Tuesday 23 June 2009

I am offended

Here's another of those "offensive" flag stories, this time involving the National Library of Scotland:
... a member of staff was told to remove several Saltires, a Lion Rampant and a red tartan chair from his work station.
Fair enough in certain circumstances, I think.

Like this:

According to Martyn Wade, National Librarian, "We merely asked a single individual to remove what we considered to be an excessive display of large flags from a desk in a shared, professional work area, and we would have done so regardless of what the flag was or indeed any other adornment."
That sounds fine - it's just a regular matter of common sense rules in the workplace.

Or is it?

How about this:

It was, according to Director of Customer Services Alex Miller, a nationalistic display "more appropriate to the football terraces."

Ms Miller's concern, she said, was that the display might intimidate non-Scottish colleagues.

For goodness sake. This is the National Library of Scotland. If someone is intimidated by a display on the grounds that it is Scottish they shouldn't be working in our National Library. More to the point, why on earth are there so many managers in the public sector who have no loyalty to those who pay their wages?

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

The Young Oligarch
Mr.Farrer , 
I thought I'd made it clear that I had no problem with small , appropriate displays of national pride . 
When I lived in England , the run-up to every international turned the town centre into a scene we would usually only see outside Hampden Park . While most people were merely expressing their legitimate pride in their country , many were using this as an excuse for anti-Scottish , thuggish intimidation . I was indimidated and I'm 6' tall and felt myself part of the community . 
This woman's display sounds excessive and might intimidate those who had experienced more aggressive behaviour from our fellow Scots . It doesn't matter whether it is in the National Library or any other Government office . If she had a 6" tall mini-saltire , no one would have bothered . Instead she made an exhibition of herself and , by extension , us all . 
Proportion , as I said .

24 June 2009, 23:22:51 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer
I too have no problem with a workplace policy that states "no personal displays". My objection is to the statement that "the display might intimidate non-Scottish colleagues". The idea that a Scottish flag might intimidate colleagues is bizarre, especially in the National Library. 
When I lived in England I liked seeing the St. George's Cross as it demonstrated an understanding of the difference between England and Scotland.

24 June 2009, 21:14:30 GMT+01:00
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The Young Oligarch
Mr. Farrer , 
When I lived in England I found the ubiquity of St.George's Crosses in the run-up to football matches intimidating . For many people it was merely an expression of their patriotism , but for many others it served an aggressive , anti-Scottish purpose . 
This lady's display at her place of work could easily be seen in such a light . 
What would be wrong with a small St.Andrew's Cross on her desk ? Why did she , apparently , have to deck out her work place like a shortbread tin with Fran and Anna on the lid ? 
I fear she may have lacked a certain amount of proportion .  
Since she is a public servant , I can see no problem with her being asked to tone down her ostentatious display .

24 June 2009, 17:56:30 GMT+01:00
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I'm sure this type of thing goes on all the time. Well done the worker for contacting Christine Grahame though.

24 June 2009, 09:57:53 GMT+01:00
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Completely agree with your post. I'm Irish working in Glasgow for the last 7yrs & don't have the slightest problem with displays of Scottish Nationalism, Ms Miller's comments are quite simply ridiculous.

24 June 2009, 00:17:19 GMT+01:00
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john b
(sorry, aware you're not public sector, should've been 'their')

23 June 2009, 23:26:00 GMT+01:00
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john b
I thought we paid your wages

23 June 2009, 23:25:39 GMT+01:00