Wednesday, June 04, 2008

We're Not Going On Your Public Holiday!

A half-baked plan for a 'British day'. What is it with Brown's obsession with 'Britishness'. First the empty "British jobs for British workers", now this. Can someone tell him, 'Britishness' doesn't exist!

Just try scrapping the English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland national football and rugby teams and create British soccer and rugby squads instead. He wouldn't last five minutes on the terraces. 

We all know the real reasons. It's a pathetic attempt motivated by pure self political interest and absolutely nothing to do with national identity. And, another clue is in the job of the proposer, immigration minister, Liam Byrne. It's just a belated attempt to get naturalised UK citizens 'on side'.

The idea has already gone down like a wet haggis in Scotland with the Scottish National Party (SNP) saying the proposal has "nothing to do with Britishness, and everything to do with bolstering Gordon Brown as Labour's support evaporates in swing English regions. Labour's cack-handed attempts to resuscitate a British 'national' identity are just desperate, motivated by self interest rather than national". How very true.

National identity comes from where you were born and where you were brought up. That's what makes your national identity, and that includes everyone.

Nowhere is this pride and the passion seen more than in our national football and ruby teams. The terraces are awash with the national colours and face paint and all kinds of fancy dress you can imagine. Now that's national pride. And in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the saint's days are a real celebration.

Brown's weak attempt at foistering 'Britishness' on our great nations has been taken up by the TV channels' with ridiculous programme titles. A raft of programmes celebrating the 'greatest British this' , or the 'longest British that'. 'Britain's got this' and 'Britain's got that'.

Only someone forgot to tell them that labelling programmes 'British' will exclude at a stroke everyone from Northern Ireland! They are not British. And never have been (just look at the cover of the UK Passport). 

And, usually due to time and money, the programmes just wander around England making a mockery of the titles. (ITV's latest venture 'The Great British Body' didn't even bother to go anywhere else outside of England this week). 

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are making a slow come back - you can see this in the Tourist Board publicity drives and advertising. And TV and the mainstream media too are just starting to use the 'E' word.

On public holidays, the answer is so obvious. Scotland and Northern Ireland already have bank holidays on their respective saint days. But not so England and Wales. 

So just create a public holiday for England on April 23 and call it St George's Day. And in Wales make St David's day, March 1, the national holiday. 

And leave it to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh/Northern Ireland Assemblies to chose any other public holiday days, as they see fit.

We could always add a United Kingdom Day as well - after all,  we are all part of the UK. And why not create a national holiday for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - and call it Celtic Day. 

No comments: