SIR - How I agree with Gary Lorriman in his condemnation of David Barnett's column of November 7, a feature that contained insulting humour regarding the existence and appearance of the Union Flag.

What an arrogant and self-centred young man Mr Barnett again proves himself to be.

A few years ago he subjected the Royal Family to similar diatribe, while indulging in a display of ageism, showing his utter contempt of them.

This recent spate of offensive journalism' emerges, as before, during the sombre period of remembrance.

He seems to have a deliberate penchant in being able and willing to insult the memories and intelligence of people who, in this get a life' age, still dare to be patriotic and old-fashioned about the issues that he obviously detests.

David Barnett should try to master the art and meaning of respect for other people and for consideration of their ideals.

He should also attempt to indulge in good manners and mannerisms along with a natural humility, for these are traits that would transform him into a far better journalist than he is.

Frank Dickinson, Nab Wood Crescent, Shipley

  • David Barnett replies: "I fully appreciate and acknowledge the sacrifices made by earlier generations in time of war, and at no point have I ever belittled or insulted the contributions by these men and women.
"They fought for something I hold very dear - freedom of speech, and the right to dare to question life as we live it today.

"Patriotism and old-fashionedness, while appropriate and endearing at times, are ideals that should not be enforced. If they are, then we go down the road that Germany did in the 1930s."