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A new flag

By dudler
I had lunch with a friend near Westminster on Monday, and afterwards walked to the National Portrait Gallery to see hte Taylor Wessing Prize exhibition. (Well worth seeing, and reading about. Pictures often gain strength from being titled and having some explanation.)

Westminster was a bit busier than usual. There were, on the whole, two types of protester. Groups of relatively-sane and cheerful people with blue flags, scarves and robes: and others, mainly alone, and looking quite angry as they brandished their slogans.

Slogans often don't mean much when you analyse them: 'leave means leave' - a statement of the blindingly obvious, unless it's come to mean 'banana' overnight. There was even one 'drain the swamp' carried by a lady convinced that all the denizens of Westminster are crooked.

Myself, I like the succinctness of 'Bollocks to Brexit' - though it needs the qualification that the rudeness should not extend to every proponent. It's an ugly word...

Tags: Street Flags Westminster Demonstration

Voters: chavender, woolybill1, bluesandtwos and 48 more

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bluesandtwos 11 521 1 England
17 Jan 2019 8:32AM
'drain the swamp' carried by a lady convinced that all the denizens of Westminster are crooked.

I think she may have a valid point, You certainly can't believe all on the internet, but somewhere I saw a list of all the convictions collected by the residents of that beautiful building, they were many and varied, and more than a little disturbing. Maybe Guy Fawkes really was the only person to enter there with honest intent!Wink
17 Jan 2019 8:50AM
I've a tendency to go along with bluesandtwos and think we badly need another Cromwell to shut the slimy misogynistic bunch home.

That said I think yours is a fine image John capturing the spirit of the Founding Fathers whose intent was to try and prevent future European wars by unifying.

Thank you for sharing.

dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1858 England
17 Jan 2019 9:06AM
Thank you, Peter. I was tempted to point out to one or two people that Winston - looking down from his plinth at the corner of the Square - would have had a lot to say about the idea of leaving Europe. I suspect, though, that htose hwo have experienced war understand the importance of preventing it better than the rest of us. And, consequently, are happy to pay a price for maintaining the peace.
17 Jan 2019 9:56AM
Great shot, John and tells the story very well.

The only reason that we had a referendum is because so many people wanted to leave the EU. There would never have been one if the majority wanted to stay in.
And the way that politicians behave in the house of commons, would not be tolerated in any other work place, so why is it allowed there?

SlowSong Plus
12 9.7k 30 England
17 Jan 2019 10:10AM
We must have passed like ships in the night on Monday. I was up there too, but steered clear of the crowd.
I quite like protests and marches; if you get in amongst them you can get some good shots and everyone ignores you. Smile
mistere Plus
7 6 4 England
17 Jan 2019 10:33AM
" It's an ugly word..." Which one? Bollocks or Brexit. Smile
Or is there a difference.
They both have their own definitions in the OED but at the
moment it's all the same, one giant balls up.
Until our elected representatives grow up and start doing their jobs we are all
knackered. Less point scoring and jockeying for position.They need to sort themselves
out and start doing what's best for the country.

Cracking photograph by the way. Almost forgot why we're here. SmileSmile
JuBarney Plus
10 33 5 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2019 10:52AM
Splendid capture of the Westminster action
RLF Plus
11 18 4 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2019 11:00AM
Well I'm 100% LEAVE.Smile
But if those wishing to remain want a second referendum by calling it something different like the people's vote ... well .... democracy is dead in this land.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1858 England
17 Jan 2019 12:27PM
With any normal organisation, if there is a vote on a major policy, it requres a 2/3 or 3/4 majority in favour of change.

I am sure that it won't be as bad if we leave as some say. But we have wasted three years on this sideshow, while the country deteriorates for lack of attention and focus.

Equally, if we stay in the EU, life will continue. And we will have just as much say in what goes on as everybody else.

And in the same way as non-members of Ephotozine have no right to tell us what to do, non-members of the EU have no say in the rules inside. The onus is on the British government to provide an attractive deal, and they seem so intent on infighting that they have failed.

Theresa May is dutiful, and in charge of a ship that was never going to get where the voluble promised. Doomed to fail. She doesn't believe - as far as I can tell - in what she's doing: nor does Jeremy believe in staying.

I think the best way to view it is in the same way as some people view boxing: there wil lbe pain and blood. Watch and enjoy the scrap.
17 Jan 2019 12:57PM
not being a British national or citizen, i don't think i have a say on these matters, so no comment this time
17 Jan 2019 12:57PM
We have to swallow the bitter pill before we get better, that's the way I see it. No deal!

dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1858 England
17 Jan 2019 1:59PM
We can agree on that, John! At present, it feels like a very bitter pill for everyone.

mac Plus
19 12 Scotland
17 Jan 2019 2:26PM
A very perplexing problem - do we go or stay?
In Scotland we voted 62% to remain and similarly Northern Ireland 55.8%.
However, we must leave based on the overall vote as this is a democracy? When we view the handling of Brexit by our elected representatives, we can only hope that another Guy Fawkes would come along because they certainly need something to make them get a move on.
After all that it is still a good picture!
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2419 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2019 2:28PM
Bollocks to Brexit will do nicely for me.

There is no exit deal that would give us better terms than we enjoy at present - the golfer who throws a tantrum and resigns from his club isn't going to get improved access to the greens and a discount at the club shop.

