Archive | May, 2010

St.George flag ban reality

30 May

England Flag, St.George

The reported England flag ban (St.George flag) and banning England shirts has seen a lot of internet rage lately.

The anger started when the Sun reported police guidance issued to pubs in Croydon suggesting a dress code (preventing football shirts being worn). The Police denied suggestions they were trying to ban England shirts. However when the authority responsible for your livelihood issues guidance on your conduct, or business they have more gravitas than mere ‘suggestions’.

None of this bothered me. A paper prints a story, people get outraged, the story denied, more outrage at the reporters and then the next step ensues. The denials such thing exists. The sanctimonious start pointing at those who believed such bans possible. Believers in these stories are labelled stupid and gullible (whilst also conceding such bans have happened in the past).

“These days you’re never more than a couple of clicks away from debunkers quick to squash these kinds of stories, though it’s worth pointing out that debunking a myth that people find believable and which fits to their prejudices can, surprisingly, make people believe the myth all the more. And while it’s (partly) true that England shirts have been ‘banned’ in the past.

You would expect those not taken in by the outrage of the original stories to be above the ignorance or pettiness, they are more ‘tolerant’ and ‘intelligent’…..

“You know, once it might have been intellectual shits and giggles to laugh at these cretins from the sidelines. But now, when groups like this can canvas this much interest, it’s time to worry. Something has to be done about the festering ignorance and prejudice of these morons, I’m so sick of all this. “

“Some of my facebook friends joined one of these groups. I put them straight and then de-friended them.”

I am guessing they were not really friends then, or you are just as odious and intolerant as those you ‘de-friend’.

“I’m always amused by how the people who shout loudest about being proud of being English are generally the the people who are least able to spell English words correctly. “If there affended they shood go back to there own country” etc.

If people had actually looked at the facebook pages linked to the very story they read and commented on. They would see mainly young children and teenagers. Their writing skills not developed, their spelling and grammar poor (even more so than normal when typing on a computer or phone, for a quick facebook comment).

Many will be like me. Received at best an average (if not damned right awful) education. We were never destined for an academic life, taught the basics, patted on the backs and told good luck. So yes a lot of people have poor spelling and grammar, many since leaving school will never have picked up a pen (short of filling out a form or two once a year).

The ‘intelligent’, liberal posters are quick to attack people for believing an untrue story as stupid, racists and uneducated. The same people who a generation ago would mock uneducated mill workers, farmers, tin and coal miners. People unable to read or write, having to sign their names with a X. How dare these people have a view (no matter whether right or wrong), look at how they express their thoughts – uneducated plebs.


“the flip side of this kind of thing is that it also brings out the nasty snobby side of lot of supposedly liberal people – check out the comments on the Liberal Conspiracy post on this topic, where there’s no shortage of people claiming anyone who wears an England shirt is an inbred idiotic racist.”

Here is the important part few liberals in their eagerness to shove their own bigotry down to print explore.

“The question here is not so much the particular incident sparking this internet outrage, but why people were so eager to believe it. Is it really beyond the realms of possibility that England memorabilia could be banned from venues ?”

We have seen these type of stories for over a decade. The papers are tapping into feelings of resentment that already exists. If any other group religious or ethnic felt so wronged or persecuted (whether rightly or wrongly), there would have been action. The English however have no such protectors or guardians in political or charity organisations. There have been many situations where the English have felt under some sort of concerted threat from politically correct organisations or political parties. We are to be subdued, not supported.

A simple sentence, act, piece of legislation could solve some of this. Instead time again we get…..

was not raised due to a “logistical operational matter “ “Health and safety won’t allow us to do it, unless we scaffold the building.
“That costs thousands of pounds and I’m sure the taxpayers of Colchester wouldn’t want us to spend that to put a flag up.”

One assumes that they have never heard of a steeple-jack or a cherry picker (presumably some of whom/which the council use and own).

“In 2008 St George’s Day parades were banned by local authorities in Bradford and Sandwell in the West Midlands on the grounds they could cause trouble or were ‘unhealthy’ and ‘tribal’.”

“A spokeswoman for Land Rover in the West Midlands said: “We asked them to take them down because we are a diverse firm and to allow England flags to be displayed would have meant allowing flags of other competing nations to be put up as well.”

“Anne Owers has banned the flag of England from prisons because muslim prisoners might feel threatened by the guards wearing pins of the St. Georges Cross, which is the Flag of England, as the flag was used during the Crusades. As we all know, muslims did not fare well during the crusades. The pins were sold as a fundraiser for a cancer charity.”

When the Church of England again feel they can fly the St.George. When Council buildings in England actually fly the St.George like their counterparts in Wales, and Scotland fly their national flags. When companies and organisations actually recognise that they work, operate, and make profits in England (from the English). Having a St.George displayed occasionally is not going to harm or bankrupt you.

When I start to see these things I will know that we are heading in the right direction. Because there is something distinctively wrong in England. It is bubbling below the surface of English society, the underlying cause of these feelings needs to be found and addressed before it to late.

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UK Eurovision dead duck

29 May

Congratulations to Germany winning the Eurovision song contest (246 points). Well done to the UK, coming last (10 points). Maybe it’s time that we entered individually as England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. At least when England come last, the others will get 36+ points. Yes I have no illusions that any of them would vote for us.

Oak Apple day (29th May)

28 May

Remember Oak Apple day, wear your sprig of oak leaf or apple tomorrow to celebrate.

Oak Apple Day, Garland King

Oak Apple Day or (Royal Oak Day) is celebrated on the 29th of May commemorating Charles II, and the restoration of the English monarchy in May 1660.

