LETTER:Where's the Britishness in Orange marches?

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was raised as a Protestant in Glasgow and throughout my childhood in the 1950s and 1960s I was brought up to believe that Catholics were "dangerous and inferior" beings. In the mid-1970s, I moved to London to discover that there, Catholics were "OK" and that the new "baddies" were Jamaicans, Africans, Pakistanis, etc.

Today, in 1995, my thoughts turn to Sarajevo, where the Serbs are wiping out the "world-dominating" Muslims. It does not strain the imagination to picture other ethnic/nationalist trouble spots around the globe.

My apologies for labouring the point, but the fact is that if David Trimble cannot accept that he has responsibilities that go somewhat beyond the parochial limits that he seems to have set himself, then he and those falling under his influence have a hard road ahead.

His argument seems to revolve around the sanctity of "tradition". Where, however, the primary purpose of a "tradition" is to buttress concepts that are, at best, outdated and parochial and, at worst, divisive and bigoted, then perhaps that "tradition" is no longer valid.

Yours faithfully,

John Hamilton

Watford, Hertfordshire

11 July