The Tories’ continued fixation with flying the Union Jack is deeply irritating. I wrote this on Twitter last night:
What really sickens me about the Tories use of the Union Jack is that they’re treating it as their flag, presuming this is their country. It isn’t, and I loathe their attitude that presumes the rest of us are happy that they can appropriate what is not theirs for their own gain.
— Richard Murphy (@RichardJMurphy) March 28, 2021
Three things irk.
First, the national flag is not the Tories’ to appropriate for their own use.
Second, to suggest that it is, as they imply, sows division on this issue, which cannot be helpful in any way, unless division is their aim.
Third, the instruction that the UK nation’s own flags must be flown subordinate to the Union Jack is an uncouth indication of continuing colonial intent.
Implicit in all this is the deeply anti-democratic view that to disagree is to be unacceptable, when disagreement is at the very heart of democracy.
My fear is that literally nothing good can come from this policy, which has been so mindlessly embraced by Labour, as if to confirm that obsequious compliance with Tory agendas is now required.
How long will it be before flags are in classrooms, and planning permission for flagpoles will be automatic outside homes? I suspect both will happen. And all with the aim of dividing not just the Union, but England too. Labelling by the absence of a flag will become all too easy.
I confess, this is deeply unsettling.