Saturday, January 14, 2006

Gordon's Flag Day Gimmick

He has to be joking. TheTelegraph reports that Gordon Brown will today call on the British people today to celebrate their patriotism and embrace the Union flag with pride as he embarks on a personal mission to reposition Labour as the party of strong national identity.

In a speech that is bound to anger some on the Labour Left, he will suggest that homeowners imitate the Americans by planting "a (Union) flag in every garden" and will float the idea of a "British day" on which uniquely British ideas and values can be celebrated.

So we have a member of the same political cabal who very nearly killed-off the Union flag altogether, as being politically incorrect, suddenly suggesting that we all erect a flagpole in our gardens. Mr Brown is of course a Scot, aand the government has increasingly relied on the Scottish vote to push through purely English legislation, against English votes, and yet the reverse is not true; English MPs have no say over comparable Scottish affairs.

This is obviously unfair, as is the fact that more taxpayers’ money goes to Scotland, per head, for public services than in England. Devolution has only made this long-standing injustice feel worse.

If this wasn’t sad and deeply cynical it would be funny but it’s not and is simply another gimmick in attempt to capture declining confidence in ‘shambolic’ politics.


Anonymous said...

It used to be said that the ploitician in trouble wrapped themselves in the flag.......clearly it is still true.


Martin Wise (Cllr.) said...

May be, but the first act of the new Conservative Council at TDC was to order that the Union Jack be flown every day from the Council offices at Cecil Square and Albion House, and on the seafront at Margate. And one of the first acts of the Labour opposition was to call-in our decision to the Scruitiny Committee to ask, "Why?"!

James Maskell said...

Replacing Remembrance Sunday with "British Day"? Gordon Brown has no shame. Remembrance Sunday is to remember those who gave their lives to defend this country. By wanting to get rid of Remembrance Sunday they are making those who died for us seem less significant.

Remembrance Sunday is for a single occasion and that is to pay our respects for those who gave everything they had then so that we can have everything we have today.

Anonymous said...

What you say is true, Martin, but it seems to me there is the world of difference between flying a flag in the wake of your election - as a matter of pride and principle - and coming up with the idea some 9 years later. 9 years in which under this government the St Georges flag has been taken down on occasions by police action branded as racist, but the scots welsh and Irish national celebrations have been lauded and funded.

I think anyone may spot a difference.


Cllr David Green said...

The Union Flag is a symbol and can be used or misused for any number of causes.
It is a strange administration that flys the flag to symbalise their victory in an election and then proposes to sell off Albion House(wich truely represents historic tradition in Ramsgate)to meet the black hole in their finances.
No James,Gordon did not suggest replacing Remembrance Sunday, please lift you view higher than the pages of the Daily Telegraph. What he suggested was something similarly dignified and thoughtful as a National day. This as part of a wide ranging contribution to a debate on what Britishness means.

Anonymous said...

I did not say the flag was flown to celebrate a victory, but as a matter of pride and principle. The current government has undermined devalued and actively destroyed much of the culture that most of us recognise represents this country. Now it wants a national day? Is St Georges Day not the missing limk in this governments thinking? Oh, sorry, being english is a matter for apology and acrimony, you are only allowed to be Celtic, ethnic, or now, Brown British?

On a matter of fact there is no black hole in Council finances; there is a deliberate re structure to ensure better services in the future. I am quite happy to advise any group you may wish to set up to raise funds to buy Albion House, run it and take account of the DDA etc, and then the Ramsgate Charter Trustees can rent the Mayors Parlour back and all will be well. We cannot simply keep most of a building empty to please those of you who use Albion House lower floors. It would be neither value for money nor concentrating on the councils top priorities for services.


James Maskell said...

It came from the Guardian in fact. I read most papers but not the Telegraph unless I have to.

Why do you assume that if someone brings up something you dont agree with, it has to be because the Telegraph says? This isnt the first time youve used the Telegraph line. Is that really the best retort you could come up with? Well, since youve got till May 3rd next year, youve got plenty of time to come up with some decent lines...

DrMoores said...

True, it's in the Guardian, Times, Telegraph and even the Sun I suppose. The Telegraph just happened to be the first one I read this morning!

James Maskell said...

I spoke to a lady earlier today whose son is in Iraq. She was appalled even at the idea of Remembrance Sunday being changed in any way. By all means have a Britain Day but it must be kept separate from all other national occasions.

Cllr David Green said...

James, you got it wrong, stop digging!
By the way, I'm still going through your list of "bad" things the Labour Government has supposed to have done.
Three of them, Student Loans,Top up fees and no return to 11 plus, are now Tory Party policy. Shall I take them off the list?

James Maskell said...

The list was a personal one, so no. Id rather they stayed on. Being a member of a political party doesnt mean following every policy word for word. I dont agree with some of Camerons new policies like the policy of "no more grammar schools" or the A-List but it doesnt make me any less of a Conservative.

Youve got to do better than that...jumping to conclusions just doesnt cut it.

Anonymous said...

Sticking a flag in the front garden is okay if not a bit American, next we'll be eating apple pie too. However, the English have never had to flout their identity on a continued basis for the reason we've always been comfortable with our standing in the world. Countries who raise their flag on a daily basis like in them US backyards are either new or seeking to mark & establish their identity or both. Draw a parallel with a teenager who dresses as Grunge, Goth, Punk etc to an adult who has established, their identity and you see what I mean

Tony Carpenter said...

I am in favour of a bank holiday for each member of the Union - whats wrong with St Georges Day being a holiday in England and similarly for all the others. Then we can also have a Union Day combined holiday as well - the more holidays the merrier. The point about Remembrance Day is that it is an official flag flying day already - one of very few. The Union Flag is not intended to be flown every day. I also fail to see how you could combine the ethos of Remembrance Day to that of a National Celebration Day.

My suggestion for the 'National Day' would be Magna Carta Day sometime in June - much better choice than November.

Lastly I have been meaning to suggest that if the Union Flag is to be flown every day (or not) could it at least be the right size in proportion to the flagstaff as per the calculations freely available on the internet - ours looks like 'a pea on a drum'.