/ EU flags at Eurovision

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john arran - on 08 Feb 2019

If you're keen to continue seeing the BBC as an impartial commentator when it comes to Brexit-related matters, I recommend you don't follow this link:

https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/bbc-bans-eu-flag-at-eurovision-event-and-provides-union-jacks-instead-1-5885436

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Andy Johnson on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

It'd be a real shame if irresponsible people smuggled some EU flags into the event. Fortunately flags are bulky and difficult to conceal, so there's unlikely to be a problem.

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tom_in_edinburgh - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

They were the same with the Scottish Independence referendum.   Clearly biased towards what they deem to be the 'mainstream' view.   

I don't have a problem with news organisations having a viewpoint but as soon as they do that they have got no right to fund themselves from a license fee, they need to compete in the market.   

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Lusk - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

No doubt you were frothing at the mouth with last nights Question Time?

The SNP got a good ridiculing!

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tom_in_edinburgh - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Lusk:

> No doubt you were frothing at the mouth with last nights Question Time?

No, I don't watch it.  Didn't event know it was on.   

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wercat on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

Sickening

"The Friend in the Corner" is run by a Goebbels like gang

Post edited at 10:58
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Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

I think if we refuse to allow the Eu flag at Eurovision we shouldn't be allowed to take part. Just have a pathetic little Brexitvision of our own.

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Dave Garnett - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I think if we refuse to allow the Eu flag at Eurovision we shouldn't be allowed to take part. Just have a pathetic little Brexitvision of our own.

We might win that one.

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birdie num num - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Dave Garnett:

We could wheel out a cover of the old classic....Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep

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captain paranoia - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

Whilst I'm a very keen remainer, and have my doubts about the impartiality of the BBC, that story, even as presented by the clearly partisan 'New European', isn't quite as clear cut as you make out.

"BBC prevent political protest at Eurovision event" might be another way of spinning it.

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TobyA on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

Do you not actually think this is a complete bollocks story? It says:

> The spokesperson said: “As a safety precaution we check all personal belongings, including all flags, into studio security while ticket holders are in the studio audience, but do however supply the audience with UK flags once they are inside.”

So it's not EU flags that were "banned", it was all personal belongings that had to be checked into a cloakroom - just like at loads of museums and stuff. At best you can say the programme organisers should have thought to provide EU flags to people in the studio, but really Eurovision has eff all to with the EU, and this was a programme to pick the British entry. Why weren't they giving Armenian or Israeli or Swiss flags out? They are all going to be in the actual competition. This is like pathetic reactionary tabloid stories about St George's flags being banned by Muslim-loving PC elites or some such bollocks, when it turns out security at some event had asked everyone to check their bags and coats into a cloakroom. 

3/5ths of my family (my partner and two of my three childen) are UK-resident EU nationals with, as yet, no settled status. I lived for almost 20 years of my adult life in another EU country. My PhD was on the impact of EU security policy on a new EU member state. My MA was in European Security Studies. I worked for a decade for the EU studies programme of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. I spent a lot that time explaining the mechanisms of British Euroscepticism to policy makers in others EU member states in order to help them understand how UK European policy is made. I was one of the first people to write academically warning of the mobilisation trans-European (but anti-EU) far right networks brought together by their anti-Muslim beliefs (this was before Breivik and long before Orban and co), probably the work that I'm most proud of. I was involved in various EU-policy research networks with colleagues in all the EU member states and I have friends from lots of other EU countries as well as British friends living in other EU states.

So I think its fair to say that I've got a lot of 'skin in the game'. Which is why stupid stories like this piss me off so much. Is that really the best some remainers have at this time? Handing out EU flags outside of a Eurovision entry picking show? FFS. It's just like setting yourself up to look stupid in front of sneering Brexiteers who can bang on about pointless shit like this and avoid talking about their completely idiotic policies of national self harm.

It's like some British correspondent for the NYT I heard interviewed on a US politics podcast recently. Her writing in the paper is excellent, but on the radio show she was going on in plummy accent about following her friends' leads of stocking up on Italian delicacies in case of no deal. People are going to lose their jobs, they're not going to be able to pay their mortgages. Local governments that have already had to cut to the marrow in "austerity Britain" are going to have even smaller budgets whilst almost certainly they're going to have more people need assistance of all sorts. It is of course going to hit poor people the worse, and poorer parts of the country the worse. People who are already angry and pissed off there, are going to get more angry and pissed off. But what the NYT lady tells American progressives listening is the British, southern upper-middle class is worried about their posh pesto supplies. And now we're meant to be blaming BBC light entertainment producers for being part of some evil plot to do down the EU? Oh look, there's a brick wall over there remainers. Let's all go and smash our heads repeatedly into it.

Right I'm glad I got that off my chest. Sorry all. As you were.

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EarlyBird - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Dave Garnett:

You think so?

