IT may be time to revisit the point I made in my letter of March 6 regarding Brexit and xenophobia. I relied on the medical mantra regarding pus and the need to “let it out”.

The surge of the Brexit Party in the opinion polls and the near certain demise of the Conservative and Labour parties suggest that xenophobia is alive and well and is expecting to rule the world or, at least the European and English parts of it. The abscess has certainly been diagnosed and the boil lanced, all that being an excellent first step, but a complete cure with return to a healthy society is going to take a long time.

The European election tomorrow will perhaps give a reasonable progress report on the patient, but much depends on the turnout at the polling booths. Turnout is difficult to interpret scientifically, even for psephologists, and results in lots of theories (for theories read excuses) from bad weather to protest vote, even providing devils, and there are plenty of them, to interpret (political) scripture.

I hope to be proved wrong on both the progress of xenophobia and low turnout, as possibly suggested by the figures quoted by George Kerevan in Monday’s National viz 62% in 1979 and 43% in 2014. Optimism (except for Scottish independence) is a rare commodity in our household these days. As the commentators say, “don’t hold your breath”.

Robert Mac Lachlan