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Let’s campaign for the Red Arrows

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Were you shocked, like me, to learn that the Red Arrows have been banned from performing at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics – because they are too British!

If so, then please sign the following 10 Downing Street protest petition to try and get this ludicrous decision overturned.

The Arrows, officially named the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, have flown at 4,000 festivals worldwide. But the Department of Culture, Media and Sport decided last week that the jets were “unsuitable? and “not in keeping with the event as they were too militaristically British?.

I would have imagined that we would be proud to showcase the best of what is British, that these daredevils will thrill our global visitors.

News of the ban has been condemned by my MEP Robert Sturdy, he feels it is outrageous, knowing how they are popular headline attractions at local airshows in East Anglia.

One protester put it in a nutshell when she asked in an email forwarded to me:

Do they think the Chinese will be worried that the Beijing Olympics will be too Chinese? I hope they are VERY Chinese. That’s surely the whole point of holding the Olympics in a different country each time?!?!

I remember last seeing the Red Arrows perform at RAF Mildenhall – what an awesome air show they put on there, sadly no more since the Iraq war. It was a Sunday and my son James hated the deafening noise of the overhead planes as they screeched close above us. I was forced to sit in the car and watch, while James hid as low as possible on the floor with his hands over his ears. I’m sure he would love them now.


9 Comments

  1. I have just received the following email:

    Nicky Hughes head of govt relations has informed all Westminster M.P,s that there is no truth in the story that the Red Arrows are to be banned from the opening of the olympics. fromGovernmentRelations@London2012.com

  2. The Sun also claimed there was a shoal of sharks off the coast of Cornwall this summer. Was that true? Duncan

  3. How ridiculous! I am going right over to sign.

  4. Duncan Mackay,

    Pilot officers have been quoted in detail in the newspaper report. It is also acknowledged there that “… no decision has been made about the ceremony.”

  5. The most impressive display team I have EVER seen. Go to an air show and the hairs stand on the back of your neck – best of all they make the French look like amateurs. Why would anyone want to exclude this of all things in show casing Britain ?

    Forget the petition. When will people realise what the likes of me and Peter Hitchens have been banging on about for years ? This country is in the midst of a coup by people who hate us and everything we stand for.

  6. Duncan, let’s hope it’s not true. The Sun obviously had a source for their story and it has provoked a lot of criticism. The number of people signing the petition has increased considerably in the last few hours, about 2,000 signed it today. Surely if this story is not true, then the petition should be stopped.

  7. This story is not true. I do wish people would check things before just repeating stories that appear in The Sun.

    Here is the story I ran on my website http://www.insidethegames.com, an independent website devoted to the 2012 Olympics, having actually spoken to the Red Arrows.

    Red Arrows deny Olympic snub
    Date: 18/09/2007
    SEPTEMBER 18 – OFFICERS from the Red Arrows today denied stories that they have been told by the Government that they will have no role in the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics.

    The Sun newspaper and numerous websites have reported that event organisers believe the Lincolnshire-based team’s military background “might offend other nations”.

    It is alleged that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport ruled last week that the RAF acrobatic squad is “unsuitable” and “not in keeping with the event as they were too militaristically British”.

    But team spokesman Rachel Huxford said: “We have had no discussions about the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics whatsoever.

    “We are still planning our 2008 season at this stage and that is a long way off.

    “We understand that no decision has yet been made about the ceremony.

    “We performed when London won its Olympic bid in 2005 after we received a standard request from the Olympic organisers.”

    She added that none of the team’s pilots had spoken to The Sun about the rumour.

    Red Arrows deny Olympic snub
    Date: 18/09/2007
    SEPTEMBER 18 – OFFICERS from the Red Arrows today denied stories that they have been told by the Government that they will have no role in the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics.

    The Sun newspaper and numerous websites have reported that event organisers believe the Lincolnshire-based team’s military background “might offend other nations”.

    It is alleged that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport ruled last week that the RAF acrobatic squad is “unsuitable” and “not in keeping with the event as they were too militaristically British”.

    But team spokesman Rachel Huxford said: “We have had no discussions about the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics whatsoever.

    “We are still planning our 2008 season at this stage and that is a long way off.

    “We understand that no decision has yet been made about the ceremony.

    “We performed when London won its Olympic bid in 2005 after we received a standard request from the Olympic organisers.”

    She added that none of the team’s pilots had spoken to The Sun about the rumour.

  8. This country has gone to pot, there will be nothing British about it soon…The amount of times I have seen the Red Arrows perform, absolutely awesome.

    How can you be TOO BRITISH!!!!!!

  9. That is just insane.

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