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EarlyBird - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

Marvellous! I enjoyed that.

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Wanderer100 - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

If you're keen to see John Arran as a non partisan,  evenly balanced and sensible poster I recommend you don't read any of his frothing at the mouth, excitable outbursts about anything to do with Brexit. Hopefully he will return to normal before too long. 

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Stichtplate on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

Informed and measured commentary on the continued whipping up of Brexit hysteria???

....Pull Yourself Together Man! This Is UKC!

(bravo)

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tom_in_edinburgh - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to captain paranoia:

> "BBC prevent political protest at Eurovision event" might be another way of spinning it.

Not when they hand out Union Jacks.  There's a difference between not allowing political symbols and insisting on a specific one.   The UK is still in the EU,  UK citizens have every right to wave an EU flag.

The Eurovision organisers should pull the broadcast rights from the BBC if they are going to bring in anti-European Brexiteer politics.  

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Offwidth - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

That's up with my normal best intellectual rants of the year and on UKC rather than in my University or in the HE press. Please claim a pint at the next area meeting.

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TobyA on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Eurovision has nothing to do with EU. You obviously have your issue with the BBC, but a bit like your plot against the former first minister posts the other week, you don't seem to be able to stand back and get some perspective on this total non story.

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captain paranoia - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Not when they hand out Union Jacks. 

Read the report more carefully.

My point is that this is another spin on the story. It is not 'THE TRUTH'.

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tom_in_edinburgh - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Eurovision has nothing to do with EU. You obviously have your issue with the BBC, but a bit like your plot against the former first minister posts the other week, you don't seem to be able to stand back and get some perspective on this total non story.

It's got nothing to do with the EU in a formal sense but it is to do with the wider European project and banning the symbol of the EU is an English nationalist statement.

The BBC did this on purpose.  Last year people brought EU flags into the last night of the proms, they are making sure it doesn't happen again and that what is seen on TV is the symbol of the post-Brexit UK not the symbol of Europe.  They are taking sides in the biggest political disagreement in the UK and trying to present Brexit as a fait-accompli.

You need to understand that the way things are seen in Scotland is not the same as they are seen in England.   The Union Jack is not a neutral symbol in Scotland or Northern Ireland.  People in Scotland do not see Alex Salmond the same way as people in England.

Post edited at 13:03
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TobyA on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

"You need to understand" that not all people in Scotland see things the same way (as you) nor do all people in England see things the same way. 

If you really think "the BBC" as some monolith is pushing an "English nationalist statement" on Brexit, presenting it as a "fait accompli" (and doing so via the song for Europe programme!) I suspect that our epistemolgies are just too alien to really have a dialogue, which is a shame but there you go.

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Duncan Bourne - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

Brilliant! I enjoyed that

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tom_in_edinburgh - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to captain paranoia:

> Read the report more carefully.

"The spokesperson said: “As a safety precaution we check all personal belongings, including all flags, into studio security while ticket holders are in the studio audience, but do however supply the audience with UK flags once they are inside.”

In 2016 the European Broadcasting Union relaxed flag rules to allow national, regional and local flags of the participants during Eurovision broadcasts, and said “this is in addition to the flags of all UN member states, the EU flag and the rainbow flag, as stipulated in the original guidelines."

So the policy of Eurovision is that national flags, the rainbow flag, regional flags and the EU flag are allowed.

The BBC sees that the crowd outside the studio have a lot of EU flags and they don't want a remain symbol on camera so they ban flags being taken in to the studio on bullshit safety grounds and then hand out a flag that represents their management's pro-Brexit political view.   

It is a completely political act and it isn't something that people who support remain should be forced to fund through a licence fee.   If they want to support Brexit they can charge for their content like the Torygraph.

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Doug on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Toby lived in Glasgow for several years, I suspect he's more than aware of the differences between England & Scotland

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Bob Kemp - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> If you really think "the BBC" as some monolith is pushing an "English nationalist statement" on Brexit, presenting it as a "fait accompli" (and doing so via the song for Europe programme!) I suspect that our epistemolgies are just too alien to really have a dialogue, which is a shame but there you go.

Not a monolith but there are certainly aspects of Beeb coverage of Brexit that have been open to question in terms of impartiality, so I can understand people getting a little paranoid. Humphries, Question Time, Andrew Neil etc..

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john arran - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

> If you're keen to see John Arran as a non partisan,  evenly balanced and sensible poster I recommend you don't read any of his frothing at the mouth, excitable outbursts about anything to do with Brexit. Hopefully he will return to normal before too long. 

Would you like to provide an example of one such claimed "frothing at the mouth, excitable outburst" so we can all see what degree of perception distortion you're applying?

