Opinions. Everyone’s got them. Last week I heard someone ask, seriously, whether Britain should still be celebrating a terrorist.
I managed, with some effort, not to butt in and tell him Bonfire Night was about foiling a terrorist plot, not actually celebrating Guy Fawkes.
It’s an easy mistake to make, I suppose. After all, the person who expressed this view had only lived through 32 November-the-5ths.
Comparatively few, I suppose, since the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
Someone else then piped up and said that Guy Fawkes had been working for a foreign power and that’s why he did it. Presumably evil foreigners (nationality unknown) brainwashed poor Guido.
Granted, he did fight for the Spanish Catholics in the Eighty Years War, so maybe we should all watch out the next time we head to Marbs or the Costa Del Sol so that we’re not radicalised in the same way.
The things we do for tapas, eh?
Don’t panic, I’m not going to start ranting on about how it was Fawkes’s hardline Catholicism that made him join the conspirators that wanted to assassinate the protestant James I.
And I wouldn’t dream of using this as a very timely example of how terrorism isn’t just about Islam, that Christians have just as much – if not more – blood on their hands.
And I certainly wouldn’t mention that it was religion, not nationality, that was behind it.
Anyway, I digress, as I wanted to write about opinions.
I’m lucky to write this column and I really like it when people take the time to write to The News with their take on it too, as I enjoy reading a different view.
But recently I heard someone question why they’d write to the paper when they have a blog.
Well I wonder how many people read that blog, whereas readers of The News are measured in many thousands.
So why not write to the paper and contribute to a bigger debate?
Perhaps if Guido widened his perspective a bit, he wouldn’t have been involved in the plot at all.
Perhaps, 409 years later, we should do the same.