Thursday, 1 January 2015

I DON'T WANT A UNION FLAG ON MY DRIVING LICENCE

I have noticed is that the English Transport Minister has decided to alter the design of the driving licence by adding a depiction of the Union flag. 

My first thought was that there is bound to be some cost involved in this. If you change the design of something, there is work, which costs money; if you then ask the printers to print new cards, there is more work, which costs more money; and there is surely bound to be a cupboard full of cards which are of the old design which will have to be thrown out... a waste of money. 

This is a waste of money, and given the state of the UK's finances,  and that we can't afford our pensioners, our sick, our health services or our unemployed, isn't this rather an unnecessary use of our money?

So why are they doing it? 

Well, they say that it will gives us subjects a sense of identity. I don't know about you, but I never look at my driving licence. It's in a drawer somewhere and hasn't been out of that drawer in 10 years and more. So if they wanted a British sense of identity to be inculcated in their people, I think that there are probably better avenues for doing this than our European driving licences. 

Of course what they are doing is pandering to the Ukippers, who just loathe anything to do with the EU (except the generous salaries and expenses, of course).

But this is the most telling part. They are only doing it on the mainland of Great Britain. Northern Ireland won't have to suffer any change. Maybe the English Transport Minister, in her infinite wisdom, feels that the Irish are clever enough not to need to be reminded of their national identity.

Or maybe it's because at least half the population would refuse point blank to accept their flag and it would inflame the republican anger. 

I don't, as a rule, get hugely bent out of shape at flags,  and if they had decided to do it for the whole of the UK, I'd probably not have paid it much regard, except to think that it was a waste of money.

But this smacks of triumphalism on the part of the UK government. They won the referendum by hook and by crook and now they will rub our faces in it... but not the faces of the Irish republicans because presumably they are afraid of them. 

We have our own transport minister in Scotland. Surely it should be he (Derek Mackay) who makes these decisions.

There's a petition here to stop Scottish driving licences being emblazoned with the apron.
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58 comments:

  1. This may well just be one of those posturing bits of crap like the recent membership fee bill. I looked at images of most of the members of the EU licences, and they all conform to a common standard. The EU is not likely to have permitted individual national flags on them, or some countries would have done just that. Only places not in the EU ( Ukraine ) seem to put their own flags on, but their licence conforms to the EU standard otherwise.

    From the EU Directive I see

    " The emblem on page 1 of the Community model driving licences shall contain the distinguishing sign of the Member State issuing the licence. "

    They all do, and its not the flag of the nation state, but rather the EU with UK or D or B or whatever in the middle.

    I expect this not to happen.

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    1. Ah, Anon... the story will be that they wanted to put our proud flag on it, but the nasty interfering EU wouldn't let them?

      Delete
  2. Still have my original paper one in plastic wallet valid till I'm 75 if ever.

    Your country needs you in May.

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    1. Some countries are in a mess, he says. Whereas, of course, the UK is doing fine. Prince William has a new helicopter, the Lords are to keep their champagne of a greater vintage than the Commons; there are a whole pile more dames and lords and what have you; MPs are going to get an 11% rise; Westminster will get its multi-billion pound make over.

      What more could we want, I ask you...

      What...? A living wage? A living pension? people not being taken off benefits to die in squalor? Fewer food banks?

      Are you barking mad?

      He thinks becasue we didn't go to Eton and Oxford he can patronise us with his botoxed face and his £2000 suit.

      Sod off Cameron.

      Delete
  3. http://www.welshnotbritish.com/2015/01/a-union-rag-on-your-driving-licence.html

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    1. Excellent, RT

      I wish the department of transport would concentrate all their effort on trying to make sure that the trains run, and that they are not the slowest, dirtiest and most expensive in Europe.

      Maybe that could be a wee project for them in the new year.

      Delete
  4. Don't want the union flag on your driving license? Should have got a majority to leave when you had the chance.

