Thursday, July 05, 2007 

Scum-watch: Flag flying uber alles.

What then, according to the Sun, was the most important news story from yesterday? Alan Johnston's release? The continuing investigation into the botched "terror" attacks? The stand-off in the Red Mosque in Pakistan? Some inconsequential bullshit about celebrities?

No, it was something far, far more interesting than any of that tedious nonsense. Scotland Yard, where there certainly isn't far more important work to be doing than worrying about setting up flagpoles, has committed the cardinal sin of declining to rush straight for the red white and blue, despite the Sun's demands for every building in the country to be flying our brilliant banner from the rooftops.

STUFFY Scotland Yard REFUSED to fly the Union Flag yesterday — despite an appeal by the PM.

The Sun backed Gordon Brown when he said the flag should be hoisted on public buildings in defiance of terrorism and to promote “Britishness”.

Let's end this specious bullshit once and for all. Here's what the green paper on the Governance of Britain (PDF) says about flags, from page 58:

Box 6:Flying the Union Flag and other national flags

Symbols can help to embody a national culture and citizenship. The Union Flag is one of the most recognisable symbols of the UK. But while in other countries, such as France and the United States, the national flag is regarded as source of pride, in recent years the Union Flag has all too often become the preserve of political extremists, a symbol of discord rather than harmony. It is critical that this symbol is not hijacked by those who seek to work against the fundamental British values of tolerance and mutual respect.

While there are a number of reasons why the Union Flag may not be as widely flown in the UK as other national flags are abroad, regulations on the use of the flag may be playing some role.The Government has already removed many of the previous restrictions on flag flying by private citizens. But at present there are only 18 fixed days each year in on which the Union Flag may be flown on Government buildings England. These restrictions are clearly tighter than those used in many other countries.

The Government will therefore consult on altering the current guidance that prohibits the flying of the Union Flag from Government buildings for more than 18 set days in the year. There are particular sensitivities in Northern Ireland. The flying of flags there is governed by the Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000. The Government believes that this is the most appropriate way to deal with the matter.

In other words then, it's nothing to do with either promoting Britishness or "defying terrorism", but more of an attempt to reclaim the flag from the far-right. Funny that the government blames the fascists for people being hesitant about flying the flag while the Scum predictably blames the "loopy left".
Back to the article:

But Britain’s biggest police force hid behind a government directive which specifies official days on which the Union Flag can be flown. It
WAS flying outside other police HQs.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Guidance on the appropriate dates for flying of the Union Flag is issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

“We are aware of the proposals made by the Prime Minister. We would expect to be advised of any changes in the protocol by the DCMS and act accordingly.”

They're simply playing safe then and going by the current dates, as the green paper is only promising a consultation on changing the current directive. You'd really think that the police ought to be spending their time on err, protecting the public and preventing crime than having to worry about being pilloried in the Scum about not flying the flag, but this seems to show the Scum's own twisted sense of priorities.

Despite being happy about something involving the BBC, which makes a change, the Scum can't help but delve further into things it doesn't have the slightest clue about.

That said, one question hovers over his release. Was there a deal?

Depends what the Scum means by deal. If by deal it means that Hamas offered to for now spare any further crackdowns on the Dogmush clan in exchange for Johnston's release, then yes, there most likely was. If it means some sort of deal with the West or the BBC, then no.

Mr Johnston asks us to thank the ruthless Hamas regime for organising his release.

Seeing as if it hadn't been for them it's incredibly likely he'd still be languishing in a plain room, listening to the world service, I don't see how doing this is any sort of problem.

Brussels is preparing to lift its embargo on aid worth billions to these elected extremists. That money will undoubtedly be used to buy weapons and explosives.

Err, no it isn't. It's lifting the embargo on the Palestinian Authority now that Hamas is no longer part of the government. Hamas isn't going to get the money; Fatah is.

Under its evil rule, Gaza has been engulfed by civil war.

In actual fact, since Hamas fully took over three weeks ago the Strip has had a calmness that it hasn't enjoyed in years. This isn't to overlook how it came to take control, but the results on the ground speak for themselves.

We rejoice to see Mr Johnston free.

But not at the price of Israel’s survival.

Yes, because Hamas is just waiting to wipe Israel off the map, isn't it? Wade really ought to stick to commenting on the evil paedos; she's just as ignorant about the subject, but at least she doesn't come off as being completely illiterate.

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