George’s day off

Should we have a national bank holiday on St George’s Day?

I’d rather not, thank you very much.

Do we really need a holiday in April, so close to May Day?  What would happen on those days when 23rd April falls on a Saturday or Sunday?  Is it then moved to the next working day, in which case it would not fall on the Saint’s day, making something of a national nonsense of it.  How will it be celebrated in other parts of the UK?  Is St David’s Day a national holiday in Wales?

If we did celebrate St George’s Day, can you imagine what it would be like?  Will it be hideously commercially exploited in the same way that St Patrick’s Day has been with the huge green felt hats and horrendous “mock – Oirish – theme” pubs.

Will there be a St George Day parade through town centres attracting a crowds of hostile anti-social yobs spilling out of the “English – theme” pub. The flag of St George has been appropriated by the neo-Nazis and their ignorant, narrow and hate-filled distortion of patriotism, which would make it difficult now to celebrate our national saints day. Even that last sentence needs qualification, is England indeed a nation? And what does it mean to be English?

The British worker has fewer paid days leave than almost any other worker in the European Union.  I would gladly welcome any move towards equality here, especially in the direction of more holidays for British workers.

So how about just giving us extra holidays without dictating when we should take them. Or if you want to come up with some traditional English holidays why not reinstate some of the old holidays that have been removed or homogenized into a uniform bank holiday? Days that reconnect us to our cultural, seasonal and historic traditions – St Bartholomews day,  St Crispins Day, Trafalgar day, oak-apple day, harvest-home, or how about simply returning Whit-Monday to the first Monday after Whitsun. Or maybe introduce regional holidays that reflect local traditions and celebrate local customs where everyone locally gets to have a day off.

But please, no St Georges Day.



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