SIR - I write in response to John Kelly’s letter in last week’s Herald, ‘Disturbing Display’. To not respond on behalf of those that welcome the range of personalities, cultures and skills that continue to transfer between the nations across the globe we all inhabit would, I feel, be disturbing in itself.

It is symptomatic of the style of UKIP, and a cheap opportunistic shot that shows little respect for those that spent many hours unearthing the practices of EDDC and the EDBF, that they might use such efforts as a means for publicity and then back it up with a bizarrely tenuous link to the EU.

In a town that is united in many ways through its globally renowned International School, where many residents of Sidmouth gain welcome insights into different cultures particularly from across Europe, it is with great regret to read the views of Mr Kelly.

I personally worry about how the nationalistic trend we now see across Europe, as much an easy response to the economic downturn and fragmentation of income levels, is not that dissimilar to Germany in the 1920s and 30s.

Nationalism is generally how a group of people react when short of ideas and identity, and in fear of the unknown and with a need for a common enemy. In school it is known as bullying.

To refer to “29 million of these will qualify into the UK from Bulgaria and Romania” is massively disrespectful to the people from those and neighbouring countries that already contribute greatly to our local economy.

Some simple facts for Mr Kelly:

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There are 5.5 million Britons resident and working in other countries abroad, with over one million of them benefiting from the EU’s reciprocal agreements.

Of 15 million refugees worldwide, UK is home to less than two per cent.

UK exports to the EU (that’s money back into the UK economy) were worth £13.9 billion in November 2012 alone.

Of an annual EU budget of €122billion, the UK contributes €12.5billion.

The UK received €6 billion Euros from the EU in 2011. The biggest item of EU spending, 70 per cent, is the Common Agricultural Policy which incorporates rural development. Kind of handy to be engaging with right now in East Devon. The UK contribution in 2011 was €3.9 billion. Romania €1.4 billion. France €9 billion. Germany €7 billion.

The inventor of the first electronic computer was one John Atanasoff; a Bulgarian. Heaven forbid that we grant nationality to his like and benefit from the IP of their ideas and visions and the income for this country that it could generate. Look at the genealogies of many US citizens that now head the biggest companies in the world, pretty much all of Eastern European origin, and would we deny them nationality?

The Regional Spatial Strategies were revoked in July 2010 and have been replaced by alternative yet similar remits in return for funding to each local authority. It is bureaucracy. It comes with democracy. It is not because of policy from Brussels and was ever thus.

Man has, after all, been emigrating on a regular basis since we left sub-Saharan Africa some 100,000 years ago and shall continue to do so, whether in peace and through agreement or by force, which tends to lead to a great number of refugees needing countries to provide secure homes for them.

This attitude is rapidly spreading across Europe. My question for Mr Kelly is; if UKIP want to limit the number of immigrants into Britain, and Golden Dawn the same in Greece and similar organisations in each European nation then what happens next? Do UKIP members agree not to go on holiday to Greece so long as Greeks don’t come over here? Do we limit border control to nations that we decide we may not be in so much fear of rather than embracing the diversity of people, cultures and knowledge, and from that continuing to build the self awareness that is vital as we move into an uncertain 21st century?

Anyway, in other news… I would very much like to congratulate SOS on achieving a stunning result on March 1 when the constant pressure put upon EDDC by them led to such a fantastic outcome in the vote on the Knowle.

Personally, I blame the Normans.

Matt Booth, Temple Street, Sidmouth