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john arran - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

I take your point, and to an extent I agree with you. My biggest concern would be that the ban was blamed on security rather than coming clean and saying they're trying to prevent a political message which would, in their eyes, spoil the event. There's no indication that the EU flags confiscated could be of any greater security concern than the UK ones they're issuing. That sort of devious misinformation can only ever raise eyebrows as to why they felt the need to make up the security story.

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Eric9Points - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Not a monolith but there are certainly aspects of Beeb coverage of Brexit that have been open to question in terms of impartiality, so I can understand people getting a little paranoid. Humphries, Question Time, Andrew Neil etc..


You know Bob, if anything I'd say the BBC is biased against Brexit.

Toby's right, this is a storm in a teacup. If I'd been the producer I'd have done what's necessary to stop politics getting into what should be an evening of frothy escapism. Beware of developing the same unhealthy levels of paranoia about Brexit as some Scots have developed over separatism.

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TobyA on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

> That sort of devious misinformation can only ever raise eyebrows as to why they felt the need to make up the security story.

John, I respect your contributions here hugely, but I'm worried you're catching a touch of Trump derangement syndrome that some of my American friends have got. 

Do you know the statement is devious misinformation? Do we have reporting that it was ONLY EU flags that had to be left in the cloakroom? That people could take coats and bags and cameras in with them? The article doesn't claim that.

The article does day "EU Supergirl", or whatever the funny nickname was, was giving out European Union flags to people going into the event. That's political activism isn't it? Sounds like a pro remain group were trying to turn Eurovision into a pro EU event.

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john arran - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

That's exactly my point Toby. Preventing a political rally is one thing. Blaming it on security is quite another. Confiscating plastic sticks as a potential hazard and then issuing presumably pretty much identical plastic sticks in the name of increased security doesn't make a lot of sense. I accept that they may well just not have thought it through very well and left themselves wide open to accusations of political bias.

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Wanderer100 - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

I'm happy to admit I was overstating the case regarding the frothing at the mouth. It was said in jest rather than stating a fact. You are developing a tendency to over react to some dubious sources of Brexit related news though but hey, it's only my opinion so don't take offence because none is intended. 

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Eric9Points - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Toby

> The article does day "EU Supergirl", or whatever the funny nickname was, was giving out European Union flags to people going into the event. That's political activism isn't it? Sounds like a pro remain group were trying to turn Eurovision into a pro EU event.

Well quite. There are various other issues that have the potential of sparking political protest at this event. Israel/Palestine and Russia/Ukraine immediately spring to mind. I wonder if there is a blanket ban on anything that could be construed as political being taken into the contest.

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tom_in_edinburgh - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Do you know the statement is devious misinformation? Do we have reporting that it was ONLY EU flags that had to be left in the cloakroom? That people could take coats and bags and cameras in with them? The article doesn't claim that.

They made sure that the only flags allowed were Union Jacks.   That is a political statement.  It misrepresents the views of the audience.  The people outside were not forcing people to take EU flags, people were choosing to do so because they support the EU.   The BBC were making sure that pro-EU sentiment was not seen and what was seen was people waving Union Jacks.

They have zero right to force people to pay for Unionist and pro-Brexit politics through a license fee.   More than 50% of people in the UK currently support remain.   More than 50% of people in Scotland support the SNP.   The BBC distorts that and takes the side of the established Westminster parties because the Westminster parties control the license fee and influence the appointment of senior executives.   

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tom_in_edinburgh - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> "You need to understand" that not all people in Scotland see things the same way (as you) nor do all people in England see things the same way. 

Obviously not.  There's plenty of people in Scotland who support Unionism and like to wave the Union Jack that's obvious from the Independence referendum result.  But the proportion is completely different from in England.   Which is equally obvious from the fact that the SNP is by far the most popular political party in Scotland.    In England almost everybody is unionist, in Scotland, depending on how much of a disaster Brexit is it could well fall under 50%.   Scotland is not overpopulated, immigration is not a big issue and we are far more pro-EU than England.

The BBC licence fee is a tax imposed on Scotland which supports political propaganda contrary to public opinion in Scotland.

Post edited at 16:40
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Eric9Points - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to tom_in_Brigadoon

> The BBC licence fee is a tax imposed on Scotland which supports political propaganda contrary to public opinion in Scotland.

I think you need to relax a bit. You see conspiracy where none exists.

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john arran - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

Fair enough. I suppose, the closer we get to the deadline, the harder it gets to remain calm in the face of the impending calamity, particularly in view of the government's own dire economic assessments and the rather more obvious loss of individual freedoms for all of us.

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Wanderer100 - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Tom in la la land

> The BBC licence fee is a tax imposed on Scotland which supports political propaganda contrary to public opinion in Scotland.

The BBC licence fee is a tax imposed on Scotland which supports Scottish jobs, Scottish film and drama production. Scottish sports, Scottish arts and culture and Scottish news and current affairs across a range of platforms including TV radio and internet. 

