For some years far-right and right wing political parties have sought to build support by encouraging the patriotic waving of English St George’s flags. Britain First, a far-right group have gone further and become experts in publishing propaganda on social media sites such as Facebook that nobody in their right minds could possibly disagree with.
Yesterday there was a parliamentary by-election in Kent that was forced after the sitting MP defected to another right wing political party, UKIP. Naturally enough, people were encouraged to be proud of, and show, their patriotism. And at least one person did – by hanging English flags from the front of their home.
Here’s where it gets interesting. A Labour MP spotted some flag waving, took a photo of it, placed it on Twitter – and was promptly sacked. Sorry – resigned. It’s reported that Labour high command were extremely angry at this MP’s Tweet, but should they have been? Should they have reacted at all?
In saying that pictures showing patriotism (and this is what the right wing will say) are bad news, Labour have fallen right into the hands of their opposition by, in effect, pouring scorn on patriotism. And Labour will be reminded of this every single day between now and the election.
Who wants to be reminded that they appear to be unpatriotic? A losing party, that’s who.