A flag for Thatcher?

IMG_0120CAMDEN Council are still ‘getting back’ on whether it will join a series of other local authorities paying their respects by dipping its flag above the Town Hall at half mast in honour of Margaret Thatcher. A fair few councils, regardless of whether she had any strong connection to their area, thought it was the right thing to do from the moment the news of her death broke. It seemed fair to ask Camden what it would do.

Council leader Sarah Hayward tweeted last night that the council was looking at ‘precedent and protocol’ to see what to do.

Of course, local authorities don’t actually need to worry too much about officialdom’s precedents and protocols if they really, really want to pay a tribute. If you’ve got the will to do something – if anybody felt strongly enough about it at Camden HQ – you can fly whatever flag you want, however you want, whenever you want. That’s why, up on the roof, two years ago the council had no problem flying a red flag for that loudest of local campaigners, Ellen Luby.

Camden police, meanwhile, have their flag at half mast in Kentish Town, but the local force don’t mess around with this kind of thing. In 2006, flags were dipped at Camden’s copshops to mark the death of US president Gerald Ford. 

7 Comments on A flag for Thatcher?

  1. Richard,

    Cheap comments by you. Shame.

  2. Richard Osley // April 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm //

    You’ll have to expand Tim on that for me to understand which bit you are unhappy with…

    But: it’s not cheap to suggest that councils, individually, should make up their own minds about what they do with flags on their buildings at times like this. I’m glad we’re in a borough where the council does seem to decide what it wants to do – as shown by its willingness to raise a red flag. I don’t think central government should order local authorities how to act and that we should not always be tied to precedent and protocols.

  3. Richard: Agree with your sentiment about central government but the tone of the blog seemed to suggest “why bother?” If that wasn’t your intent then apologies!

    • Richard Osley // April 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm //

      I just think that the idea that we have to wait for protocols and precedents is a little hollow. There’s nothing to stop Camden doing it, as other councils have. My suspicion is that there isn’t the will at the Town Hall to do it, but nobody in an authoritative position dare say: ‘We’re not doing it… because we don’t want to’.

  4. Chris Knight // April 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm //

    Quite right Osser you tell them, I am as you know a devout Tory but was there at the tribute to Ellen Luby out of respect to fine a lady who had given in immense amount of herself for others. The raising of the Red Flag personally did not bother me, I also think it would be a nice gesture for my labour colleagues to pay their respects as i did for one of theirs, c’mon cut the protocol and orders poo and fly the flag at half mast.

  5. Das Kapital // April 9, 2013 at 11:38 pm //

    Please don’t even compare Thatcher with somebody like Ellen Luby!

    Today’s Guardian includes a number of articles about Mrs T. An advert appealing for help for homeless families also appears alongside one of the articles, ‘Every fifteen minutes another family finds themselves homeless’!

    I think it sums up Thatcher’s legacy quite nicely!!!!!!!!


  6. Keith Sedgwick // April 10, 2013 at 12:00 am //

    I am not really surprised by Sarah’s mealy-mouthed response. It speaks volumes about the tensions at the heart of the Camden Labour group rather than any ambivalence she might have, about honouring a politician, out of whose hand-book has been taken the Community Investment programme and estate regeneration. Come out of the closet Sarah; you and your Public-School-Boy, puppet-master! We know you’re Thatcherites at heart!

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