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English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

'Britain Day'

You know, this ridiculous bit of tampering by the political elite reminds me of the fools who wanted to change Victoria Day to Heritage Day, presumably on the assumption that the best way to celebrate one's heritage is to destroy it. Britain Day evokes the same kind of watery and cultural nothingness, just as Canada Day does in our own dreary northern plain, which is why many of us still call it Dominion Day. Can you imagine the United States calling Independence Day, America Day? Of course you can't, which is why it should be rejected with every remaining fibre of Britain's being. At least one man, a Scot no less, gets it right:

CLIVE FAIRWEATHER, former chief inspector of prisons in Scotland, said: "There are quite enough public holidays already and other things to celebrate. I am in favour of the Union and all it stands for, but to be quite honest I think this is nothing short of a desperate gimmick by the government. Every day in this country is Britain Day, but the concept of marking it annually is a very un-British thing to do.

"We do have a more diverse population in the country these days and perhaps more attention needs to be paid to that, but not this plan. I cannot even think of anything meaningful and appropriate to do on such a day. To be honest, my mind boggles at such a ridiculous proposal."

On the other side of the debate, just to be fair, you have a classic example of the rot deeply entrenched at the BBC:

MARK HORTON, presenter of BBC series Coast: "I think the idea of a day when we celebrate community and get involved in community projects is excellent. But it seems people want to mix it up with some notion of Britishness as a sense of identity, and to me it has all the hallmarks of a political bandwagon in which people are trying to find a term that defines multiculturalism. But the very term itself, 'Britishness' - with all the unpleasant undercurrents it can have - could be seen as excluding the Scots, the Welsh, even the Cornish. Until there's a public acceptance of what British identity is, any notion of a day to celebrate it seems strange."

And in case you were wondering what day it is today, it's D-Day. Or perhaps you kids are favourably predisposed to changing that to Beach Day?

15 comments:

Dundonald said...

It’s such a typical response from this government to a problem that is largely of their own making. After setting in motion the process of the UK’s dissolution with their cack-handed devolution settlements; after years of condemning British culture and history in favour of multiculturalism, and after redressing the country’s resistance to European subjugation by repopulating the country with Europeans, the Government will rectify the disquiet by creating a new public holiday. That’s alright then.

The New Labour government is not shy in making new laws—seven for every day of Blair’s premiership. With that in mind, and with Gordon Brown’s new-found enthusiasm for the Union Flag, can we expect a new law stipulating the display of our flag on all our public buildings every day of the year, thus forcing many of the Labour-controlled councils across the land to reverse their self-imposed ban on flying it?

As for the BBC, one wonders exactly what elements of ‘Britishness’ they will seek to promote on our new national day. Well, we would wonder if we did not already know, as we can be fairly certain that Britain Day will be a collective celebration of all things that are not uniquely British.

Of course, the fact that this extra public holiday will bring us closer into line with the EU average is purely coincidental.

Scott said...

I do think more attention needs to be paid to celebrating Britain - our achievements, history, culture and so on - and that, for people as ourselves who readily appreciate and live it, the very idea strikes one as continental and pathetic. But something has to be done for the millions of poorly educated, or those (many) seduced by relativism, etc, who live in this country and haven't the slightest ounce of patriotism.

Britain Day is not the answer. The answer will be bi-partisan, and arise not from politicians but from the people. It does need to be encouraged though.

Of course, a very good start would be repealing a number of the decidedly unBritish laws they have passed on this land.

Dundonald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dundonald said...

As 'Britain Day' is Ruth Kelly's idea, I'm sure her Grandfather would be proud.

http://tinyurl.com/3a6mlk

Chris Abbott said...

This BBC Mark Horton chap is odd - after all, he works for the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation and his salary is paid by the licence fees of BRITISH people. The Scots, Welsh and Cornish feel "excluded" from being British? What about the Shetland islanders? There is some feeling there that they are neither British or Scottish!

The trouble with "Britishness" is that, post-devolution, people in England are force-fed it by a Government terrified of the electorate in that country getting wise to the fact that a parliament based on what was awarded to Scotland is the only way forward. Sooner or later, it MUST happen if the Union is to survive.

Mark Horton finds Britishness has unpleasant undercurrents, and seems to hint that it is actually the fault of the English. Nonsense - Britain is and was a joint venture and several things sometimes perceived as "not right" today are testament to that.

For instance...

The partitioning of Ireland took place under a Welsh PM, with a cabinet disproportionately heavy with Scots.

Scots were disproportionately involved in the old British Empire

Mr BBC Horton's scapegoating of the Engish, who are currently discriminated against on many levels by the UK Government, is bizarre. With his evident reservations about "Britishness", perhaps he'd be better off working for some other organisation than the BBC? I certainly do not relish contributing to his salary.

Mind you, I have no choice!

Beaverbrook said...

Here's an idea: Call it the 'Battle of Britain Day'. I would be all in favour of that!

Rafal Heydel-Mankoo said...

Dear Beaverbrook,

I have also suggested Battle of Britain Day, Trafalgar Day or the old Empire Day as more appropriate dates for the celebration of Britishness.

One of the marked disadvantages of having the world's oldest and most stable democratic constitution and system of government (as Britain does) is that Britain doesn't have any great date upon which it can claim to have been born. We have no Phoenix moment. Ours is a story of relatively peaceful evolution. How civilised. How British.

