Mark Dolan: As long as it’s well intentioned, we should have more cross-fertilisation of culture not less

Those calling out cultural appropriation have just one goal, which is division.

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Newcastle United fans - good pals of mine, what an amazing club - have been told they should not wear Saudi head-dress when they go to games, which of course they have been doing in celebration of their new investment from Saudi Arabia.

Finger wagging woke commentators who couldn't find the north-east of England on a map if they tried, are saying it's offensive and its cultural appropriation - the idea that you are somehow hijacking and abusing the national characteristics of another country.

Look I'll be honest it's not a look I would go for but it’s clearly a joyful celebration of this new investment which looks set to end decades of pain and disappointment suffered by the magnificent Toonami. No club in the country would say no to the Saudi billions, least of all Glazer-owned Manchester United who got thumped five nil by Liverpool today.

We've seen this confected row about cultural appropriation in the past. The beautiful Little Mix star Jesy nelson got in trouble for allegedly using the aesthetics of black women and R&B, by curling her hair, wearing cornrows, overlining her lips and wearing fake tan in a recent pop video. Her costar in the video, Nicky Minaj, a talented black artist defended her against the bizarre new crime of so-called ‘blackfishing’, where you dress and style yourself in another culture.

This cultural appropriation accusation has happened countless times before - Jamie Oliver got in trouble for a jerk chicken recipe - and who ever complained that one about that can jerk right off. Stick your drumstick where the sun doesn’t shine.

Do you see how those calling all of this out, have just one goal, which is division. They want everyone to remain in separate groups, to stay in their lane. We can't be one society, one community, one world. But that's what celebrating other cultures actually achieves.

If you wear clothes from a different culture, respectfully and with the right intent, if do your hair in a certain way, cook a certain recipe, it is the greatest flattery to that culture. This great country of ours, a global beacon of diversity and tolerance has been doing cultural appropriation since the beginning. Why do we drink tea from India, why is chicken tikka masala, an Asian dish, the number one British dish in the country? It's when people will not celebrate and not engage with other cultures and their traditions that you have to worry. It's an ignorance and intolerance to other peoples' way of life, that sows the seeds of ignorance, hatred and potentially war.

Let me give you the perfect example I am a Dolan. My mother is from Drogheda in County Louth, the wee county, my father County Cavan which has hills and lakes and not too much else. And I was born on St Patrick's Day, the 17th March.

Now I think you'll find that St Patrick's Day which celebrates the patron saint of Ireland, is a global celebration. New York somehow manages to make the Hudson River green and whether you are in the States or anywhere else for that matter, on St Patrick's Day everyone becomes Irish for the day. People develop a sudden appetite for Guinness, many wear a bit of green and as the evening wears on, they may find themselves wearing one of those silly leprechaun hats.

As long as it’s well intentioned, we should have more cross-fertilisation of culture not less. In a divided world, it’s the one thing that might just bring us together. Now let me have another sip of this lovely Indian leaf tea. Perfect.