Daily Archives: July 24, 2014


Two-Faced Flags

In my 55 years of life, I had never until yesterday seen a flag which was a saltire on one side and a union jack on the other. Yet last night thousands of them were distributed free at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. I have been told they are being given out at the swimming today, and possibly at other venues too.

Such flags do not normally exist. They had to be specially commissioned, and somebody had to pay for them. Who paid for them? Is it public money?

There is no doubt why these unique flags were commissioned, and why they are being given out free at considerable expense. It is to provide TV images of Scotland combined in the union, and to make sure that Scottish medals are greeted with media images of union jacks being waved with the saltire.

In the context of the referendum, only a hardened liar could claim that these unique flags were commissioned without a view to the campaign. This is enormous hypocrisy by the unionists, who have been bombarding the media for weeks with warnings to Yes supporters not to “politicise” the Commonwealth Games.

The BBC informs us that “political flags” are not allowed inside games venues. So saltires with a Yes will be confiscated. The BBC report states:

Well hold on, some flags will not be allowed to fly. Political flags.

Both sides of the independence debate have agreed not to use Glasgow 2014 for political gain anyway.

But even if you wanted to, well, it’s against the rules.

Glasgow 2014 Venue Regulation 6.18 states that no flags are allowed to enter a venue – or the vicinity of any Games venue – if they are normally associated with causes, affiliations or organisations.

Nobody can possibly argue that, at this time, a Union Jack combined with a Saltire is not an image strongly associated with a cause or association. So the rules are being quite deliberately broken, and somebody is funding that breach and doing it on a massive scale. It is vital that we know: who is paying for these flags?

Actually I am not sure why union jacks are allowed in at all. The rules are very clear. If you try to take in a Palestinian flag or a Dutch flag it will be confiscated. Again, to quote the BBC:

You are not allowed, however, to bring the flag of a country not competing in the Games

The United Kingdom is not competing in the Games. So there is a very respectable argument that union jacks should not be allowed in at all.

What is absolutely certain is that the two-faced union jack and saltire flags are very strongly associated with a political cause or affiliation. If they are allowed in, then Yes saltires should be allowed in too.

View with comments

UK Complicity in Massacre

78 people died at Glencoe and we still sing about it over three hundred years later. Over 700 have been massacred so far in Gaza, 80% of them innocent civilians. The UN Human Rights Commissioner has made the very obvious, the unarguable, point that there is prima facie evidence of war crimes by Israel. These include the killing of four young boys playing football on the beach at Gaza, and the use of industrial nail bombs in civilian areas.

Yet the UK refused to support even having an investigation. Please note this was not a vote to condemn Israel, or to declare war crimes. It was a vote to have an investigation.

I am ashamed to belong to the UK. Just as having served the UK for twenty years and having worked my way up to be a proud British Ambassador, I became so ashamed at our complicity in torture and extraordinary rendition, I had to resign.

I want to be part of a country of which I am not ashamed

ignominy

Now imagine that board with Scotland on it and a green light next to it.

This is the British Foreign Secretary. He declares that Israel “has a right to defend itself” and that for the UN to investigate Israeli war crimes is “unhelpful”.

101721461-Philip_Hammond_530x298

This man does not represent me, or anything about me. Nor, emphatically, does that flag behind him.

View with comments