Views differ depending on whose side you’re on

RE: KING Billy’s legacy.

The view always looks different depending on your standpoint. Sean Carney wrote to you as an Irish Catholic and D Baldwin replied as an English Protestant. Both expressed outdated and dying partisan prejudices.

For the English (though not the Scots), who were 90 per cent Protestant, the expulsion of James II, a pro-French papist bigot, in 1688 was a joyful deliverance; for the Irish, who were 90 per cent Catholic, William III’s victory was a catastrophe with appalling consequences that persist to the present day.

However, to assert that Orange Billy’s succession gave ‘this country’ parliamentary democracy and lasting social and religious freedoms is to betray profound misunderstanding of the meaning of democracy and a comprehensive ignorance of modern British history.

The United Kingdom did not become a democracy until the middle of the 20th century and its slow, gradual achievement owed nothing to a diminutive Dutch pederast on a brown (not a white) horse.

As for religious freedom, the so-called Toleration Act of 1689 did not repeal any of the laws against Protestant Nonconformists and denied liberty of worship to Catholics, Unitarians and Jews.

Surely the time is long since passed for Orange marches, or any other public demonstrations of misinformed, sectarian intolerance, especially in a place like Scarborough where religious bigotry is a foreign import.

Jack Binns

Chatsworth Gardens