When I first read the article about Fergus Wilson, the buy to let tycoon who has banned coloured people from renting his properties, I was initially angry and upset. My anger very quickly turned to pity. And this is not because he is happy to rent to "negroes". For those not aware the term "negro" is no longer acceptable, it is offensive. The accepted terminology is "Black".
I pitied this man who has banned "coloured" people from renting his homes because he claims it leaves the houses smelling of curry after they have left and cost him thousands of pounds to clean. Firstly, his comments are insulting. This demonstrates ignorance, a lack of education and understanding of our different cultures.
We are extremely fortunate that we live in a democracy that is also richly diverse. In London and other major Cities we have representatives of people from all backgrounds and cultures. We live and work side by side with individuals from different races, religion, sexual orientation and disabilities in a respectful and courteous manner. Many people enjoy living in communities whereby the aromas of different cuisines (yes, including curries) and spices linger in the air daily. Communities are made up with people from all races, skin colours and tones speaking in different languages and dialect. We live in a society where individuality should be celebrated. And then we have people like Mr Wilson....
Some quick facts about Curry especially, for Mr Wilson.
• Curry is a much loved very popular dish in the UK.
• The first Indian restaurant is said to have opened in Britain in London in 1809.
• There are more than 9000 Indian and Curry restaurants across the UK.
• The UK's most popular dish is chicken tikka masala.
• The UK curry business is worth £4 billion pounds.
Just so you are aware curries based on Indian spices are integral to the cuisines of the following counties Germany, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Philippines, Fiji, Tonga and the Caribbean Islands.
Mr Wilson, do you eat any cuisines from the countries listed above and will you be banning tenants from these counties as well?
In your own words you said that you also didn't rent to plumbers in the past. Why?
Smokers or people with pets I can understand as that is a personal preference. In the rental market it is an acceptable practice at the landlord's discretion they will decide whether or not they will rent to smokers or pet owners.
But categorically not renting a property based on someone's race is against the law and is yes I am going to use the word racist - no matter how you want to sugar coat the fact. And to be precise you are breaking the UK Equality Act 2010.
It is acceptable though for you or anyone else not to like curries or the smell.
I am astounded that you think this is acceptable for 'economic purposes' to ban "coloured people" from renting your accommodation. I understand the Equality and Human Rights has pledged to look into this case.
Personally I would rather you/and anyone else who feels similar to you take a cultural awareness programme than be fined. As I don't think a fine will change your opinion.
But I will be happy be proved wrong.