Celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright has caused outrage after claiming that visiting a Muslim area of Leicester was ‘the most frightening experience of her life’.
Writing in her new book, Clarissa’s England, she said visiting the city — which has a large Asian population — made her feel like a 'pariah and an outcast in the middle of my own country.'
And when questioned on her description by a local newspaper, she fumed: 'I’m surprised any of the people who might object could read what I wrote as it is written in English.'I have a smattering of sympathy for Ms Dickson Wright. It can be a bit distrubing to find yourself surrounded by people who seem radically different to you. This is why we like to congeal into sort-of similar looking and sounding blocs called nations and make war on the pesky foreigners for looking different. This isn't the same as it being okay, or proper or anything like that.
So I can understand why a dizzy old Tory bint (pun intentional) might feel like she did; a more perceptive observer would have added a comment along the lines of, "And I suppose some of THEM might feel the same, and feel the whole western culture thing a bit intimidating, unwelcoming and hard to get to grips with." And a truly intelligent observer might then have wondered, "What can we do about it? Both my attitude and theirs."