The day is also known as Shick-Shack Day or Arbour Day. Traditional celebrations entail the wearing of oak apples or sprigs of oak leaves. The reference being (the future) Charles II of England escaping the Roundhead army by hiding in an oak tree near Boscobel House.

The celebration has sadly nearly died out, as with many holidays a casualty of Oliver Cromwell’s puritan policies and later Victorian British society values (Oak Apple day was abolished in 1859).

Whilst the day chosen (29th of May) was the King’s birthday, it seems to have also replaced some of the prior traditions and events lost in England. For example the Garland King is celebrated as a rider decked out in greenery marching down the streets of Castleton. This seems in keeping with the nature and pagan festivals once much more common in England, sadly now mostly lost in time.

Restoration of Oak Apple day would be worthy of continued celebration, a celebration of our freedom, liberty and nationhood that the Puritans had all but destroyed (sound familiar ?).

Wear your sprig of oak with pride, enjoy a traditional English plum pudding and remember to never bow to tyranny.

STEM, STEM, STEM

27 May

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, fallen asleep yet ? These subjects do not raise the pulse of many, let alone young people. They have been discreetly dropped by many students for a long time,  leading to a problem for England’s (and UK’s) future economic success.

Recently Nissan gave a press release for release date for The Nissan Leaf in the UK (February 2011). The first 50,000 cars will be made in Japan, with production then moving to Sunderland in 2013. It will be one of the first major electric cars made in the UK.

This raises a number of questions.

Electric cars do away with the need for Petrol. Britain has 31 million cars on the road contributing to some £25 billion in fuel duties to the government. This revenue will slowly dry up unless the Government finds other energy to tax. If we see the petrol replacement (electricity) taxed to compensate we will see a large hike in home utility bills.

Electric engined cars will greatly reduce engine damage and need fewer parts and maintenance. This will add to large job losses in Petroleum and auto repair related industries (mechanics, garages, parts specialist and scrap).

We are looking to new manufacturing, green energy and power to take up an extremely large number of jobs, and revenue. Is the UK ready or preparing for this revolution in jobs and revenue substitution ? let us ask industry about our obvious foresight and planning.

One company that makes engines is JJ Churchill, recently is Managing director said

JJ Churchill has an excellent staff retention record. Historically, advertising was never needed to fill vacancies and many senior managers began their careers on its apprenticeship scheme. “Then, about two years ago, we found we could no longer fill vacancies by word of mouth. Despite our growing expenditure and effort in recruitment, we are struggling to find the quality and commitment we need and the situation is steadily getting worse,” he explained.

And they are not alone.

“Skills gaps are rife throughout many areas of manufacturing; in the advanced and emerging industries, around which the UK wants to centre it’s ‘new economy’, they are in severe deficit. The situation looks set only to get worse as an ageing work force fetches its pipe and slippers throughout this decade. “

Only yesterday Thales which makes software for military and civilian applications announced that it’s Wells factory will close down due to buildings being unmaintainable. Their main priority is not to recruit elsewhere, but to try to keep its 550 employees and move them to other factories. “We understand that this is a challenging time, but our employees are our most important asset and are they are key to our success”. Simply there are not enough skilled workers out there, companies are doing all they can to maintain what they have.

We will see a reduction in government income from petroleum-based industries, fewer jobs in petroleum, car parts, servicing and maintenance industries. Resulting in a need for more manufacturing, green production and energy jobs. However we have no clear plan on how to do this. We cannot afford to lose the jobs and revenue without replacing them in new technologies. We are nowhere near to tackling these issues, we will have problems unless the coalition make greater strides in correcting the situation. If not ?

“So we then advertise for young people who are looking for work and they invariably tend to be the ones that haven’t been successful in other more fashionable industries and therefore they are generally a lower quality of candidate.” at a recent business breakfast set up for local firms to discuss apprenticeships, two manufacturers reported that their 20 year strategies include potentially moving production to Asia. This is not because of any perceived cost benefits but because they feel there will not be the necessary skills in this country to support their operations. “It broke my heart to hear that,” Jackie Freeborn the Chief Executive of Business ; Education South Yorkshire.

We are moving towards correcting these problems, but much, much more needs to be done to make England into a economic manufacturing powerhouse.

Battle of Britain memorial flights

26 May

Tucano T1 with WWII Super-marine Spitfire

Two of the UK Royal Air Force’s Shorts Tucano T1 trainers have ditched their usual black colour schemes as part of the service’s efforts to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Sporting Second World War camouflage markings, the trainers were flown in formation with one of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Supermarine Spitfires. The BBMF fly regularly around the UK – check their site for local events or fly by.

Gary Lineker debut

26 May

gary Lineker, England Striker

One of England’s finest goalscorers made his début on this day in 1984.

“Legendary goal poacher Gary Lineker made his England debut in the last ever British Home Championship match on this day in 1984.

The Leicester City forward was just 23 when he replaced Tony Woodcock in the fixture against Scotland at Hampden Park; thrown on by Bobby Robson in the 72nd minute in an attempt to find a winning goal with the score at 1-1.

Unfortunately it was not to be the dream debut for Lineker with the game finishing in a stalemate, a result that meant all four nations – Northern Ireland and Wales included – ended the tournament on three points and were only separated by goal difference – the Irish coming out on top.”

An interesting fact about England striker Gary is he finished his international career with 48 goals and not one yellow card in 80 appearances, earning him the title England’s Mr Nice.

World Cup commercial

23 May

Really well made World Cup 2010 Commercial by Nike. The Wayne Rooney segment made me smile.