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Author Topic: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?  (Read 2250 times)

DickyD

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Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« on: February 06, 2009, 09:45:40 PM »

From todays Daily Mail.   

Town hall threatens father with 2,500 fine for flying flag to welcome soldier sons home

By Daily Mail Reporter


A proud father was threatened with a 2,500 fine when he flew the England flag to welcome his sons home from guarding the Queen.

Robert Smithson put up the flag in the front garden of his cottage when twin sons Richard and Robert came home on leave from Buckingham Palace for the first time.

A pernickety council official warned he faced a huge fine - because the flag pole was at the wrong angle.
Robert Smithson with the flag he put up for his sons' homecoming

Patriotic: Robert Smithson with the flag he put up for his sons' homecoming

But now the council has been forced to admit it does not know its own planning regulations and the official was at fault.

The 40-year-old gas engineer of Millfield, Sunderland, said he received a letter from Sunderland City Council following a complaint by a member of the public.

He said: 'It said that I'm allowed to fly the flag vertically, but not horizontally.

'They said the way I have it now means it is classed as advertising, so I need to have a licence. And if I didn't obtain one, it meant I could be paying a maximum 2,500 fine.

'I would have laughed, had the whole thing not been so serious.'

Mr Smithson said the only way to make the flagpole vertical would have been to wedge it insecurely in the drainpipe.

He has previously decorated his house with the cross of St George when England have reached the final stages of international football tournaments

But this time he put the flag up to honour his 18-year-old sons, who belong to the Coldstream Guards.

I'm very proud,' he said. 'They've been serving their country and standing outside Buckingham Palace guarding the Queen.'

Mr Smithson was especially riled by the council's high-handed approach.

'For somebody to put a complaint in about the national flag is bad enough, but the way the council has handled it is appalling.

'Why did they send a threatening letter out first, when they could've just knocked on the door and had a quiet word when they came out to look at the flag?

'If I had been a pensioner I would have had a heart attack reading a threatening letter like that saying I could owe 2,500.'

Sunderland City Council have now admitted they were in the wrong because the latest regulations exclude national flags.

'At first we thought it needed consent,' said planning chief Phil Barrett. 'We have now decided the flag can stay.

'We will be writing to Mr Smithson and apologising for any upset the letter has caused.

Dont it make you proud ?
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DickyD

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2009, 10:08:40 PM »

And another one.

Driving the wrong way up a one-way street? Don't worry, the police can't report you any more

By Daily Mail Reporter

Officers in Britain's biggest police force have been stripped of their powers to enforce key rules of the road, with other forces likely to follow suit.

Drivers caught driving in the wrong direction up one-way streets, ignoring no-entry signs and flouting turning restrictions should simply be offered a few words of advice, according to new Metropolitan Police guidelines.

The infractions, downgraded to 'minor errors of judgment', will now be dealt with by local authorities, if at all.

One campaigner said it means police 'are being told not to police' and warned that other cities are likely to follow London's lead.

A memo circulated to officers this week outlines how a review of new laws has transferred responsibility for enforcing minor road offences from the police.

It read: 'Where officers witness offences in circumstances that amount to minor errors of judgment, drivers may continue to be stopped and words of advice given, however, no formal warning may be given or reporting action taken.'

Motorists defying traffic signs could face prosecution if caught on street cameras operated by local authorities in the capital.

Signs included in the guidelines include those specifying direction of traffic flow, turning restrictions, no entry, flow priority, no u-turns and vehicle restrictions.

The Met Police memo adds: 'Officers must not tell drivers that no proceedings will be brought as a local authority civil enforcement notice could still be issued, for example where the authority has captured the offence on camera.'

Anti-camera group Motorists Against Detection described the move to shift police powers to local councils as 'outrageous'.

A campaigner who calls himself Captain Gatso said: 'This is purely about getting the cash in to the council's coffers.'

Police can still take action against a motorist if the standard of driving is so dangerous or careless that other roads users are put in danger.

A Met Police spokesman said: 'Following a review of police powers after the introduction of the Traffic Management Act 2004 and the Transport for London Act 2003, police no longer have legal power to enforce certain moving traffic offences involving non-compliance with signs.

'The power for enforcement now lies with Transport for London and local councils.

'Where officers see driving that is blatantly of a poor standard or that endangers other road users police will still intervene and take action under their general powers to tackle dangerous or careless driving.'
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Ghost in the shell

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 10:14:07 PM »

on the subject of waving the flag, is this another attempt at PC? we should take a leaf from the USA, and fly the biggest national flag we can lay our hands on!