    Or move to New Zealand where the government is giving us a vote on a new flag ;-)

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    1. If only, QM. It's Ok though. I'll get French driving licence if it comes to it rather than carry that warmongering rag around with me.

      But it appears from what Anon in the first comment says that it will only happen when E ngland leaves the EU, which is probably when we will leave England.

      That the silly old trout of a minister is havering through a hole in her backside.

      As i said, maybe getting the trains running and getting rid of the potholed roads would be a more worthy object of her attention... but then that's harder than putting a flag on a piece of plastic, and morons don't do hard.

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    2. BTW... good luck in New Zealand QM.

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  5. Meant to ask why do people still use that BBC defending undemocratic website for their petitions when there are other unbiased sites available.

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    1. Dunno...

      I've never done a petition.

      Which is the best site?

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    2. Dunno..... myself but 38 degs have shown by their past actions to have a personal agenda which they don't disclose.

      list of petition websites via google.

      If you remember I criticised a certain website in the distant past wrongly as it was 38 degs that I meant to target who are trading under false pretences as being open which they certainly are not.

      I better shut up before they get their lawyers out.

      Delete
    3. Thanks.

      Maybe we should start a petition for something... :)

      Well as Mrs Lipton would say... 'Least said soonest mended!'

      But we shall look more into this!

      Delete
  6. I've still got my old paper one, it's still legal to use them, and as I'm not moving any time soon; I'll have it for a few years yet.
    There is no way I'm having that, butchers apron, on anything belonging to me.

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    1. I just can;t understand why the thicko could see that it would cause problems in Ireland but didn't think that around 1.6 million plus of us would have an issue with it in Scotland.

      She's not overly bright, is she?

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  7. Of course it is a stupid idea, but if the worst happens some bright entrepreneur will no doubt be able to supply a stick-on saltire stamp to cover the offending article.
    My existing licence expires at the end of 2016--might be dead by then!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I imagine that there's already someone with a sticky patch already in planning.

      Try not to be dead by the end of 2016, Anon. Munguin can't afford to lose readers!!!!

      Delete
    2. Doing my best Tris, but I keep getting older, dammit!

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    3. LOL... well, it's simple then.... Stop getting older!!!!! Munguin says!

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  8. tris

    I still have my original green paper license and unless
    i have to alter the document that is how it will remain.
    perhaps the answer is to have no flag at all.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Wow... Niko. Are they legal? Will you be OK to drive in Cyprus with that?

      Anyway, yes, your suggestion is sensible.

      We most of us, know our identity, and have no need to be reminded of it on our driving licence. Unlike poor Claire who obviously needs to get her licence out of her handbag to remind herself that she isn't Laotian.

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  9. Check small print on your licence. Requires renewal and I think photo update every 10 years even if you do not change address. Fines for not doing it.

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    1. Oh dear. I've never done that, Dek.

      I'll check it out.

      Is it free?

      Delete
    2. Just a thought... but it might be an idea to check up now, just to be safe, and if necessary get the new one, just in case they manage someone to get a concession from Brussels to put their flag on it.

      Delete
    3. Tris it is not free, Hubby cannot remember what it cost him you would need to google it. Also you need to send a new photo.

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    4. You might know the grippy b*****ds would want to make money out of it.

      Delete
  10. I used to think well of 38 degrees but around the time of the gagging bill the people involved changed and as far as I see it has been downhill from there. I'd like to know where the old 38 degrees team went.

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    1. Got to say I know nothing about them BJS, Was it a take over?

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  11. Tris / Paul

    Going to reply to both blogs in one go, I hope you both don't mind. My feelings on the Union Flag are no secret as usual. I find it to be a disgusting symbol of everything that is awful in this country. Having been to places like Ghana, people in other parts of the world see this awful flag very differently. It is a flag of oppression for many of them, it is also a flag of oppression for us also.

