LETTER:Who is a true Englishman?

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The Independent Online
From Mr Gary Slapper

Sir: Robert Henderson's view that "foreigners" cannot have the same commitment to the national cricket team as "white" players ("Black cricketers may sue over claim they lack commitment", 3 July) is nonsense.

Using such xenophobic, spurious reasoning would entail that we examine each of the current white players and root out all those quislings whose ancestry (and thus loyalty) traces back to foreign shores. Out would go any so-called Englishmen with Norman French origins, with Germanic Saxon origins, with Roman Italian origins, and Celtic origins (are there any England hopefuls with Celtic names like Henderson?)

As homo sapiens did not, as a species, originate in the land of the Union Jack, we should logically have to reject any person claiming to have passed the Tebbit test of pure Englishness.

John Arlott had the right idea. When asked in apartheid South Africa to specify his race on a visitor's entry form, he wrote simply: "human".

Yours faithfully,

Gary Slapper

The Law School

Staffordshire University


3 July