It had all the hallmarks of an exquisitely well-prepared question at Prime Minister’s Questions this week. Who better to ask a question about the flag of the patron saint of England than the Honourable Member for Stratford-upon-Avon, home of our Will, who was born and died on St George’s Day? These whips earn their crust don’t they?
From They Work for You:
Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford-on-Avon, Conservative)
The Prime Minister will know that I am a follower of my beloved England football team. I ask him to do a great thing for the people of England: cut through the bureaucracy and nonsense and fly the flag of England over Downing street for the duration of the World cup.
David Cameron (Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
I am pleased to tell my hon. Friend that I have had those conversations. There was some question that this was going to have a cost impact, but I have managed to cut through that and I can say that, at no additional cost to the taxpayer, the flag of St George will fly above Downing street during the World cup. I am sure that the whole House will want to wish Fabio Capello and all our team well-for the purposes of this, I am looking at all the Benches here. I am sure that everyone in the House, no matter what part of the UK they come from, will be cheering, “Come on England.”
I am sorry but this is utter and complete nonsense.
I’ll put aside the flagstaff management precedent issues if, in future, all the nations, or even two, of the UK qualify for the World Cup. I’ll deftly side-step the absence of any representation of Wales in the Union Jack.
David Cameron is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. He is not the Prime Minister of England and the Governor of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Cast your mind back, if you can, to 1978. Imagine Gordon Brown is Prime Minister instead of Sunny Jim Callaghan. England don’t qualify for the World Cup. Scotland do. (Fact) So, prompted by a question from the MP representing the birthplace of William Wallace, Gordon Brown says that he will fly the St Andrew’s Flag above Downing Street for the duration of that year’s World Cup competition.
Any reaction from middle England do you think?