Obviously I am not privy to all the tweets Cllr Onnalee Cubitt posted (I am not on Twitter), but in what seems to be the current climate of victimhood they would no doubt have been better left unsaid.

However, I do know that she is an energetic and caring councillor who has the interests of her constituents at heart, so her remarks need to be put into perspective before she is pilloried.

We have Spanish Flu, Asian Flu and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), not to mention German measles, just to name a few. Are these all racist terms?

There seems to be incontrovertible evidence that Covid-19 originated in China and the original source of the outbreak was Wuhan. To call it Chinese or Wuhan flu, therefore, does not seem altogether unreasonable if we follow earlier precedent.

There is evidence that the Chinese government sought to cover up the outbreak, thereby delaying international action to curtail it.

We should take what the WHO says about this with a pinch of salt because it is in thrall to the Chinese government, now their biggest paymaster, as evidenced by its refusal to allow Taiwan to join the WHO because of Chinese government pressure.

The organisation seems to do what China says. The Chinese government has tried to blame everybody else and has bullied the EU into withdrawing critical remarks from a report and bullied Australia through trade for having the temerity to suggest that there ought to be an independent investigation into the outbreak; the last thing the Chinese government wants.

It is of course now bullying Hong Kong in breach of an international treaty and, while that may be another issue, it can be seen as part of a pattern.

I welcome the local Chinese community. But they, like many other people, have chosen to live in this country where free speech is part of the culture and that should be respected.

Voltaire said: “I wholly disapprove of what you say—and will defend to the death your right to say it.” Unfortunately, vociferous and not always representative pressure groups seem increasingly unable to accept this concept.

I have been careful to direct my criticism at the Chinese government and not the Chinese people and I am quite certain that was also the intention of Cllr Cubitt. It is not racist to criticise either the Chinese government or the Chinese Communist Party and we need a sense of proportion here.

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