    I know people will see that comment as extreme and ridiculous but it is how I feel about the butchers apron. Now like you Tris, I tend to not really give a crap about flags, Americans saluting theirs etc. I find all a bit boring to be honest but ours is by far the worst. The Union Flag I believe is rolled out to keep people in their place, the Queen, Wars, Royal Weddings, Olympics and the list goes on. All to promote either what this country is not and has never been and to remind the lower orders of their place, in the case of the driving licence, which won't happen anyway, it is about reminding Europe about England not the UK and how it feels.

    I can't stand looking at it, not that the St. Andrews Cross makes me feel any more Scottish, the Union flag does embarrass me. But then when abroad if asked I distance myself as much as possible from the UK and always say I'm Scottish and that is it. I am not British and never will be no matter how desperate Westminster is for us all to be English or to at least go away and enjoy our lower life expectancy and poverty.

    Nope, they are rolling this out to send a wee silly message, they really are that stupid.

    Bruce

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    1. I agree.

      Amongst many people the union flag is a flag of oppression. After all it's not that their interference in other people's business was started by Tony Blair with his decade of war.

      I too maintain that my Nationality is Scottish.

      I don't argue that I am British because Scotland is, whether I like it or not, part of Britain... and that likewise I am European, because Britain is part of the EU. But my nationality... ie the nation from which I come is Scotland.

      The union flag seems to me to stand for everything that I don't like. Royalty, privilege, aristocracy, class, position, place, empire... and what goes with it for the rest of us.

      What particularly annoys me about this is the fact that they were bright enough, ore sensitive enough in London to see that forcing their flag on the people of NI would be a mistake. Why do they treat us with such disdain. Triumphalism?



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  12. Morning Tris, Husband has signed the petition and when I heard of this I thought time for us to have a wee rebellion of our own, I did suggest a stick on Saltire but someone on Wings said it was against the Law. Of course it is, that is why it would be an item of rebellion. We really are too law abiding aren't we. I have to agree with every word Bruce says. I feel exactly the same, I am Scots or Scottish never British and have been so since my misspent youth. In fact Hubby and I remember being one a ship in the Adriatic going from the then Yugoslavia to Venice, and hearing a bunch of youngsters in conversation with a bunch of youngsters from Austria, when they said they were Scottish not British the Austrians had said that wasn't right, the Scots Kids said so you are Germans then, Catholic Germans, well that did not go down well, but the Kids were right, once upon a time it was, before they got their independence.

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    1. Good point, Helena.

      I don;t care about legality for stupid things like that. I mean I'm pretty ;law abiding when it comers to things that matter. I don;t steal or kill or hurt anyone; I try to park legally and I don't speed, because I can see reasons for this.

      But I'm perfectly happy to break the law by covering their flag.

      Actually, when I bought my car, it had on the numberplate a UK flag symbol and an EU one. Fortunately, a friend of mine had some stickers of the French flag, just the same size as the UK one. So I covered the UK flags with a French flag.

      Just as I have a cover for my passport.

      Sometimes, abroad, I have found it to my advantage to maintain that I am not British. Brits can be very unpopular.

      Delete
  13. I haven't ridden a bike for years...well legally ridden a bike for years, so I too only have my old green paper paper one. Must read the small print...

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    1. I doubt it's illegal for it to be out of date if you don't use it Conan.

      But you'd think that it would be them who should write and tell you that you have to update. They do for everything else.

      I've just had a letter from the tv people (can;t remember which one of the big four that owns the UK, they are, but I think it's Crapita) telling me that my licence runs out on the 31st December.

      But I cancelled my tv licence during the year and dismantled my aerial connection. They even sent me a rebate on the money which had just been taken off in a direct debit. How bloody thick is that?

      Morons.

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    2. The old green paper licence doesn't go out of date until old age catches up, the plastic one does.

      Derek

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    3. Thanks Derek. I've not got a green one; it's pink, but mine is old enough not to have a pic on it.

