Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Let the police support our troops

I am surprised and disappointed by reports in the Daily Mail and elsewhere that Metropolitican Police officers have been banned from wearing small (one inch) union jack flags to show support for our troops in Afghanistan.

Apparently someone complained that they found the badges "offensive."

Personally I find the opinions of whoever made this complaint to be highly offensive, and the fact that senior officers did not use their intelligence and discretion to realise that such a ban would cause far more harm than good, both with police officers and the public, to be very offensive indeed.

You cannot please everybody, and there is no point trying to please those who hate this country. Under the rules of free speech they should be allowed to express their complaints, but acting on this one was a serious error of judgement.

I gather than large numbers of officers have defied the ban. If disciplinary action is taken against them that would be an even bigger disgrace. If anyone in the Met deserves disciplinary action, it's the people responsible for the ban.


Paul Jenkins said...

Riht out of the BNPhand book, you f!$%**G RACIST

Anonymous said...

Muppet - how is that racist? How come everyone else but the British can are allowed to be proud of their country? In no way do I support the war but I do support our troops. A big well done to the boys in blue for defying their moron bosses - and if that makes me a racist well I guess I can live with it

Chris Whiteside said...

Paul Jenkins: the only good thing to be said about your post is that unlike most of the people who post that kind of rubbish you had the guts to sign what may be a real name to it.

Nothing I wrote was racist and I am certainly not a BNP supporter. (Copeland BNP have said that they regard me as a politically-correct liberal and by their standards I am, though probably not by the standards of the majority of people.)

It is not racist to display the flag of your country.

It is not racist to say that others who wish to display that flag should be allowed to do so.

It is not racist to support the troops who are risking their lives to carry out the missions given them by our elected government, whether I agree with those policies or not.

It is not racist to suggest that senior officers in the Met have more important priorities to be getting on with than preventing police officers from wearing small badges in support of our troops.

And if either of us is in danger of creating support for the BNP, it is not I but Paul Jenkins. If ordinary British people get the impression that the mainstream political parties believe the sort of anti-British bigotry which his post exemplifies, they are that much more likely to turn to parties like the BNP.

P.J said...

July 30, 2009
Cameron's revolting neo-Nazi connection

David Cameron has evidently forged some unfortunate connections with Europe’s neo-fascists through his Conservative MEPs. In this week’s New Statesman, out tomorrow, the excellent James Macintyre blows the lid on the Tory MEPs’ careless connection with the disgusting, neo-Nazi National Revival of Poland party (NOP) and its former big-wig, Michal Kaminski.

Chris Whiteside said...

Are you being paid to advertise the New Statesman? The comments policy on this blog does not permit commercial advertising.

Conservative MEPs sit in the European party as part of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). The Polish element of that group is not the National Revival of Poland party but the Law and Justice Party, of which Michal Kaminsky is a member. All members of the ECR have signed up to a declaration of the group's aims which is a mainstream, democratic set of policies and is in no way neo-nazi.

This should not even need saying, but as some elements of our opponents are determined to find evidence that the Conservatives are racist whether that evidence exists or not, let me make it clear that I do not believe the Conservatives should sit with racists or fascists, and I do not believe we are doing so.

As has been pointed out at length on various blogs and recognised in other magazines such as The Spectator and The Economist, you can use the sort of "guilt by chains of association" argument which P.J. is making just as well against Gordon Brown and the Labour party.

There is a basic problem for most of the major mainstream groups in the European parliament which derives from two causes:

1) The rules of the European Parliament require political groups to have a large number of MEPs from a large number of countries and

2) Because the countries of Eastern Europe were in the recent past under the domination of one totalitarian empire (the former Soviet Union), and within living memory were forced to choose sides between two of the worst regimes in history - Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany - their politics bears the scars of that history.

Which means that a significant proportion of the parties in those countries, including people who are not themselves fascist or communist, can be damned using "guilt by association" tactics because of the past associations of other people they have been forced to work with.

Some of the people in the same European grouping that British Labour MEPs sit in, and the one that British Conservatives recently left, are also vulnerable to that sort of accusation.

If, and I say if, "the excellent James Macintyre" were to make this sort of charge against the Conservatives tomorrow without mentioning the equivalent proiblem for Labour, that would be pretty clear evidence of bias.

antifacist said...

If anyone's surprised about the Conservatives' racism then they should get their naivety levels reduced. Read your history. The links between the upper classes and fascism have always been strong. In the 20s and 30s in particular many openly regarded themselves as fascist. There was a famous ex-King and a couple of Mitford sisters for example. Since 1945 it's been a bit less of the done thing but views haven't changed much even if asssociations have.

Chris Whiteside said...

The Conservative party is not racist. Expressing racist or fascist views would be grounds for expulsion from the party.

I don't consider that the events of seventy years ago and the activities of the Mitfords are particularly illuminating as a guide to attitudes today. Contrary to your rather silly statement that things have not changed much, I have seen things change a greatg deal over my lifetime. And one of the welcome changes is that racism is much less acceptable now than it used to be.

Copeland Patriot said...

Here Here Chris! Keep flying the White Englishman's flag!

Chris Whiteside said...

Gordon Bennet - Draperbots are even sillier when posing as BNP activists than when writing like trots.

The Union Jack is the flag of all the people of the United Kingdom, and of course it specifically includes elements of the English, Scottish and Irish flags. It is not a white people's flag, let alone a white English flag, it is a flag for everyone who lives here and everyone who is proud of Britain.