Friday, 18 January 2013


This letter appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
What's to celebrate about being a multi-cultural city?
In his First Person column ("Let's start new year with pride and confidence", Mercury, December 31), Sir Peter Soulsby reckons that two events need celebrating.
Firstly, the census shows Leicester to be one of the most "diverse" cities in the country and, secondly, Richard III's remains are probably ours, which will be good for tourism.
This does not seem to make a great deal of sense. To begin with, why are we supposed to be celebrating the idea that Leicester is now one of the least English cities in England?
Are we not supposed to enjoy our own company? In which case, why would tourists?
And Richard III is part of English history – any tourism would be based on the idea of our monocultural, English heritage, wouldn't it?
Which is going to be tricky anyway because, dead kings apart, we seem to have knocked down a very respectable proportion of our historical heritage and seem to be waiting for a large part of the rest to collapse from neglect.
Besides which, how is more immigration a good idea when we cannot find enough jobs to keep the present population fully employed, in tourism or otherwise?
Or enough housing since we are now supposed to wreck a large part of our very attractive and tourist-friendly countryside in order to accommodate a population which, I have read, makes us the fourth most densely populated country in the world.
Possibly a new walk to a world of muck, brass and realism is in order.
Russ Ball, Leicester

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