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Man threatens legal action over Liverpool flying Pride flag

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  1. Complain now 15 Jul 2009, 3:34pm

    Get a life?!

  2. Gash – how appropriate!

  3. well spotted… err… Fanny…

  4. Sounds like he’s just a racist trying to stir up trouble for self-publicity.

  5. Pinkwinkle 15 Jul 2009, 3:46pm

    I wonder if he gets the irony of protesting against a flag being flown against homophobia and transphobia!!!

  6. Liz Church 15 Jul 2009, 3:57pm

    Section 14(1) of the Freedom of Information Act:

    “Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the request is vexatious.”

    I’d say it’s a vexatious request.

  7. So does a council have to apply to itself for permission to fly a flag ?

  8. ‘representing the English Democrats’ which explains a lot really.
    I thought that planning permission was for the flag pole/staff not the actual flag so if the council and police have planning permission for that there would be no need for extra permission for the flag.

  9. Unbelievably petty and small minded

  10. Sounds like sour grapes to me… “the council objected to my ‘Eng-er-land’ flag, so I’m going to piss on their bonfire too”.
    What’s the betting he reads the Daily Mail?

  11. James Cooper 15 Jul 2009, 6:22pm

    once again a story has been taken out of context by the media

    This guy is just trying to make a point that in this country you are more than welcome to fly a flag representing your sexuality, but as soon as you raise a flag representing your country you are branded a racist and ordered to take it down

    Maybe there are better ways to go about it but the point is still valid, the fact that there is to much political correctness in this country that is not doing any of us any favours

  12. Stuart Neyton 15 Jul 2009, 7:50pm

    “as soon as you raise a flag representing your country you are branded a racist and ordered to take it down”

    People fly flags all the time. Not quite so much as in America but i’m glad about that. Last year Chester council flew all 27 flags of the European Union outside its building.

    I’d be interested to know if this man would threaten legal action if a council or police station decided to fly the English flag. If the answer is no, as I suspect it would be, then this man’s legal threat is motivated not by the action but by its message. It’s pure homophobia.

  13. I see his point.

  14. “as soon as you raise a flag representing your country you are branded a racist and ordered to take it down”
    James Cooper

    Bullshit. There are a couple of houses in my area flying English flags – when a major international football match is on it’s practically impossible to walk an inch without seeing one.

  15. @ Daz:

    “I thought that planning permission was for the flag pole/staff not the actual flag.”

    You are correct.

    Unless the actual flag is causing a Public Disorder, but then that is not a “planning permission” offense.

    In my traveles around the UK (I’m an HGV Driver), I have seen many “National” flags displayed… None have caused offense.

    Now to be frivilous: Do you need planning permission for those little flags you see attached to car windows when an International sports fixture are being played?

    Sounds like this man is just “Spitting the dummy out of the pram.”

  16. Majority England where the Cross of St George is the National flag
    the Political correctness nazis’s are a minority of troublemakers who want to trash any form of patriotism
    So waving a multi coloured flag in there faces
    Will Ruffles feathers
    what the flag stands for, is only secondary
    as long as they have there way …….
    crafty way of divide and rule…..we all are the suckers
    so wake up ! and wise up !
    they dont care about anyone, just ruling you !
    Stand up for Democracy

  17. Well I think the guy has a point. These councils often consider themselves a law unto themselves, and if one can prick their officious bubbles with stuff like this, all the better; Unfortunately, if this thing goes to court the council will have to pay legal fees, and possibly a fine if they lose the case, and that will end up coming out of the Council Tax budget.

    It seems even when you win, you lose.

  18. Victor Meldrew is alive and well and living in Liverpool :D

  19. David Boothroyd 16 Jul 2009, 9:38am

    He won’t get anywhere with this. A temporary flag doesn’t need planning permission and it’s highly likely that a flagpole and flag on council offices will have planning consent anyway. Even if it is a breach of planning control, the remedy is normally just to put it right, not to pay a fine.

    What this is really about is that Stephen Gash is pursuing the English Democrats’ campaign on the flag of St George through extremely vicarious means. As England is not a nation state, flying the flag of St George for more than 28 days does require planning permission.

