Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Flags, Stirling Council and Alistair Carmichael's boxer shorts.

Flags are gnarly things, what they represent is very much in the eye of the beholder, the deeds done beneath them can dictate how we feel about them but then, the deeds can be subjective too.

I can't speak for anyone else, indeed, sometimes I have trouble speaking for myself but when it comes to flags - I like the Saltire but I don't like the Union Jack. The reasons are simple, the Union Jack has been rammed down my throat enthusiastically where-as the Saltire has not.

The Saltire is just there, I would even go as far as to say, I'm indifferent about it. I don't for example fly one from my house (I don't actually have a house just now, if I did, I still wouldn't) I don't have one on my car although I do have a Lion Rampant on my motorcycle, I put it there to cover up the Union Jack on the number plate.

The Union Jack on the other hand is ubiquitous, its every where. The Jubilee, the - just mentioning this fills me with ennui - Olympics, you can't watch a program on telly without seeing it somewhere - on a tea towel, a cushion cover maybe or a mug held casually in a Coronation Street kitchen.

Mostly though, there is a double standard in play in the UK with flags, its OK to plaster the Union Jack all over every thing but if you try it with the Saltire - its wicked nationalism. 

I always remember Aamer Anwar at last years independence rally:

Found a picture, can't find a transcript.

He's a prominent civil rights lawyer and supporter of Scottish independence. He said in his speech to the crowds at the Ross Band Stand at last year's march - and I wish I could find a transcript - something about the London Olympics and the tiresome over-use of the Union Flag on the streets of London, meanwhile, the crowd he faced looked like this:

Experiencing so many people feel just a wee bit awkward was very special.

I can detach my feelings about flags from the act of flying them, if I see a Union Jack flying, I don't vomit or have an urge to tear it down and replace it with a Saltire, I accept it - its not that important. Equally, if I see a Saltire, well, that's fine too - it is Scotland's flag after all or if you prefer - one of them as things stand at the moment.

So enter Stirling Council. They've decided to make their feelings known about independence and the Union and they're doing so via the medium of flags.

Hat tip to wings over Scotland.

I wouldn't mind if they decided to fly Margaret Curran's knickers from their HQ's flag Pole and in honour of Michael Carmichael's elevation to Secretary of State for Scotland, a pair of his probably ample boxers from the pole in the 'grounds of Old Viewforth'.

Is it not just the most petulant thing though, I mean, its normally unionists accusing nationalists of over-bearing mawkish nationalism isn't it?

Stirling Council is led by a Tory/Labour coalition, although there are more SNP councillors, it turns out even when they win, they don't actually win. But, that's how Local Councils work, coalitions are formed by parties with common purposes - in this case - hatred of nationalists.

There are things that leave me a bit gobsmacked (like seeing Libdem Jeremy Purvis on Newsnight Scotland last night and realising somehow, he is now Baron Purvis of Tweed - I mean seriously? How the fuck does a total nonperson like him manage to become ennobled?)

Just look at him. He's done nothing, NOTHING and now he's a life peer, that means £300 per day and an assumption by the press that his opinions actually mean something. He's a WEE BOY and I know other wee boys who's opinions I'd hold higher than his. I almost deployed an exclamation mark over this.


Stirling Council with its unionist councillors and their new flag policy - well - I can't help but think they're a bunch of small minded jobsworths. 

I don't believe flying one flag instead of another is cause for hatred or revolution, but to actively seek to remove one flag and replace it with another to further your cause and do down those who oppose you seems churlish and a tad opportunistic.

Currently there's room & reason for both flags on top of council buildings, while I'm not quite sure what they meant in their second-to-last paragraph above, I assume they feel the Union Flag has been traduced in some way and the only way to restore balance is to remove the Saltire completely.

Or perhaps they've been listening to another ennobled bell end, Lord George Robertson of Port Ellen (ex of the Labour party) who said recently:

I like Scotland and while I'm not one of those people who love it unconditionally - I know its not perfect - I cannot understand why there are Scots who seek to do Scotland down with such avidity. From the baseless too wee/too poor/too stupid arguments to the removal of national symbols and the denial of national identity.

Supporters of the Union are getting hellishly desperate, we've moved way beyond getting what might be the positive case for the union and are now in uncharted territory where the tactics are becoming more and more desperate and not a little bizarre.


  1. Pa

    Made a comment via my mobile phone but it doesn't let you, but also doesn't tell you before you spend five mins typing it up lol.

    Great post though.


  2. Oooh.

    So annoying, I get that if I comment when I'm not logged into blogger or Google or whatever I need to be logged into.

    Usually happens with the more perfectly crafted comments too, too many of my blethery crap ones seem to find their way onto the internet.

    In any case, always appreciate any comments & different views.


  3. Until the campaign for independence got underway I can't say I actually noticed flags much.

    I'm not much into all this flag waving, love of country crap. For me nationalism (and I'm not sure that it's even the word for it) is about running our own affairs, not teary eyed scenes of flags and purple heather.

    But the butcher's apron thing does irritate me, because it represents a whole pile of stuff I detest. Empire, royalty, aristocracy, privilege, class, and a place in the world, clout, if you like.

    It seems to stand for everything that is smug and superior and looking down its aristocratic nose at everyone who isn't British (for which read English, for which read southern counties, white and middle to upper class).

    I think this is a mistake. Like it would probably be a mistake to change the other way.

    It debases the argument which is far more important that this. It's about how we live. it's about whether we allow people to be thrown on the street without social security; it's about whether we spend our money on running the world or running our country; it's about health and whether it should be a saleable commodity a national responsibility... and not just health, education, water, gas, electricity, postal delivery.

    It's about whether we want to live in a greedy grasping warmongering murdering devil take the hindmost country, which cares only about making money for the already repugnantly rich, or whether we want to live in a country where people can get on if they have the wherewithal, and be helped if they don't.

    And these arses are taking down their town flag to replace it with one which shows that some of them support a union which does most of them no good (except the prats that want to be lords).

    It may well hit their tourist trade. But they won't have thought about that in their blind hatred of the national party.

    I might go along though if they did hang Curren's knickers from the flagpole. All the more interesting if she was still in them.

  4. My feelings pretty much.

    It is subjective, plus, it does miss the point somewhat.

    Wonderful mental imagery with Curran up the flag pole though, imagine the language.


Thanks for comment as always and I apologise if you have to jump through any hoops to do so. Its just that, I'm still being spammed by organisations who are certain I can't get it up or when it is up its not big enough or that I don't have anyone to get it up for.

Who knew blogging could be so bad for ones self-confidence?