The Bickerstaffe Record

The world beyond West Lancashire

Dale fail

05.30.09 | 1 Comment

I’m not going to make a habit of analysing Iain Dale posts, I promise, but I can’t resist commenting on this one about Labour’s use of a Union Jack on its election leaflets, because if his view is in any way a reflection of what Conservatives think in general on this matter, then we’re in trouble.

Basically, Dale suggests that Labour has been panicked by the BNP into using the Union Jack, and is in some way trying to outBNP the BNP by its use.

Now, I’m no great lover of nationalist symbols, by whomever they are used.  Essentially, calls for nationalist unity get in the way of more important calls for worker unity against capitalism, and that unity is best when it’s internationalised.

Even so, I can’t see a big problem with Labour seeking to re-appropriate the flag as a general symbol of unity, especially when over the top is printed a pretty obvious anti-BNP message ‘Fair rules, fair chances and a fair say for everyone’ – something that is demonstrably NOT BNP policy.

Dale, on the other hand, seems to accept that the BNP have now fully appropriated the Union Jack as its own symbol, and that there’s nothing that can or should be done about this.

I actually thought he was more sensible than that, but on this one even some of his commenters show more sense than him, and take him to task.

I’m not suggesting Iain Dale is a BNP sympathiser in any way, but attacking Labour in this way for a valid enough attempt to reclaim a  symbol of national unity from racist thugs does his reputation no good at all.

I hope he thinks this one through, and as he has been hones enough to do in the past, accept he’s made a mistake and say so.   He is after all, a leading voice in the Conservative party, and his opinions on many things get picked up by the mainstream one way or another. 

If he said he’d got this wrong and battered the post out just a little bit too quickly without proper aforethought, I’d think better of him again – mistakes do happen in the heat of the blog.  Not, I suspect, that he’s that fussed what I think of him, or even aware that I’m writing this.


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