Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry MP Resigns Over 3 Flag White Van Photo Tweet

This is the tweet that has caused a Labour MP to resign from the opposition shadow cabinet, with the photo taken in Rochester, England where there is a by-election today.


Emily Thornberry MP tried to apologise:


Mark Reckless, Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood, switched party from the Conservatives over to UKIP, then resigned his seat to run again. With UKIP looking posed to win the resulting by election today, the attention should be on the Conservatives.

So this has come as rather a bolt from the blue for Labour. There was aghast that this tweet should be a resigning matter was evident on Twitter.

This smacks of the very spin and jetsam that distracts. There were no words, but an image when spun captures the unsuspecting passerby. Consider she was taking a few photos on the by election trail before and after that tweet above.

Before those clouds could gather for Cameron, they gathered for Thornberry. They were dull photos, till the flag one was developed into: this photo shows contempt for the working ordinary proud people of England!

A picture paints a thousand words; especially in the hands of critics using to show this was the snobbish Labour metropolitan elite. From an MP that lived in a £2 million house in Islington no less, looking down on football supporting (England played two games last week) transit van driving folk.

Mary Wakefield found in the quick Twitter snap, the words of Orwell came to mind (The Spectator) regarding nationalism and patriotism:

Orwell was clear about the distinction. ‘Nationalism is inseparable from the desire for power,’ he wrote. ‘Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally.’

This though, is more to do with party politics. Ed Miliband will not resign despite his own lousy approval opinion poll ratings. So why not try throwing a shadow cabinet member under the bus to stop criticism that Labour is out of touch with ordinary voters? Regrettably too few people knew how capable Emily Thornberry was in her post. Or who she was. Unlike the party leader, she is expendable. For once Miliband can look decisive.

This being Ed, even in a professional photo shoot this would look more like panic. This story (I am going to guess #flaggate) will run over the weekend. The Sun headline suggests panic at a media frenzy backlash is more likely the reason she has gone:


The sense of national identity, raised by the Scottish Independence referendum, will continue to not be answered by our politicians. Rather a political fudge, or party political advantage, will be the reason for any constitutional change. People feel party politics is not for them, so are voting against politics as usual. Supporting UKIP, while the mainstream politicians do not get why people are voting for them or how to respond since the Euroelections.

When it comes to Twitter, It is not about what you say, but how it can be made to look. Ed Miliband is getting to know that from the media. Yet it is Emily Thornberry paying the price.

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

Follow @JPSargeant78

My Huffington Post Blog



Filed under British Politics, British Society

3 responses to “Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry MP Resigns Over 3 Flag White Van Photo Tweet

  1. Laiyla Lane

    This is ridiculous! In the UK every country has its own flag as well as the Union Jack and the fact this idiot found people hanging their own flags in their own countries strange enough to take photos and tweet them leas me to believe the MP has lead a very enclosed unpatriotic life!

  2. brian

    I thought at the time that it was an extraordinarily trivial reason to resign but now that I’ve read your post and realise that her tweet was only one in a series of tweets in and around Rochester, I am even more flabbergasted. Ed really has a lot to answer for.

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