, by allowing people some extra time, should they require it, offering help if someone looks lost or keeping the noise down if anyone looks visibly distressed and giving up the priority seat – dementia is one of many invisible disabilities.

Become a Dementia Friend and find out more about the campaign at everyonesjourney.campaign.gov.uk/

Angela Rippon CBE, Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador

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