Prince Philip and ‘white privilege’


Sir, – Fintan O’Toole must be very upset indeed (“Prince Philip – asylum-seeker and citizen of nowhere, but rich and white”, Opinion & Analysis, April 13th).

Britain is not following the path he has prescribed for it as a journalist over the past number of years. It has led the way in the west on Covid vaccinations. The recent UK report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (a minority-led commission) concluded that, “we no longer see a Britain where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities”. No spiral into racist chaos as yet then.

Your columnist’s resentment shows in his cynical opinion piece which makes the story of Prince Phillip’s life into one of “white privilege”. In so doing, he betrays the cliquish “woke” allegiances which inform his own views of contemporary Britain. He would do well to remember GK Chesterton’s reflections on small versus large communities: “The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world. He knows much more of the fierce variety and uncompromising divergences of men . . . In a large community, we can choose our companions. In a small community, our companions are chosen for us. Thus, in all extensive and highly civilised society, groups come into existence founded upon sympathy, and shut out the real world more sharply than the gates of a monastery. There is nothing really narrow about the clan; the thing which is really narrow is the clique.”

Fintan O’Toole, from an ordinary Dublin neighbourhood, has chosen to enclose himself in the monastery of the global, self-regarding, liberal “clique” which likes to divide people according to their “identity”. Prince Phillip, though from an ultra-international community, chose to endure the broadening and compromising experience of having to live loyally and dutifully within a “clan”, a character trait which appears to unify British people of all backgrounds in appreciation. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 7.