I have to admit that when I first saw this story I thought homophobia was the motivating factor here. I sort of assumed that this guy didn't like the idea of the rainbow flag flying above a council building reminding people that compulsory heterosexuality is complete bullshit and damages people in the LGBT community. But after looking into the work Stephen Gash has done with the British Democrats (a charming party who think immigration and "political correctness" pose a threat to English values, whatever the fuck that emans to a former colonial power, but hey) and the Stop the Islamification of Europe group (which speaks for itself) I realised this had less to do with the gehys and more to do with... pretty much everything else that threatens white heterosexual men (poor guys, my heart bleeds).
A quote from the Freedom of Information request this guy submitted to find out whether the flag was raised illegally (I got the following quote from this article, I don't have access to the original request):
"I wish it to be known that I have no problem with flags being flown from public buildings provided the required planning permission has previously been granted and paid for.
"What I do object to is people being harassed for flying national flags perfectly legally from their dwellings or places of work, for which planning permission is not required, and being ordered to take them down."
If you think you can flay your rainbow flag when I can't fly my national flag to signify my English Values (tm) in my country you should think again, because I might just sue you if I can find a technicality to do it on!Fucking disgusting. I need to take a shower after reading the websites for those two organisations. I heard someone sprouting this crap when I was coming home on the bus one night. Some English guy in his 20s was talking to a group of younger kids from around my area. I missed most of the conversation but caught him concluding that the politicians who allowed immigrants to enter the UK on humanitarian grounds had obviously forgotten "our working class and our employment opportunities". Between that kid's embellished, twisted recounting of history, the newspeak on the websites I deliberately didn't link to and Gash's bizarrely built argument it's obvious that the hatred and racism of fringe groups is preached disguised as reasonable concerns in order to get otherwise indifferent people on board.
And i have no fucking idea how to react to that. Part of me (a rather small part, the philosophy student) wants to attack these arguments premise by premise, exposing how fallacious they are, and how damaging their view of the wold is becasue it normalises and privileges their experience at the expense of other people's. What's your initial reaction to this shit when you're unfortunate enough to happen across it? Do you also get into that mode that automatically analyses the validity and soundness of an argument and then just itches to write an counter-argument and if so do you think it's wasted on these arseholes?
Who knew I was so attached to reason, I always thought the enlightenment was a wild, privileged goose-chase, but that's another post, I still need that shower.