Sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
John Byrne’s rather unpleasant tirade (Mar 28), challenges whether we will join him to celebrate St George’s Day, remember the great Englishman of ‘our history’ and oppose those who celebrate our country being multi-ethnic.
How presumptuous of this Irish descendent to claim to speak for ‘our English history and country’ when it isn’t his at all. Mr Byrne is a living embodiment of the nonsense of his assertion about the false claims that we’re a nation of immigrants. Byrne means descendant of Bran (Bran Mac Maolmòrrdha, King of Leinster – Ireland, not England). Records show the Byrnes were great emigrants, imposing their multi-ethnicity around the world. Presumably migration is OK if you’re called Byrne, but not for anyone else. And St George wasn’t English. He was born in Syria of a Roman father and Palestinian mother.
Unlike Mr Byrne, I am English and proud of it – a product of the Knight (Old English cniht) and Elliott (Old English adthelgeat) families – able to trace my Englishness back more than six centuries. But, I’m not hung up about it. After all, my wife is an immigrant, speaks English as a second language and insists on supporting her national teams against the English. She’s Welsh!
Real English men and women reject Mr Byrne’s views. My ancestors - knights of the medieval era - were asked to ‘protect the weak, defenceless, helpless, and fight for the general welfare of all’. Isn’t that the best definition of Englishness?
Howard A Knight, S4
I’M amazed Rod Middlemass (Mar 22) finds it necessary to comment on an Asian couple celebrating their wedding with men and women in separate rooms. In Britain, men and women celebrate stag and hen nights not only in different rooms but different buildings or even countries.
A TAX-PAYING reader says he doesn’t mind his money going to immigrants. It’s time he realised that they do receive free housing and benefits.
Kath Marriot, Gleadless