Tolerance is the best safeguard

Bexhill Observer letters
Bexhill Observer letters

From: Stephen Hardy, George Close, Robertsbridge

One thread seems to be dominant in our politics in the last couple of years – nationalism.

At last year’s Conservative Party conference Theresa May uttered the words ‘If you believe you are a citizen of the world, then you are a citizen of nowhere.’

Donald Trump says he wants to ‘make America great again’, still insisting on finding a way to ban all people of certain nationalities from entering the United States. This underlines the fact that political leaders in my view are repudiating all the Enlightenment has taught us – liberty, equality, fraternity – all the values which identify us as the human race, not as members of one nationality or another.

I am gravely concerned that the ‘take back control’ mantra we heard in the EU referendum debate is a thin veil to cover racism and even worse. If you want aural proof, just listen to Trump who was able to talk about ‘very fine people’ among the marchers in Charlottesville who were waving swastikas and shouting ‘Jews will not replace us’ and ‘blood and soil’, a phrase directly drawn from Nazi ideology.

We need to recognise that tolerance of others whatever their nationality, colour or creed is the best safeguard of our human rights, not nationalism. That is why I am proud to be a citizen of our street, our country, our Europe and our world.