22 NOVEMBER 2003, Page 40

Older and wiser

From Gordon Haines Sir: I suggest that there is a much simpler explanation for the increase in racism with age alleged by Dr von Hippel (Letters, 15 November).

The thought police of Leo McKinstry's original article (`The multicultural thought police', 1 November) have already suppressed freedom of speech to the extent that even the most justifiable criticism of ethnic behaviour will certainly end career prospects and may even lead to dismissal.

Therefore it is quite natural that many prefer to wait until safely retired before expressing their dismay at the social and economic disasters caused by balkanisation.

Gordon Haines

Woodbridge, Suffolk