This piece originally appeared in Wessex Scene
Most of Hampshire’s houses are looking festive right now. Drive around and you can see houses covered in fairy lights and sparkling santas. That is all bar one xenophobic house in Hedge End.
Yesterday, @john_neptune tweeted a photo of an upside down Union flag and sign stating “an urgent message for Father Christmas, All we wish for is our country back!”.
The photo was taken in Hedge End, just east of Southampton.
The picture, now with hundreds of retweets has been picked up by The Independent, Huffington Post, Metro and the Daily Star.
According to the Daily Echo, the house belongs to 65 year old cab driver, Timothy “Dusty” Miller. Miller, who is a member of UKIP, has denied any accusation of racism, and said the flag is intentionally upside down to show the “UK is in distress”
“How farcical is it that we are going to have a general election and still we have a government going down the road of making people think this is a democracy. It’s not a democracy and everything is being done for us. I have sat for 40 years driving taxis listening and hearing people – they all feel helpless and they are not ready to say anything they believe because they feel they will pay somehow.”
Last year, Miller received a police visit, after hanging a similar sign, but no action was taken after the police decided it was not a criminal offence to hang the sign. Hampshire Constabulary told the Huffington Post:
“We have spoken to the property-owner who erected the sign, and he has told us the sign reflects a political view rather than a racial one, and as the wording of the sign is not in itself racist or offensive, no criminal offence has been committed.”
Hedge End is part of the parliamentary constituencies of Eastleigh, where UKIP won their third highest ever share of the vote in the 2013 by-election. Winning nearly a quarter of the vote and missing out on a parliamentary seat by less than 2,000 votes. In 1994, UKIP Leader Nigel Farage stood as a candidate in Eastleigh.
A number of twitter users have pointed out the irony in the sign, as Santa isn’t British.
In fact, Saint Nicholas was a Greek Bishop who is believed to reside in Finland – and delivers presents on behalf of British parents. Even more, if he did have the right to vote in the UK, pollsters YouGov reckon he’d vote Labour or Green, sorry Dusty!
Ho ho ho.