Leave the League alone

Three nail bombs explode in London, inspired by Nazi ideas, if not Nazi organisation. So who is the main target of Darcus Howe's diatribe (10 May)? The Anti-Nazi League. Howe's biggest sneer is reserved for an "eager teenager". Personally, I am pleased the ANL is mobilising "eager teenagers" into anti-racist campaigning, even if they aren't as articulate as your average TV presenter. There are quite a few young Nazis about, and I'm not sure that the generation Darcus and I belong to have the muscle to deal with them.

The account of how much worse racism was 40 years ago is interesting social history, but not really relevant to young people who face racism today. My mother started work on a wage of six shillings a week. I wouldn't see much point in reciting such facts to youngsters fighting for a decent minimum wage in 1999.

Ian Birchall
London N9

This article first appeared in the 17 May 1999 issue of the New Statesman, The NS Essay - A culture of pretence