The Tories want to bury their failures under a mountain of Union Jacks

Support us and go ad-free

It’s flags, flags, and more flags. And when it isn’t flags, it’s Winston Churchill’s fairy tale greatness. In its latest distraction measure, the Tory government has announced all government buildings should fly the Union Jack at all times. A vast change from only flying it… quite a lot of the time. The government also wants council buildings to fly the Butcher’s Apron. Only the north of Ireland, for now, appears to have been spared the authoritarian Tory flag edict.

It’s an odd move given that the flag is very often flown from government buildings as it is. RT captured some of the specifics:

Under instructions issued to government personnel by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Department, the Union Jack should be displayed every day, unless there is already a flag on display to mark a special event. The guidance will take effect in summer. The government is also encouraging all local councils to fly the flag. Under the current rules, the Union flag is only required to come out during days of national significance, such as the Queen’s birthday. The guidance will not apply to Northern Ireland.

Ties that bind us?

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden told the press on 24 March that the government had decreed the Union Jack – “a proud reminder of our history and the ties that bind us” – should be flown at all times from government buildings. The announcement follows a number of flag-related incidents. The latest was a row on 18 March over BBC presenter Charlie Stayt’s quip that Tory minister Robert Jenrick’s flag wasn’t as big as it could be.

But, as The Canary reported at the time, co-host Naga Munchetty, who merely laughed at the joke and liked a few tweets about it, got most of the bile:

With regard to Munchetty’s latest ‘transgression’, this could be summed up as follows: white man makes sarcastic remark, woman of colour laughs and likes tweets, but it’s her who’s made to apologise.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The Bunting Brigade

This seem like a familiar story. The Tories have chosen to use a culture war to cover their failings and consolidate the right-wing vote. This often involves references to the Union Jack, Winston Churchill, the late Captain Tom, and attacks on so-called ‘wokeness‘ (code for the political left).

The new announcement is just the latest volley in this culture war, serving to cover the government’s huge failings over, to name just two, the coronavirus Track and Trace system and increasing levels of state violence in places like Bristol and Clapham. Plus, as our own Kerry-Anne Mendoza would have it:

As Samuel Johnson said in 1775:

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

And there are no bigger scoundrels than those who would hide their failures behind a rippling flag.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Rian Saunders

Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. The scoundrel does wraps himself in the biggest flag to be found. I wondered who created that astute quotable. I’ve always loved it.
      You can’t expect children in kindergarden to understand being brainwashed is for the good of their souls, and that England is the only country in the world with the Union Jack.
      No last name for Jack or if he’s married and has children. Its just Jack who doesn’t need to eat in favor of having a Union.
      What a strange guy.

    2. Isn’t this just another manifestation of the drift towards fascism? Fascists revel in flags and emblems, the “greatness” of a nation and its history. I’m with Naga Munchetty, this nationalism has to be ridiculed and nipped in the bud.

    3. It’s a measure of how panicked they are. The divided society where the poor die of Covid much more than the rich; where kids in comps have had a lousy deal and the toffs at Eton etc have had a great lockdown; where not “greed and capitalism” but the public sector and its worn out employees have saved us; the divided society so plainly brought into view by the pandemic has to be hidden behind symbols of phoney unity. The fear amongst them is that the curtain may have been pulled aside far enough for people to see that the interests of capitalists prevail over the interests of the common folk, that Tories, even in a pandemic, look after their mates by showering them with public money, that the massive public spending will have made people realise it was always possible and austerity was a punishment, that the £20 rise in UC could always have been effected, that, in short, we live in a system where the rich always come first and the poor get it in the neck. They are in a funk over a possible revolt when the dust settles and people realise what a mess they made of dealing with the pandemic and how much better a society we would have if “greed and capitalism” were shown the door. Revolt is what we need. Peaceful revolt in which we embrace one another and send the exploiters packing: Ditch the rich, respect the rest. The rich may have money to burn, but we have the matches.

    4. So if they’re making a point of excluding Northern Ireland and not Scotland, it’s looking like we’re about to be forced to do something against our will by a condescending, authoritarian government we didn’t vote for, again? Yes!

      Bozo and his flag shagging clown car – hapless, helpless & hella helpful 😀

    5. How dare the party which flogged off our national infrastructure to Johnny Foreigner and privatised our liveried municipal transport services lecture us about “people having pride in where they live”!

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.