Lesson for Gove

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YOU report (8 June) Education Secretary Michael Gove as saying: “I don’t want my children to grow up thinking that granny and grandad are foreigners – that the country their dad was born in is a foreign land.”

Mr Gove should know that an irrational or unreasoned fear of foreigners or that which is perceived to be foreign is named xenophobia. Mr Gove already made it known that he was xenophobic through his views on the European Union, which do not deserve high marks for their level of intelligence, but the grand-
father comment is going too far.

My grandchildren speak with good Scottish accents, yet they have to admit, like the British crown prince, to the shame of having a grandfather who was born in a foreign land (the Low Countries to wit). The same applies to my other grandchildren, who lead otherwise blameless young lives in the very heart of England itself.

The English, though not the most polyglot due to limitations in their education, are possibly among the most mongrel-like people anywhere. Genetics provide generous evidence that, within a few generations, very many people in the UK hail from all over. Shame on you Mr Gove; as minister of education you, of all people, should know better.

Dr Dirk Bolt

Aberfeldy, Perthshire

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