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Yet more tokenism

Latest piece of idiocy being floated is to criminalise flag burning. Yawn. The freedom of speech issues are far too obvious to be worth going into, and this would also deny us the pleasure of seeing the usual fanatics setting fire to themselves as they lack the dexterity to handle a bic lighter with sufficient skill.

What I think is more blogworthy is how the law would be framed. Would it be illegal to put a flag in a microwave oven and crank it up to maximum? Or to tear a flag into little bits? Would a piece of white paper with two intersecting red lines count as either the Cross of St George, or the Cross of St Patrick, depending on how wonky the lines were? What of an old Union Flag t-shirt sent to an incinerator? And if flags, why not pictures of public figures or burning of effigies? Maybe Guido would approve of the latter, although it would make Bonfire Night a tad dull. And then there are sundry defunct flags. Would burning a black white red horizontal tricolour count as an assault on Burkina Faso in its previous incarnation as Upper Volta, or one against Imperial Germany? Could a green flag with random squiggles and crossed swords count as the flag of 'Our Friends the Saudis'? Or a white flag with blue stripes and a five or seven pointed star count as the flag of Israel? Further suggestions are welcome.

Reigning in the facetiousness briefly, I am far more concerned that the Police should actually arrest people for the existing crimes of incitement to murder and the like, and spend less time cooking up ideas for acts that do not need to be criminalised.
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Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 1:41 pm

More window dressing.
Tempting story in the Times that levy has turned narc against St Tony.
I Dont believe a word of it(well some words , weasel ones)
yes I was acting on the prime minsiters authority however we did nothing ilegal
rubber stamped by bed over backwards goldsmith and fatty "comprehensives are Ok for your kids but not mine" Falconer"  

Blogger istanbultory said... 3:58 pm

The Police would do better to enforce existing public order legislation. Especially at certain demos/protests orchestrated by the usual suspects.
"Protecting" the flag won't solve the not-at-all pressing problem of people burning flags for political protest. They'll still do it.

In all of this, I spy a joint Emily/Alistair Campbell effort to divert attention from the relentless bad news pursuing this government.  

Blogger Cranmer said... 4:59 pm

I am far more concerned that the Police should actually arrest people for the existing crimes of incitement to murder and the like

Indeed, Mr Croydonian, indeed. The question is, how does one oblige the police to act in these cases? Such pressure may only come from the Home Office, until such time as chief constables are locally elected and locally accountable...  

Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 6:22 pm

don't start croydonian on elected police chiefs.

the reality is that certain ethnic minorities
would still burn flags and still get away with it.fucking pointless.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:31 pm

RM - Ok, it's a fair cop. However, if we are going to have a polticised police nomenklatura, let them answer to the people they are meant to serve, not the people who dish out peerages, knighthoods and what have you for 'services' that can only be to the Labour party. Just our luck that the long march through the institutions is paying off for some at the moment.  

Anonymous verity said... 7:13 pm

Elected police chiefs work a treat. They have no political master except the voter.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 8:06 pm

Elected judges even better
more hangings and thrashings  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:10 pm

Yup, elected police chiefs, elected judges, health trust boards, the BBC, you name it. Bye bye quangos, and as a huge bonus - The Grauniad loses a huge chunk of its advertising revenue.  

Anonymous verity said... 8:24 pm

One thing about elected police chiefs, judges and so on in the US is, the voters keep a beady eye on them. They don't get away with a thing.  

Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 8:25 pm

now that would be fun ny  

Anonymous verity said... 9:19 pm

Flag burning can be a good thing when the voluminous draperies worn by people burning flags catch light. Especially if the "water" thrown on them by alert bystanders tragically makes them more incendiary.  

Anonymous newmania said... 9:55 pm

lack the dexterity to handle a bic lighter with sufficient skill.

That has nice Tommy Cooper visual possibilities, and I would pay a small amount to see it. It reminds me of the fab moment in "Falling Down", when the Michael Douglas character teaches a gang banger how to fire a gun . Good film that, although the political content had to be contained in a deranged psychotics last stand . It was clear that the effect of the film was not that of its sub plot of family breakdown . We need to think a lot harder about material outside explicit political discourse . I believe the drip drip bias of East enders loses the Conservative Party more votes than Black Wednesday did  

Blogger CityUnslicker said... 11:09 pm

How dare they deny me my right to burn scottish and welsh flags with impunity

Also another typically anti-capitalist, ill thought-out and socialist piece of legislation. What of the flag manufacturers and their factories? Even worse many of these employ the poor of gaza and the west bank methinksat special times.

Socialists, always picking on the poorest.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:14 pm

CU - I guess the more quick witted shop keeper will push for the upsale and ask 'do you want a lighter to go with that flag?'  

Anonymous newmania said... 11:40 pm

God yes and they never sell matches do they . A keen flag burner would end up with hundreds of cheap(ish ) lighters from Croydon station . I have  

Anonymous Verity said... 12:31 am

Croydonian - That was funneee!

"Would you like a lighter with that?"  

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