Not sexism

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I thank Carolyn Taylor for her comments (Letters, 16 June) on my letter of the previous day regarding the claims that Alex Salmond had made sexist comments in the House of Commons, but must clear up a couple of points: I did not say that Mr Salmond is not sexist; he is a professional politician and will be sexist when it suits him.

Witness the pre-referendum attempts to woo the female vote by statements that company boards should be at least 50 per cent female (no mention of the many successful companies founded by female entrepreneurs that have predominantly female management teams); that there should be no all-male golf clubs (not “single-sex” golf clubs, note) and his dramatic induction of two female MSPs into his Cabinet at the annual party conference.

All I said was that he was not not sexist on the day of the exchange with Anna Soubry in the House.

I am aware of “casual sexism”, and if you listen carefully, you will hear it directed both ways, and, as someone whose political view is left of centre, I have opposed bigotry and prejudice ever since I was able to appreciate the significance of these words: more than half a century.

As a campaigner for equality and equal opportunity in every aspect of life, what concerns me now is that the groups who were previously discriminated against in years gone by, either by gender, ethnicity or sexuality, have now been recognised, importantly in law, but are not happy now with equality and wish to be even more “equal” than that.

When we are no longer allowed to argue or express anger without being accused of being sexist, racist, homophobic, when in actual fact you simply don’t like a person or disagree with them, has the pendulum not swung too far?

We would seem to be back where we started, but with roles reversed, and it disappoints me that those who called for “equality” all those years ago are strangely silent now.

Walter J Allan

Colinton Mains Drive

Edinburgh