John Redwood, one of the borough’s four MPs has been accused of losing the plot following a blog post on the Bayeux Tapestry, which then became a series of messages posted on the social media network Twitter.
Mr Redwood, who represents the Wokingham constituency, wrote about the French president’s visit to the UK today where he promised to loan the Bayeux tapestry to the UK.
The 70m long artwork depicts the Norman conquest of England in 1066 and, subject to tests to ensure it can be safely moved, the 11th century tapestry will be displayed sometime after 2020.
Mr Redwood said: “Mr Macron comes with a rare gift – a loan the Bayeux tapestry to the UK.
“This fine and ancient work of art chronicles the misery and violence of war, showing the deaths of men and horses in battle and the torching of someone’s house.
“While I’m sure the offer is well meant, I will pass over the unfortunate truth that it depicts an invading French army killing England’s King with the deaths of many in the English army, before taking over the government of our kingdom. It was the last time England was defeated in war by a hostile continental invasion, though many more attempts were made at enforced political union with the continent.”
He then went on to argue that Emmanuel Macron came to the UK to talk about “the immediate issue of economic migrants, and the longer term issue of Brexit. We read in advance that he wants the UK to take more economic migrants, and that he wants to reduce the migratory pressures in and through France. It is difficult to see how these two aims are compatible,” he noted.
“I trust when he turns to Brexit Mrs May will reaffirm that any deal must be better than No Deal. That means it must secure us control again over our money, our borders and our laws.”
However, the audience on Twitter was mixed. Some focused on Mr Redwood’s comments on immigration while others ridiculed his views.
Just because he wants does not mean he should get. I hope the UK parliament will be resolute in saying "non" to him. If we take refugees we'll take them from the countries they're fleeing from or neighbouring ones, not safe havens such as France.
— Olaf Thorn (@Olafthornreal) January 18, 2018
You really have completely lost the plot.
— Neil Harman (@Neil_Harman57) January 18, 2018
Preaching to the choir John, you need to be pressing the PM to answer these questions.
— Ray Veysey (@rayveysey) January 18, 2018
Nurse – his medication!
— steve richardson (@steviejrich) January 18, 2018
— VotedLeave #FBPE ASAP (@yjdhillhead) January 18, 2018
Grow up you poisonous old fart – it is an interesting gesture that I am sure many people will go along to see and enjoy. You need to move on from defeat in 1066 and embrace the future.
— M J Rowe #FBPE🇪🇺 (@MJRowe2) January 18, 2018
Thanks for stating the obvious @johnredwood and thanks for being big enough to "pass over" the analogy you have drawn & resist spouting more poisonous drivel in a tweet 🤔. It's history not politics. Any chance we could loan you to the French as a reciprocal deal for 950 years?
— James Sparks (@TheJamesSparks) January 18, 2018
Ruddy hell we've got some really ignorant politicians in government.@johnredwood needs to go back to school to learn the cosmopolitan history of these isles.
— Grumpy Old Girl! 🇪🇺 (@OCDTrudy) January 18, 2018
What did the Normans ever do for us John. Apart from chivalry and castle building and…
— Stuart Bramley 🌹 (@StuBram2) January 18, 2018
perhaps we should commission a Waterloo tapestry and lend them that
— 4Ever_X_TORY (@nospin_43) January 18, 2018
Of course, if John can’t wait until 2020 to see the tapestry, he can pay a visit to Reading Museum, which has its own replica on display.