  20. It’s by-election, not “bi-election” :)

  21. Stephen Gash 16 Jul 2009, 1:27pm

    I have contacted Pink and Stonewall in the past inviting them to lend support to SIOE demonstrations and to speak out for gay rights in Islamic countries. SIOE members have openly supported gay rights on TV and SIOE openly speaks out for gays against Islamic persecution.

    My action against the Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council is about them breaking laws they enforce on others. The police, judiciary, government and the rest of the establishment are becoming overbearing, especially where protests and demonstrations are concerned.

    A man was killed by police recently for being in the proximity of a G20 protest.

    That the flag flown over Merseyside Police stations was the Rainbow Flag is incidental. It is the principle of flying flags without the necessary permission by those who are supposed to be public servants that is my concern.

    If Peter Tatchell, any Pink or Stonewall member/supporter wants to protest for gay rights in Finsbury Park mosque, or any other mosque for that matter, as they did in the Church of England synod, then I will join them.

    If gay rights supporters want SIOE to organise a ‘gay rights in muslim countries’ demo outside a mosque or other Islamic establishment, then we’ll do it.

    SIOE is against totalitarian doctrines like Islam, communism and nazism. The last time I looked gays were beaten up in communist countries and hanged in Islamic countries with full permission of the respective governments.

    Europe is becoming a totalitarian superstate and it is certain that gays and lesbians are on the ‘terrorist’ databases merely for protesting for whatever cause they feel strongly about.

    If you look at my FOI request I asked for when citizens were ordered to take down flags by the authorities. To reiterate police and councillors are supposed to be public servants not pettyfogging dictators.

    Ask yourself would you be as concerned about my actions if any other flag had been flown by the Liverpool authorities and I had done the same thing? I assure you I would have done just the same thing for any other flag.

    BTW I see I am attracting the usual ‘racist’ accusations. Firstly, SIOE’s motto is ‘Racism is the lowest form of stupidity! Islamophobia is the height of common sense’. Secondly, some of the most vociferous Islamophobes are ex-muslims. They don’t suddenly change race by leaving Islam. SIOE is the only organisation that demonstrated to stop persecution of Greenlander Inuits in Denmark. However, they do support SIOE as do many people of all races from across the world.

  22. Sorry folks – “Engerland” doesn’t have a flag – the St George’s flag often flown is that of the City of London and the Archdiocese of Canterbury, frequently flown up-side-down by bald headed half-wits with gruesome tattoos and a lager addiction. Tis is all to do with that foreign American false flag worshipping patriotism isn’t it?

  23. You’re all blowing off and bitching blindly, when you know nothing about the man. He is not anti-gay and he is not anti-gay pride, or anything else gay. He is merely making a point of protest against police harassment on other issues and the double standards practiced by those in power.
    We, of all people, should applaud those who stand up against the double standards of establishment in any way they can.
    Give the guy a break and stop backstabbing those you know nothing about.

  24. Stephen Gash 16 Jul 2009, 1:46pm

    @ Jock
    You are wrong. It may be different in devolved Scotland, but in England the only flags that do not require planning permission are non-defaced national flags. A defaced national flag is one with ‘Scotland’ written on it for example.
    Certain flagpoles may need planning permission, but there are some that do not. The law used to state ‘a vertical flagpole’ but that was changed to ‘at a safe angle’ after the last World Cup, I believe.
    People were asked to remove flags from their windows during the World Cup, in Peterborough for example.
    This means that nobody can legally fly the Rainbow Flag on their premises without planning permission. So if you can’t legally do it, why should the police be able to?
    There are also guidelines (rules) about flying flags from public buildings in England, laid down by the British Government. The rules are different in Scotland for public buildings.
    You may gripe at me, but I didn’t make the blasted rules and I think it a bit much for police to break the law when they are enforcing the laws on me – and you.
    These rules are here to make sure that swastiskas and other similar symbols are not flown. Most of us here, including me, would object to that and it is improbable that planning permission would be granted.
    I have no objection to flags being flown from any building provided planning permission has been granted and paid for.
    Now if anybody wants to argue the point without pathetic namecalling you can contact me.

  25. I do remember reading news stories on here before about gay businesses being told to take down their rainbow flags because they required planning permission, so I am sure what Stephen says is true. I am glad to hear that there were no homophobic motives behind this. I will look forward to hearing about SIOE’s protests against homophobia and state sanctioned homophobic murder in Islamic countries.

