The problem Nigel has in making such remarks is that he his reticent and dithers. He makes a statement, there is a negative reaction from the P.T.A.S. (Poly Toynbee Appreciation Society) and Nigel immediately appears to backtrack.
This only makes him look weak and hesitant.
One should realise that it one is going to make a controversial statement there are those who will feign great offence. If you are going to make it, make it and stick with it. And argue for it. Making it and them becoming defensive is handing victory to the opposition.
A long time ago when I was in my teens, my late father gave me some similar advice. But it was not about politics or race relations. It was about playing rugby.
Dad saw me playing ruby. There was a scrum, it broke, a player ran with the ball. Others followed. I followed them. At a distance. In those days I could run the 100 (that was yards, not metres) in 12 seconds or less. When playing rugby, I used this ability to keep out of trouble from the taller and bigger youths. My father, seeing these tactics for the first time was less than impressed:
“If you are going to play rugby boy; then play rugby! If you are going to tackle, tackle firmly, tackle hard. Be determined. Your problem is that you don’t want to get hurt. Make your mind up!”
Poor old Dad. This was a man who took on the worst Hitler’s Luftwaffe could throw at him. His son was not of the same calibre.