Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on wandering cats, taxes on vans and facing up to an 'explosion of hatred'

A warning from history. As one charity reports an “explosion of hatred” against Jews, a Jewish contributor to a radio debate reminds us that “anti-semitism is a very light sleeper.”

Don't tell me what to do

Damn right. It slumbers, then wakes up in many places for different reasons. It's hard to tell, for example, how much of today's anti-semitism on university campuses is the result of campaigning by supporters of a free Palestine and how much is a hangover from the casual anti-semitism that stalked academia and the upper classes before the Second World War.

In those days one hallmark of the true English gentleman was that he disliked and distrusted Jews. He wore his bigotry with pride, knowing that thousands of upper-crust people like him felt the same way. Sometimes, whether in a gentlemen's club or at a Trafalgar Square rally, the most dangerous ideas are the fashionable ones.