Anorak News | Burning Hatred

Burning Hatred

by | 30th, October 2006

YOU risk much when your burn a flag.

One: the ozone-depleting pollutants given off when the ink and nylon are set light are hazardous to the planet.

(Tests suggest that the yellowy flag of Niue, a New Zealand territory, is the most harmful when ignited. We fear that day it declares war on Iran will herald the end of life on this planet.)

Second: burning a flag can cause upset. Seeing your country’s flag going up in so much blue smoke can tap into your inner patriot.

Third: burning a flag while wearing manmade fibres or a Hackett’s polo shirt (those chav-tastic tops with flags on), can result in a funeral pyre and injury to more than feelings.

But it is the second point which chiefly interests the British police. As the Times reports, Tarique Ghaffur, the Metropolitian Police Assistant Chief Commissioner, is concerned at Muslim protestors burning flags – the Danish flag was burned during protests over those cartoons of Mohammed.

Says he: “There appears to be a growing public perception that policing of demonstrations is unduly lenient. That view was shared by law-abiding citizens of all backgrounds. The reason this is a great country is the tolerance of people. If they start to see images of people who seem to be ‘getting away with it’, that starts to erode.”

It’s a view that is not without support. The Guardian hears a source “close to the discussions” argue for equality.

He speaks in light of Muslim protests outside Westminster Cathedral following the Pope’s comments on Islam (Pope: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”). The demonstration was organised by Anjem Choudary, who called for the Pope to face "capital punishment".

Says the source: ”We would not dream of letting the BNP that close to a mosque. So why were these people allowed to menace the cathedral in this way? We are not going to let people go around talking about killing Muslims, but neither are we going to have Muslims going around talking about killing anyone else."

And the Guardian hears Labour MP Shahid Malik agree. Says he: "The burning of flags at demonstrations or pickets is quite clearly an act which has the power to incite violence."

So the idea that flag-burning should be outlawed has been passed to Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general.

And it may not be too long before it is illegal to burn a flag.
And protestors are forced to make their point by other methods – by, perhaps, icing a cake in the colours of the enemy and eating it.

Send your suggestions to the usual address. A Union Jack fire blanket for the best suggestion…

Posted: 30th, October 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink