Saturday, June 28, 2008

"We don't want that flag here in Henley."

I am not really one to get overly excited about the whole English question and surrounding issues. I am, however, perfectly happy to take a pop at jumped-up little fascists and our state police.

So, via Harry Haddock and Wonko, here's an article from the Brussels Journal that demonstrates both, in spades. [Emphasis mine.]
Threats of prosecution or fines for flying the England flag in England is not new, and perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that the English Democrats party—which uses the flag in its promotional material—is reporting that it has become a target of such intimidation. Yet it is different for one very significant reason: that there has been a longstanding, unspoken rule that political parties in Britain should not be harassed by the police, particularly when campaigning. We accustom such behavior with dictatorship, not democracy.

The incident occurred when candidate Derek Allpass and his team were out campaigning on June 21, for the Henley by-election (held June 26). They had set up a table with promotional material, and strung bunting sporting the red cross of St. George around it. However, the team was soon approached by the police and the Town Clerk, the latter of whom allegedly told Allpass, “we don't want that flag here in Henley.” Darren Riley, the Party's Kent Chairman, responded by pointing a church that was close by, and likewise flying the England flag (because it was under the denomination of the Church of England), and remarked, “if you don't want England's flag flying in Henley you had better take this up with the Vicar too.”

Nevertheless, the authorities claimed that the display of the flag by the English Democrats breached a by-law, and instructed them to remove both the table and bunting. The by-law in question has yet to be shown to the party, though as the town was also strewn with red, white, and blue bunting (signifying the United Kingdom, as opposed to England), one can only wonder how peculiarly specific it must be.

Indeed. There are an awful lot of stories of police and other state cunts over-stepping their authority and justifying it by "saying it's a by-law, innit" when often no such by-law exists.

Let me think: what do you call a country in which the police attempt to control the population by making up arbitrary laws?

It's on the tip of my tongue... um...


IanPJ said...

I have raised an FOI request with South Oxfordshire Council for a copy of the alleged by-law.

Roger Thornhill said...

My local flower seller was buttonholed ON ST GEORGES DAY for flying the English flag as it was deemed "provocative". A PCSO, too.

This happens far too much. Who is TRAINING these people to think in such a demented, treasonous fashion?

Wat Dabney said...

There should be two distinct police forces, wearing two distinct uniforms.

Those in blue would be responsible simply for protecting property and upholding individual rights; those in yellow for enforcing the thousands of state dictats and arresting transgressers who smoke in a private pub, advertise potatoes for sale by the pound and so forth.

I doubt there'd be a jury in the land that would convict anyone accused of kicking to death the latter.

Anonymous said...

A park warden tried it on with a friend who was wearing a Cross of St George T-shirt.

Made the mistake of grabbing him by the arm. Ended up in a police station. You see, my friend was a Special Constable. Assaulting a police officer... apparently, that law isn't made up :-)

JuliaM said...

Nice one! :)

"This happens far too much. Who is TRAINING these people to think in such a demented, treasonous fashion?"

Maybe it's not training - maybe it's the type of person this particular job is attracting?

nightjack said...

Sadly there is nothing (well precious little) new under the sun.

Some of my longer in service colleagues served when the phantom powers included "Entering Derbyshire with Intent To Picket" or on some occasions "Attempting to Leave Yorkshire in Possession of a Militant Tendency."

There used to be a lovely old power in the common law that married a legitimate power to arrest with a police core duty..arrest to prevent breach of the peace it was called. See somebody behaving in a way likely to breach the peace, lock them up. Simple. It was a good "Swiss Army Knife" type power. These days of course, as it doesn't lead to a fixed penalty or a sanctioned detection, my old pal B.O.P. is withering on the vine.

The Police / PCSO attitude to flags clearly demonstrated by far too many news stories? Pathetic, stupid, arbitrary, alienating, again stupid, jackbooted, authoritarian, more stupid, extra stupid, stupid-flavour-icecream-with-a-stupid-shaped-cherry-on-the-top stupid. Hope that makes my position clear.

Must be something "they" are putting in the education these days.

Anonymous said...

what do you call a country in which the police attempt to control the population by making up arbitrary laws?

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

leg-iron said...

Wat Dabney - I agree. Yellow is easier to hit in the dark.

Nightjack - They aren't putting anything in the education. Nothing at all. Not even education.

We now have 'diet education' which means kids come out with slimmer brains than when they went in.

Just enough room to spell 'UB40'.

Serf said...

"Let me think: what do you call a country in which the police attempt to control the population by making up arbitrary laws?

Zimbabwe? North Korea?