Over at the other place, a response from someone very close to Mr Mars-Jones, about that metaphor.

We have been informed, albeit at second hand, that Mr Mars-Jones did not mean his recent remark about purple potatoes to be in any way pejorative.

I know that purple potatoes exist, and I put that together with the stereotypical purple-faced racist ranter… no derogatory reference to particular strains of potato was intended…

We are as relieved to hear it as we are pleased that references to genebanks are now considered appropriate in literary book reviews.

Job done.

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