      Delete
  14. I wouldn't worry too much. I believe this is just posturing and pandering at best. The transport minister may not be the transport minister after May so she can promise all she likes.

    All of us can continue to sign whatever petitions available. However if this plan materialises after the GE, I suggest we waste not our effort and mount a legal challenge straight away under equality laws.

    I can foresee three legal scenario:

    a) The NI scenario: Get somebody from NI to file a suit claiming is discriminatory to omit the UJ from NI licences

    b) The Scottish scenario: Get somebody to file a suit claiming is discriminatory to put the UJ on the licences as it unfairly identifies a UK citizen when in other EU jurisdiction

    c) The EU scenario: Get somebody from another EU member state to file a suit claiming is discriminatory to pu the UJ on the licences as it unfairly identifies an EU citizen when in UK jurisdiction

    The NI scenario is the strongest in my opinion. The legal outcome possibilities are numerous and the legal fees is enough to make any right thinking lawyer salivate. Any decision delivered will be advantageous to us no matter what.

    Now we must play the game by the book. Hit them back with their own rules.

    I stand with my first para...the transport minister can promise whatever she likes because she knows she wont be held into account.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I think the fees can be crowdsourced (if WoS will lend a helping hand) but at this juncture the courts will dismiss the suit on the ground it being prematurely brought to the courts.

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    2. Thanks for your research Anon... I like these ideas.

      But I agree. If it were possible to do this legally within the EU, then they would have done it. If the EU gives way as part of its concessions to Cameron, then surely it would demand that ALL parts of the UK have the same style licence (and I think that would have to include Gibraltar).

      Silly woman should definitely spend more of her time worry about pot holes... or trains that don't run at peak holiday times.

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    3. AH... sorry. The names weren't showing on the blog so I didn't realise that it was you posting.

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  15. Umm its just an example of the coercive power of the state any state to
    attempt badly peoples notions of identity............sort of thing which in
    Northern Ireland led to people being killed.

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    1. That's my point, Niko.

      They seem to have been bright enough to see that pushing the union flag down people#s throats in NI would be a bad thing... and yes, that it could lead to deaths.

      OK, it's not ever led to death in Scotland, but why cause discontent when none needs to be caused... I't not like they haven't other pressing matters to attend to, is it?

      Delete
    2. I hear that the red and blue Tories are talking about a national government after the May wipe out of unionists to protect their status. Brings into perspective those 600 armoured vehicles they have ordered for homeland security.

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    3. Well, I'd be surprised, given the predictions, that they wouldn't be taking some steps to prepare for what might be.

      Les Cunningham has done a piece on predicting seats and it would be amazing if the political parties aren't making plans based on the kind of figures he is showing (Blog in sidebar). Very interesting.

      They could try calling on the old Queen again, but I'm not so sure it would work. They might even get Gordon to come and talk to us about how we've fought thousands of wars together against virtually every country on earth, or they could get daft wee Claire to print her union jack all over her silly backside...

      But they have to be prepared for the fact that they may both be minority parties in May next year. They can make secret plans as privy counsellors, no one need know, but of course, this is 2015. It will leak..

      Just like all the other things they want to keep quiet... Not least Air Miles...

      Nothing is secret any longer.

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    4. I suppose most of that was pretty predictable.

      I get the impression we are a complete burden to the English; a bunch of whining moaning ninnies who don;t seem to realise how well off we are living under the English Tories.

      Ho hum.

      Unless they try to understand us, the union will be lost.

      Well, no Salisbury is right. It's already lost.

      His plan sounds alright to me as an intermediate plan.

      Abolish the Lords, let say 100 MPs sit there and deal with defence and warmongering.

      Turn the Commons into an English parliament and let them organise themselves.

      Given it and Edinburgh full powers over everything else.

      Have a multi-option referendum in Wales and NI.

      Get rid of the royals.

      In a few years time we'll be sick of subsidising England's warmongering and its "whatever Washington says" attitude to foreign affairs, and we can get rid of the whole bloody lot. Forever.

