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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Flying the flag

Amidst all the controversy about the flag of St.George being flown around Wales, these remarks in the House of Commons appear to have been overlooked:

Mr. Hain: I thought, Madam Deputy Speaker, that you were going to remind all Members that there is a World cup match coming up; but to respond specifically to the hon. Lady’s rather graceless jibe, I will, of course, be supporting England with enthusiasm. I am flying an England flag, not out of my house in Wales, but out of my flat in London. Of course several Chelsea players are playing for the England team, and I will be watching them with enthusiasm if she allows me to do so and if hon. Members are co-operative on this matter. Of course the match starts at 5 pm—I just remind the House.

The point here is not that the Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland is supporting England, that is a perfectly defensible position especially given Peter Hain's questionable allegiance to Chelsea. For me the significance lies in the admission of the Secretary of State's double life. In England, he openly flys the St George flag on his property, whilst in Wales he is far more discreet and keeps his preferences closer to his chest.

Now, I am happy to admit that I am supporting England in this World Cup, but I am not one for flying flags. In fact, I rarely even wear rosettes during elections. But if a significant political figure, and one who has been tipped as a future Deputy Prime Minister, is going to wrap himself in the flag and in the future prospects of the England football team then the least we should expect is consistency. Stop wimping out Mr. Hain. Have the courage of your convictions and show the people of Neath how you feel as well.
Shouldn't he be flying the Seff Effrican Y-Front flag?
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