'No deal' wipes out the bulk of the international arrangements on which day to day life depends, from tariff-free trade to reciprocal health care, from international recognition of banks and financial institutions to our ex-pat pensioners getting their pensions without the 25% 'third country' tax deduction, from air space access to the Europol database, from our scientific research funding to the European veterinary expertise that 90% of our abattoirs depend on. Oh and our police presence at Calais...

On the basis of past experience you can reckon on seven to ten years to negotiate suitable deals and as been amply demonstrated we lack trained negotiators. We haven't needed them, we have been part of a community of half a billion doing it for us. CETA, the Canadian deal with the EU, took one year of discussions, seven years of negotiations and two years on it hasn't been fully ratified yet. It is far from comprehensive, and covers much less ground then Britain would need.

Madeleine Albright's excellent recent book on the rise of Fascism does not mention Brexit but a number of her key points regarding Mussolini's defining and refining of the movement ring ominously familiar - particularly the notion that when 'the people' have spoken, anyone who disagrees is 'an enemy of the people'. No, just over a quarter of the total population are not entitled to destroy the future of our young people. That is demagoguery not democracy, and a large number of people have forgotten the difference.

You mention Churchill, who founded the European Integration Movement and campaigned for Britain to be a founding member. This is a period that interests me, because it achieved so much against the odds. A few quotes:

‘Hard as it is to say now.. I look forward to a United States of Europe, in which the barriers between the nations will be greatly minimised and unrestricted travel will be possible.’ (October 1942)

'Britain will have to play her full part as a member of the European family.
We cannot aim at anything less than the Union of Europe as a whole, and we look forward with confidence to the day when that Union will be achieved.’
(May 1948)

And from the Commons debate following the draft Schumann Declaration, which gave the blueprint for political integration via economic integration - when asked if he would accept compromises on British sovereignty in the interests of European integration, he stated his willingness
' to accept the abrogation of national sovereignty… national sovereignty is not inviolable, and it may be resolutely diminished for the sake of all men in all the lands finding their way home together.’(June 1950)

Churchill was a patriot and also an internationalist and a statesman. What we have at the present don't qualify as any of those.

bliba Plus
15 2 Austria
17 Jan 2019 2:51PM
You are a good storyteller
saltireblue Plus
11 11.9k 75 Norway
17 Jan 2019 3:51PM
Had Mrs. May been the captain of the Titanic, she would have held her course unerringly straight for the icebergs, in the dogged belief that her ship was unsinkable. That is what she is doing with Brexit.

As for the image, I am surprised that there haven't been many more posted here on ePz from the demonstrations outside the Palace of Westminster.

17 Jan 2019 4:01PM
And as for David Cameron, he'll go down in history as the man who ran away.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1858 England
17 Jan 2019 4:21PM
I suspect that DC will go down in history as one of the worst prime ministers we've had. He held a referendum that he didn't really want, without considering the possible consequences.

What we really need now is Harold Wilson - who would fudge a good-enough deal for most people to be moderately unhappy.

Or Ted Heath, who'd never have held the referendum in the first place.

TM is honourable, but I don't htink she is clever enough and flexible enough to sort anything out.
Maiwand 14 3 73 England
17 Jan 2019 4:40PM
Very erudite narrative. Some nice arguements presented.
Excellent image.
GeorgeP 14 62 26 United States
17 Jan 2019 4:50PM
Sadly, it seems that politicians on both side of that argument - and generally on both sides of the Atlantic - "couldn't organize a pi$$-up in a brewery". I despair.

Still, this reminds me of that wonderful verse in the mid-60s song by Buffalo Springfield.:
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side.

dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 775 England
17 Jan 2019 6:44PM
Good capture John.
It's created some interesting reading.
Where's Lord Such when you need some (relative) sense Wink
saltireblue Plus
11 11.9k 75 Norway
17 Jan 2019 6:52PM

Quote:TM is honourable, but I don't think she is clever enough and flexible enough to sort anything out.

The more I see of her, the more I am convinced that she is extremely inflexible. But there again, JC has been complaining that TM has steered her own course without consulting others, then when given the chance yesterday, refused to take part unless on his own terms.
I give up with all of them, they deserve each other.
capto Plus
9 6.7k 25 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2019 10:19PM
A great shows that no amount of talking will change a single mind.Sad
Excellent image.

My Husband and I are so fed up we have stopped watching the news to be honest, it emphasises the fact that when MPs go Westminster they go native.

GeorgeP 14 62 26 United States
18 Jan 2019 1:20AM

Where's Lord Such when you need some (relative) sense Wink

Is he still screaming ???
18 Jan 2019 6:11AM
He'll be screaming in his grave, bless him.Smile
19 Jan 2019 9:22AM

Quote:And as for David Cameron, he'll go down in history as the man who ran away.

He was honouring an earlier election pledge from the Conservative manifesto. At least that's his excuse. I still think that having a referendum on such an issue is an abdication of responsibilty on the part of Government. For crying out loud, to make these complex decisions for us is why we elect governments in the first place!!! That is 'democracy in action,' not throwing it to the Greatbritishpublic, who mostly have little real understanding of what they're voting about. And it's worth remembering that almost half of those who voted did so to remain. Leavers gaining 51.8% of the vote doesn't seem to me a very clear mandate. What would have happened if it had turned out to be 50/50? ...It wasn't far off!!

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