The Union Jack is likely to become common place on UK funded infrastructure. Why? Ministers are planning to use the flag to “proudly adorn infrastructure investments” including motorways and bridge. The suggestion has divided opinion proposing it will look like a gimmick, supporters believe it will allow the public to better understand how government money is spent.
This idea is the brain child of chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander. The Union Jack would feature on a plaque stating that particular piece of infrastructure is a new government funded project. The message will simply be “Funded by UK Government” Alexander said. A big name to be mentioned as one of the first adopters may be the HS2 high speed railway better connecting the country.
Francis Maude, Cabinet Office Minister commented “as part of our long-term economic plan, this government is investing in our nation’s physical and digital infrastructure.” But failed to give much away as to whether he support the Union Jack plaque scheme.
Unsurprisingly, the SNP’s deputy leaders was unhappy with the scheme branding them a silly gimmick and an attempt to disguise wider coalition cuts to overall infrastructure spending and Scotland’s budget.
This story seems likely to continue to divide opinions and may even cause more issues to government. If all items which are funded are branded might we question why certain items don’t carry the logo and hence are not public funded.
The debate over how public money is spent will never disappear. However is it in the nature of the British people to almost brand and show-off what the country achieves? Also if the idea were to be passed why use the flag? Other ideas could have potential such as celebrating local figures or even a county flag.
There are many options which could be followed and as much as we love to see the Union Jack we are unsure this is the right application. Do the people of the UK need to see exactly how they’re collective funds were spent?