      Done ...dusted.... NEXT


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    5. I am with you though I have never understood why anyone wants to give warmongers power over "Defence".
      I wonder if Andrew will bring down the edifice?

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    6. Boy that was some article CH, but I found the comments section much more enlightening than the article. As ever those lovely people of Metropolitan London at their most ignorant and with the likes of Charles Moore unlikely to get educated any time soon.

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    7. LOL Andy Air Miles will be cleared of everything. Buck House has already said it is unbelievable. Mind, I thought that Lizzy purring was unbelievable.

      In fairness to Andy, I guess this is not a case of under-age as in a child. It's under-age in that she was 17 and in the USA the age of consent is 18. Of course the law of the US is the law of the US and even great princes of the most noble of bloods as blue as blue can be, should respect it when they are there... but it isn't a Savile type of offence. Had he done it here it would have been quite legal.

      Delete
  16. Tris, I was amazed to read: "Well, they say that it will gives us subjects a sense of identity. I don't know about you, but I never look at my driving license. It's in a drawer somewhere and hasn't been out of that drawer in 10 years and more."

    Here in the states, the one indispensable thing you must always have with you is your state drivers license. (Issued in your state of residence and honored by the other states when driving through them.) Driving a motor vehicle without your drivers license is illegal, and it's the very first thing the cops demand to see if they stop you for an infraction. It's also an absolutely essential form of personal identification, for everything from cashing a check to voting (in most states).

    So you can operate a car in the UK without having your drivers license on you?

    Some people do get all worked up and misty eyed over flags. I would imagine that the Ukippers would, as you said. And maybe the Irish republicans. Here in the states it's sometimes an issue when right wing Republicans try to pass laws against public burning of the US flag as a form of protest. (But such laws have always been ruled unconstitutional on First Amendment free speech grounds.) There is always controversy in the South about the "Confederate States of America" battle flag. It's a part of the Mississippi State Flag, and was a part of the Georgia State Flag for about 50 years. And the flying of the Confederate flag on some of the Southern State Capitols, and in other public venues, is a constant source of controversy in the South.



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    1. Danny we are a most law abiding country but if you are stopped by the police they will ask to see your licence but will await you bringing it to the police station the next day. Any way everything is on computer here, no tax disc as of last October and they can tell if you have purchased it and your insurance by looking up you number plate.

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    2. What a very sensible idea! You can bring it to the station the next day. Here, operating a car without your drivers license in your possession is a pretty serious infraction.

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    3. Yes I know, I have a friend in Pennsylvania who has told me, she has to remember to have it with her.

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    4. Yes, as Helena says, you need not carry any documentation with you when you are out and about. If you did, I'd probably be in prison by now for infractions. Remembering keys, phone and wallet stretches me.

      I think one of the (historic) reasons that you don't have to carry your documents was that, if the car were stolen, the thief would also have access to these documents.

      What ever you need to prove can be shown within (I think) three days at a police station of your choice anywhere in Scotland.

      Now, as Helena says, you probably don't even need to do that as police can access your records of road tax, insurance, and driving licence anywhere in the UK, immediately.

      As for flags... some rabid nationalists get bent out of shape about them, I guess in any country, including Scotland.

      I like our flag well enough. I'm not over keen on the union flag from the aesthetic point of view... It's a bit overpowering. From the point of view of what it represents, I loath it, of course.

      But, I see no reason why people can't burn flags if they want to. It's a piece of material in the end. It's a lot better than burning people or buildings.

      :)

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  17. I am usually against pointless changes, and unnecessary political arguments This one is a stoater.

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    1. Stoater... Good word Dean!

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  18. an absolute joke...Im scottish first and foremost and the UK means nothing to me ...with the likes of Cameron and the posh boys from Eton etc running the country I have even less in common with the Union..

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    1. I feel an antipathy which grown the more I hear about the backroom activities of the UK leaders.

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