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Ian W - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> In England almost everybody is unionist,

Not quite; in 2014 (at the time of Indyref), support for unionism in England was apparently 70%. A significant majority, but hardly "almost everybody".

> The BBC licence fee is a tax imposed on Scotland which supports political propaganda contrary to public opinion in Scotland.

You don't half talk sh*te sometimes. Tom, your contributions to some discussions are really good, imho, but whenever there is a whiff of westminster or the SNP, you lose all perspective.

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myserable old git - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

I would see an EU flag rather a vomit inducing cross of St George

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FactorXXX - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to myserable old git:

> I would see an EU flag rather a vomit inducing cross of St George

It would be rather weird to see a EU Flag at the Rugby at Twickenham tomorrow though... 

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Dave the Rave on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to myserable old git:

> I would see an EU flag rather a vomit inducing cross of St George

That may cause offense to someone.

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TobyA on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Bob, I know what you mean - but there are plenty of Brexiteers who are convinced the BBC has it in for them and is all part of the remoaner metropolitan elites trying to do them down.

It's just not very monolithic. There is all sorts of opinion, not just on the news, but in comedy, documentaries etc. I think the facts generally favour people who think Brexit is a fundamentally bad idea, and the BBC coverage tends to reflect that. Do you listen to Brexitcast? I know all the Momentum types hate Laura Kuenssberg but I'm quite a fan of her and the other Brexitcast presenters - and I don't think its hard to get the sense of where their personal opinions lie (and it's not pro Leave).

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Bob Kemp - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> You know Bob, if anything I'd say the BBC is biased against Brexit.

I'm not sure what your evidence is for that but without a serious analysis it's hard to say. I suggested a few high profile areas where I can understand why some people are thinking it might be, but that doesn't really say much about the huge range of total BBC news output. Personally, I don't feel the BBC as a whole is consciously biased, in either direction but I think that in some respects their journalistic standards (in terms of quality reporting of facts) have dropped. A separate debate really.

> Toby's right, this is a storm in a teacup. If I'd been the producer I'd have done what's necessary to stop politics getting into what should be an evening of frothy escapism. Beware of developing the same unhealthy levels of paranoia about Brexit as some Scots have developed over separatism.

I agree. 

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elliott92 - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

You literally turn everything back to your Scottish independence views 😂😂😂

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graeme jackson - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

> In reply to Tom in la la land

> The BBC licence fee is a tax imposed on Scotland which supports Scottish jobs, Scottish film and drama production. Scottish sports, Scottish arts and culture and Scottish news and current affairs across a range of platforms including TV radio and internet. 


Don't forget the new BBC Scotland channel launching on 24th February. No doubt Tom will soon find some reason to berate that for it's anti-SNP views.

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tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to graeme jackson:

> Don't forget the new BBC Scotland channel launching on 24th February. No doubt Tom will soon find some reason to berate that for it's anti-SNP views.

I've had it with the BBC, they are a tool of the two party Westminster system.  They are careful to be relatively neutral between the Tory and Labour view with a slight bias towards whoever is in power.   On an issue where both major parties are in basic alignment but a large part of the country disagrees they don't even try to be neutral.

There was a historic reason to have a state-sponsored broadcaster.  In the age of the internet the technical reason is gone, they are just unfair competition to other vendors and an inbuilt distortion in the political system.   For example the way Question Time audiences are packed with ringers, the way they fawn to the royals or the way they choose people to interview in the streets to distort things slightly towards the 'national unity' point of view.   Making sure that the only flag visible on eurovision was the union jack is just another example of their current bias towards the view that Brexit must happen.

Scotland doesn't need a news channel beholding to the two party Westminster system.  It probably doesn't need a new TV news channel at all.  TV is on the way out.

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Jim Fraser - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

The flag of Europe does not belong to any single organisation.

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jethro kiernan - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

Maybe when his new life in Europe is turned upside down and every thing he has worked for is put in jeopardy by some frothing mouthed loons, yes maybe after that things will return to normal.

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krikoman - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to Andy Johnson:

> It'd be a real shame if irresponsible people smuggled some EU flags into the event. Fortunately flags are bulky and difficult to conceal, so there's unlikely to be a problem.


I'm hoping this will be the case at Eurovision, if it goes ahead, and Palestinian flags.

Our entry is from my home town, Hartlepool, and yet I'm pissed off because it's being held in Israel, while they are expelling human rights observers in the West Bank.

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jkarran - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> We might win that one.

We'd still find some way of losing.

jk

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Alexi - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

I applaud that rant!

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teh_mark on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

>  Just have a pathetic little Brexitvision of our own.

Brexit? Vision?

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Gordon Stainforth - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

Yes, as in tunnel vision.

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Tommyfatlad on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

The lights are well and truly out in that tunnel so no vision what so ever - wave whatever flag you want guys !

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