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nhp651

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2009, 10:20:33 PM »

NAME AND SHAME THE COUNCIL AND COUNCILLORS.......the best way to stop these idiot beurocrats!!! >>:-( >>:-(
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OMK

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2009, 10:34:12 PM »

I used to have a Union Jack flying from the top of 30' aluminium mast at my old house. The reason being that the mast itself disguised a stealth antenna used for working the amateur Ham bands. The sloping 'V' guys were actually part of the antenna system, which was my attempt at getting around the need for planning permission to erect such a mast. Then a letter from the Council threating me with court action if I didn't remove the mast pronto. Their excuse being that the Union Jack was offensive to our multi-culture neighbours. I got around it by simply removing the flag and used the excuse that the mast was there for holding up a washing line.
So much for patriotism.
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meechingman

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2009, 11:08:37 PM »

For god's sake (can I say that?) someone pass a bill saying that it's legal to fly the Union Flag on your own flagpole, anywhere, at any ruddy angle, day or night, rain or shine. Let's have a bit of real pride in this country again.

As for the planning police, I once got permission (grudgingly) for a 'miniature' HF beam Ham antenna. Put it up, it was crap, so I put up a full size TH33 instead. One neighbour said "You got permission mate?" and  I simply said yes. The council 'inspector' obviously didn't know an HF antenna from a banana when he looked at it, so the council never found out. I added more antennas over the years and no-one even asked about them. The 30 foot high 'washing line support' (same explanation) held the end of a G5RV HF antenna very nicely.

I even became an official 'communications post' as part of the town council's Emergency Plan, on HF, 10m FM, 2 metres and even CB, and they still never twigged what I had up on the roof and in the garden!

But if I'd put a flag on it, I'd never have heard the last of it, obviously.  <*<
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tobyker

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2009, 01:01:55 AM »

No, not day or night. Flags should be taken down at Sunset, possibly to the strains of the last post at 60,000 watts.
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bigfella

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2009, 01:54:05 AM »

The US have it right about their flag it is the symbol of their country and as such, I am led to believe,  it has laws to protect it. The more the flag is displayed the better I say. It shows that you have pride in your country. Australians are proud of their flag but unfortunately it is not a crime to desecrate it. There should be tuff laws on those who disrespect the flag of anyones nation. The flying of the flag should be incouraged and not discouraged.

Regards David.
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toesupwa

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2009, 02:13:54 AM »

The US have it right about their flag it is the symbol of their country and as such, I am led to believe,  it has laws to protect it.

Something that did surprise me when i came over to the USA was the large number of Stars and Stripes flags that are hanging on peoples property. Coming from GB, I had never seen so much patriotism shown through the flying of the country's flag.
Not only are the Stars and Stripes flown throughout the country... but you can buy them in almost any store.. Supermarket, DIY store, Bookshops, etc etc...

When was the last time you saw a Union Jack for sale at Tesco's?.
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Captain Jack

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2009, 07:58:56 AM »

Here in the States it is legal (proper flag etiquette), to fly the Stars and Bars after sunset, so long as it is suitably lit. There are no laws that specifically say you can't desecrate "Old Glory", but if you do, you are likely to get your """ars*""", as you Brits say, kicked by some crusty old veteran such as myself!  <*<  By the way, thanks for being the ONLY country that has faithfully stood by us as an ally, through thick and thin.
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meechingman

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2009, 07:57:36 PM »

No, not day or night. Flags should be taken down at Sunset, possibly to the strains of the last post at 60,000 watts.

 :embarrassed: You're absolutely right, I'll keelhaul myself a couple of times as a penance..... :}

Mind you, it's not The Last Post you want, but the band of the Royal Marines playing Sunset.

Most amplification I ever had the er, pleasure, of using was (just) 8,000 watts around 30 years ago in the Kawai organ factory canteen (really) in Japan,  but it was nice and loud. my ears are still ringing, I think.  :-))

Andy
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meechingman

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2009, 07:59:55 PM »

dupe
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andygh

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2009, 08:28:48 PM »

Daily mirror?  <*< ;D
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DickyD

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2009, 08:36:27 PM »

No thankyou, dont read comics. ok2
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andygh

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2009, 08:41:46 PM »

Agreed, a truly terrible newspaper................................................................................ as are the rest of them  :-))
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garston1

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Re: Doesn't it make you proud to be British ?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2009, 02:48:52 AM »

Here's a good'en. Wirral Borough Council lost  7.5m of pension fund money in the Icelandic Bank fiasco, (which by the way they never told Wirral rate payers they were investing). So what are they doing now? Yep, closing Libraries and leisure centres throughout the Peninsular because they can no longer afford them! What would have happened if they actually made money via interest in the Iceland Bank? Would they be repairing run down buildings? I doubt it. They'd probably be sunning their fat lazy bottoms on some beach in the South of France!                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Angry from Surbiton.(Wirral)
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