Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Union Jack flies proudly in Upton Lane

On route to canvass for the Labour Party in Plaistow this morning, I got caught up behind a Sikh Charity Bike ride in Upton Lane, London E7. There were about 150 riders escorted by what looked like NHS medics on quad bikes. The ride was raising funds for the Richard House Children’s Hospice in Becton, E16.

The event was also to celebrate Vaisakhi (which I understand is a Sikh harvest holiday and the start of the solar year). It was started that morning in Ilford by the mayors of Redbridge, Newham and Barking and Dagenham.

On route there were people handing sweets to drivers and passer-bys, which were most appreciated by those of us who had to try and deal with “the morning after the night before hangovers”.

Especially when you are about to go door knocking and asking the great British public for their votes.

Although of course I am Welsh/Scots, I felt it was good to see the emphasis that the organisers had made on promoting the Union Jack and the Cross of St George (the National flags of Britain and England – see photo). Stick this in your pipe and smoke it Barnbrook.


Anonymous said...

I know it's only a symbol, and it is good to establish that Union flag does not belong to the extreme right, but, personally I would like to see more use of the old Chartists' tricolour for the British Republic (see}rep.html )- horizontal bands of red white and green, apparently last flown at George V's silver Jubilee in 1935... but there you go.

John Gray said...

Hi anon
I take your point, but the chartist flag is pretty insipid if you don’t mind me saying this? However, I suppose in one way if you are an “internationalist” this could a positive attribute I suppose? However, despite the obvious imperial connotations I think that the Union Jack is unusual for the national flag of a monarchy for not having obvious symbols of the Crown on it?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the free sweets to help you over your hangover, but a responsible person would not have been driving the morning after the night before. Having been caught out breaking the law will you be resigning from your post?

John Gray said...

Hi Anon

Don't worry, I would always leave a gap to ensure I was not over the limit.

Despite this the older I get the longer the hangovers last!