President-elect Joe Biden is not just of Irish ancestry but has English links too, so he should visit both Sussex and Belfast

A letter from John Gemmell on December 2:

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 12:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 2:02 pm
Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Ancestry can be a funny old thing. I have roots in Shropshire, but also southern Scotland. I have never understood why, but I’ve always felt closest to my Shropshire ancestors.

I feel bad about it, I should value them all equally.

But, I’m in good company. President-elect Biden is proud of his Irish roots. So he should be, especially as they come from his mother. But, he has historic English links as well, including, it seems, to Sussex.

We don’t hear much about that from Mr Biden.

Perhaps he should visit Sussex to get in touch with his English side. Summer would be a good time, it shows the Norman churches and chalk downland at their best, you could almost be in France. By the way, Mr Biden appears to have French ancestry too.

Just maybe, if Joe Biden embraces the full diversity of his own ancestry, he might better understand the full complexity of the modern island of Ireland.

I suspect he is currently driven by seldom challenged sentiment, carefully nurtured by the Irish diplomatic corps, which no doubt has a thick and well-thumbed dossier on him, and a few glad-handing politicians from Dublin.

A trip to Sussex, followed by a visit to Belfast, might help broaden his horizons.

But, let us wish him well. He seems to be a good man, and he may have his uses.

President Trump had the same agitating effect on Boris and the Brexiteers that a splash of water and a post-midnight feast had on those gremlins, of film fame.

Biden, on the other hand, may calm Boris and his gremlins, and maybe, if we are lucky, even some of those EU zealots in Brussels, Paris, Berlin and Dublin, with whom the prime minister is negotiating.

John Gemmell, Wem, Shropshire

——— ———

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Alistair Bushe