    I am very pro-secularism and think that too much overbearing influence from religions on public life is a bad thing. Personally I wouldn’t want to single out Islam over Christianity though. Even though there are some progressive and liberal Christians there are still some, as seen in one of the other stories today, who will kidnap and torture their own child in the name of religion.

  26. Whats being anti islamic got to do with a rainbow flag? Is this guy like the Phelps lot in the US who hate everyone and everything? Is an English Democrat a Facist? I would consider myself a democrat (I always vote) and English (my family goes back to the Saxons!) but I doubt I would be welcomed in their organisation because I am GAY! as others have righlty put it; get a life!!!!!! If the Swastika had been flying I could understand the fuss!

  27. Stephen Gash 16 Jul 2009, 4:58pm

    @ Tony “I am very pro-secularism and think that too much overbearing influence from religions on public life is a bad thing. Personally I wouldn’t want to single out Islam over Christianity though.”
    With all due respect, that is what Peter Tatchell has done by disrupting the Church of England Synod. I don’t believe he’s entered a mosque in protest or disrupted an Islamic conference. Correct me if I’m wrong.
    I read that an Anglican church flew the Rainbow Flag during IDAHO. I am not chasing the church because it is not a law enforcer, like the council and police.
    People are deliberately missing the point. It is not the flag I object to, it is the principle.

  28. Stephen Gash 16 Jul 2009, 5:08pm

    @ Mike
    The English Democrats Party does not discriminate regarding its members. The reason this law about flags was introduced was precisely to make sure the swastika was not flown. What you seem to be saying is that flags can be flown provided you think they’re OK. How fascist is that? I’ve become accustomed to being called a fascist by people who are undoubtedly fascist, so you calling me one is like water off a duck’s back, with all due respect.
    If police can pick and choose what laws to break, then we are truly in a fascist state. It’s no surprise that the politicising of the police and civil service has been completed under a Labour Government that belches platitudes while building up the totalitarian state.

  29. Patrick Harris 16 Jul 2009, 5:58pm

    You know, he’s right.
    Forget the “flag”, forget the “police” and “Council”, forget “England” and especially, forget “gay”.
    Look at the principle and ask yourself if it is OK for the police and councils to pick and choose which laws to obey.
    If YOU break the law there is no grey area you are charged and often, without trial, fined or cautioned.

  30. I don’t disagree that if protesting against church homophobia is done then the same should apply to Islam, although I do think people would be at risk of accusations of cultural imperialism if there were no Muslims or ex-Muslims participating in the demonstration. And yes, there are progressive churches who do not want to be part of oppression of minorities and that is to be welcomed, but there are plenty of churches that are very oppressive and cruel and deserve all the criticism they get.

  31. Stephen Gash 16 Jul 2009, 10:32pm

    Why are my comments being censored? I haven’t broken the terms.

  32. Chris Lowry 17 Jul 2009, 8:44am

    I attended the IDAHO event at Liverpool Town Hall in May and i have to say it was such a wonderful and welcoming event and showed real progress in the city. Liverpool has been becoming more and more open to the LGBT community and that has been seen through the development of arts and culture and a continually improving Gay Quarter.

    The IDAHO event – the first event i believe of its kind to be hosted by the Mayor of Liverpool for the LGBT community was so positive – lets not let a narrow minded man such as this Stephen Gash character undermine this and create neagative associations with the event. He obviously has his own agenda and is quite happy to do whatever he can to stir and push it forward.

    Good on Liverpool City Council and Merseyside Police for flying the flag and long may it continue!

  33. Stephen, I am not calling you a fascist so please do not assume I am one either. Flag flying has always proved controversial right back to the time when the French demanded any other ship lower its flag in respect to the Sun King (of course the English tended to ignore or challenge this!)Flying the rainbow flag has proved just as controversial in the UK. when I was in California I was amazed to see streets decked out with the stars and stripes and the rainbow flag together; love to see our flags on the Mall like that!

  34. ….. mayb some people would like to see a NAZI SWASTIK fly over our municipal buildings? As we approach rememberence day lets not forget ALL people who died to for our freedom…..Fly the flag (S) …sing the song (S)…rejoice to be free!

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