Belfast Telegraph

Home Opinion Letters

Letters: Labour MP seems to forget November 5 pyres as he complains about effigies on Eleventh Night bonfires


Owen Smith deprecates Eleventh Night bonfires and burning effigies on them. He wants action.

Maybe he has never heard the old rhyme, or maybe he has forgotten it: "Remember, remember the fifth of November."

Since the early-1600s, in every town and village in England, there have been massive bonfires that take place annually.

The effigy burned on them is of a man of a certain religious persuasion who wanted to kill a lot of people with a bomb. He failed, yet he is still vilified and hated today.

But that's okay. It's mainland UK. It's tradition. So that obviously makes it okay.

Lord knows what expressions of hatred would be manifested had he succeeded in killing only a fraction of those murdered at the command of a man whose coffin and image was on one bonfire this year.

Mr Smith sees fit to criticise. Different tradition. Not okay. And, yes, some big bonfires are annoying and do attract costs in police and fire and rescue services.

But is Mr Smith seriously suggesting that all bonfires put together have been, or could be, responsible for hundreds of deaths, hundreds of lives destroyed at the behest of the man owning the coffin and his cohorts, or for a fraction of the billions wasted in security expenditure, destroyed infrastructure, lost revenue from industry, commerce and tourism?


Carrickfergus, Co Antrim


Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph