LETTER : Still a reason to celebrate

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The Independent Online
From Mr John R. Barker

Sir: As a 33-year-old member of the white working class, as Ruth Picardie ("Time to put away national symbols that leave bad taste", 9 May) calls me, I celebrated VE Day with union flags and bunting on the walls of my terraced house.

We had a party for friends and neighbours who included Chinese, Asian and Irish people. We celebrated with my father, who fought in the war, and remembered my mum, nan and grandad who survived the Blitz. One neighbour brought a photograph of the VE Day party held in our street when he was four. Neighbours from 19 to 80 years old all enjoyed themselves. How many other occasions could have caused that sense of community and goodwill?

I feel sorry for Ms Picardie that she doesn't have a wide enough range of friends and neighbours to enjoy a traditional celebration with pride. To associate VE Day with the ugliest aspects of working class culture shows that Ms Picardie knows nothing about working class culture, particularly its warmth and the wish to share a good time with other people, whatever their age or culture.

Yours faithfully,

JOHN R. BARKER

London, SW19

9 May

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