Seb Coe for ……?

The Conservativehome website has a post suggesting that Sebastian Coe should be considered as a successor to Boris Johnson as the next London Mayor.

Let’s not get carried away. Sebastian Coe was found wanting as an MP and would be even more out of his depth as a replacement for Boris Johnson.

There’s been a few banana skins for him as the face of the Games, not least his dismissive approach to the tickets farce. It’s extremely fortunate that much else has been so good and that the security issue was saved by the intervention of the military, as well as all the good feedback heard about the volunteers, who it appears are well named as, Games Makers.

Will we ever know the full story on how much the London Games owe to the role of Seb Coe? I somehow doubt it, these things have a way of taking on a life of their own and turn into a fog of myth and hype, that can propel people into roles that often prove beyond their capabilities. Which of course takes us full circle to Coe’s selection as an MP; too much hype and not nearly enough substance seems to have been the propellant there.

Forget the mayoral job and just make him a saint, he’ll do far less harm.

A flag for England?

Notwithstanding the title of this entry, we of course have a flag for England – the Cross of St George. Unfortunately, this symbol has been high-jacked by certain ultra-right extremist groups of various titles over the years and this has made some people nervous about using the flag, but it’s high time the decent and right minded people of England claimed it back and took every opportunity to display it with pride.

An article in today’s Sunday Telegraph had a rather unfortunate opening sentence for me. Apparently the English flag was what gave England an identity during the Crusades. What little I know about the Crusades – a gang of religious zealots, lead by the king of the time, leg it off to a foreign land to pick a fight with the locals – means that it’s not a story that makes me proud to be English.

However, back to the present day and the need to take back ownership of the Cross Of St George as the national flag of England. If an English athlete, running for Britain in this or that international competition – there seems to be so many these days, (I think there’s another one happening in London sometime soon, but I can’t remember what it’s called!) – wants to don a flag to mark their win, should it be the English flag, or should it be the Union Flag?

Welsh and Scottish athletes don’t seem to have any difficulty rejecting their Britishness when the spotlight is on them. They celebrate their victory by draping their respective flags over their shoulders and jogging off around the stadium, grinning with pride and waving at the crowd. No doubt there be a number of non-Brits (and probably a few less bright Britons) who will confused by a race winner who, according to the race programme, started the race as British, but who is now running a victory lap with a colourful, but unrecognisable cloak draped over their shoulders!

So, if English born athletes were to adopt this practice, they would have to be prepared for some confusion over their national identity. So what? I say, as long we English know what it means, the rest of the world will catch on eventually.