The closest we can come to a birthday is the date of the Act of Union, yet we saw its tercentenary pass this year without a single catherine wheel or roman candle.

See my blog for my views on Britain Day: http://www.bloggingyoungfogey.blogspot.com/

Dundonald said...

Agreed about the Act of Union being a suitable date, but it's just not inclusive enough for the liberal wonks in Whitehall; hence why the tercentenary was marked with a ceremonial procession of tumbleweed.

I will propose the date we leave the European Union as our new national day. We can call it liberation day. With the vast bulk of our legislation now germinated by a soviet-style cabal in Brussels (and Strasbourg) little over 60 years after our finest stormed the beaches of Gold, Juno and Sword, one wonders why they bothered.

Scott said...

Very true, and very sad.

And annoyingly some way off.

I think Britain Day will be a step on the road to that.

And it should be Trafalgar Day: a day which is an historical precedent for mass patriotic celebrations, which usefully and pertinently emphasises our liberty from continental tyranny, the importance of the upkeep of the Royal Navy, and which has lent itself to marvellous artistic works (pictorial and literary).

Anonymous said...

I can recommend Richard Littlejohn's comment on this subject in today's Daily Mail. I stress that I don't normally read that awful rag but someone sent me a link!

Cato

Anonymous said...

I think with a little adjustment, this "Britain Day" idea has some potential. Let's see now, if we take the "Britain", add an "n" at the end, shift the "i" around to follow it, slip in another "a" right after that, and, and...something else, something else...let's see - well, why not throw in a dash of "rule" at the front end? There. Finished. What's everybody think of my new holiday?

"Rule Britannia Day"

Oh my. Tasty.

And a theme. We should have a theme for the day. How about "Dread and envy"?

Burton

Younghusband said...

Wanted to share this with you chaps without going to the extreme of adding it as a post:

What if the Battle of Trafalgar would have to take place in modern times?

Just before the Battle of Trafalgar - a conversation is overheard on the deck of HMS Victory;

Nelson: “Order the signal, Hardy.”
Hardy: “Aye, aye sir.”
Nelson: “Hold on, that’s not what I dictated to Flags. What’s the meaning of this?”
Hardy: “Sorry sir?”
Nelson (reading aloud): ” England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.” “What gobbledygook is this?”
Hardy: “Admiralty policy, I’m afraid, sir. We’re an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil’s own job getting ‘England’ past the censors, lest it be considered racist.”

Nelson: “Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco.”
Hardy: “Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments.”
Nelson: “In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main brace to steel the men before battle.”
Hardy: “The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its part of the Government’s policy on binge drinking.”

Nelson: “Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we’d better get on with it ………..full speed ahead.”
Hardy: “I think you’ll find that there’s a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water.”
Nelson: “Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in
history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow’s nest please.”
Hardy: “That won’t be possible, sir.”
Nelson: “What?”
Hardy: “Health and Safety have closed the crow’s nest, sir. No harness. And they said that rope ladders don’t meet regulations. They won’t let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected.”
Nelson: “Then get me the ship’s carpenter without delay, Hardy.”
Hardy: “He’s busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo’c’sle Admiral.”
Nelson: “Wheelchair access? I’ve never heard anything so absurd.”
Hardy: “Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled.”
Nelson: “Differently abled? I’ve only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn’t rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card.”
Hardy: “Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is underrepresented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency.”

Nelson: “Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons.”
Hardy: “A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and safety won’t let the crew up the rigging without hard hats. And they don’t want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven’t you seen the adverts?”
Nelson: “I’ve never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy.”
Hardy: “The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral.”
Nelson: “What? This is mutiny !”
Hardy: “It’s not that, sir. It’s just that they’re afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There’s a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks.”

Nelson: “Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?”
Hardy: “Actually, sir, we’re not.”
Nelson: “We’re not?”
Hardy: “No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn’t even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation.”
Nelson: “But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.”
Hardy: “I wouldn’t let the ship’s diversity co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You’ll be up on disciplinary report.”
Nelson: “You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King.”
Hardy: “Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it’s the rules. It could save your life”

Nelson: “Don’t tell me - health and safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?”
Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there’s a ban on corporal punishment.”
Nelson: “What about sodomy?”
Hardy: “I believe that is now legal, sir.”

Nelson: “In that case …kiss me, Hardy.”

Master piece in India said...

This is very good article.

Read Indian Culture on

http://indiankulture.blogspot.com

Regards

Bernie Quigley said...

Same here with President’s Day – Changed from “Washington’s Birthday” and “Lincoln’s Birthday” – lost now to the days of my youth. It is more of the same – a move to the generic to include everyone and minimize the most vital. Which is why the U.S. Presidential race today suggests American Idol. England’s life force in recent history is utterly linked to only several: Nelson, Victoria and few others. Without them there is no England. Incidentally, Gordon Brown will be no better. He vacations here every summer in Martha’s Vineyard, realm of Clintonalia.

Anonymous said...

"...the very term itself, 'Britishness' - with all the unpleasant undercurrents it can have - could be seen as excluding the Scots, the Welsh, even the Cornish."

"unpleasant undercurrents"? Such as?

"...[Britishness] could be seen as excluding the Scots, the Welsh, even the Cornish."

This comment is entirely ridiculous. Amd again, you make a statement and don't prove it's correctness!