Over the weekend Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announced that buildings and infrastructure projects paid for with public funds would be plastered with the Union Flag.
Okay, plastered is perhaps too strong a word. Mr Alexander plans to display a small Union Flag plaque alongside the message “Funded by the UK Government” on publicly funded projects. A similar policy is already in force on the continent for projects paid for with European funds.
Mr Alexander claimed the new branding would help recognise the value imparted by the United Kingdom. He said:
“It’s only right that we recognise the contribution of the UK taxpayer in supporting this economic growth, which is why I’m delighted to launch these Union Jack plaques, which will proudly adorn infrastructure investments from roads in Cornwall to broadband in Caithness.”
However, the announcement from Mr Alexander, who has previously been branded a “ginger rodent” by a senior Scottish politician, drew criticism north of the border. Deputy leader of the SNP Stewart Hosie blasted the policy as a “silly gimmick” and claimed the whole endeavour was a smoke and mirrors ploy to distract from newly slashed infrastructure spending. Others ridiculed it as an attempt to quell the growing grassroots support for the Scottish Nationalist Party.
However, considering the diabolical state of many Scottish roads, I really do wonder whether any motorists would care about a road’s livery so long as the work was getting done. Would you rather catch a brief glimpse of a Union Flag on your way to work or walk because the potholes have ruined your suspension?
If someone could guarantee a means to make the trains run on time throughout the winter, I honestly wouldn’t care if they insisted on painting all the carriages in the Commonwealth colour scheme.
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