Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Britain Day (redux)

Just some quick pointers, I've linked to him before, but Uncle Steve has an alternate take on Brown's little idea:
Steve's Politics update in 2 minutes!
Summarising the political issues of the day, so you don't have to do actual research.
Boring sounding politics issue of the day:
Not content with having people take a "Britishness test" to become a citizen, Gordon Brown wants us to celebrate a "British Day" as a national holiday similar to 4th July in the US. There are several problems with this:

The facts:
  • Yes, it's bollocks.
  • No, there's no hidden detail, it's just as bollocks as it sounds.
  • We don't need a day, and we'd be no good at celebrating it anyway.
  • It's actually impossible to celebrate, because Britain's national identity is not stuck in the 60's. What would you include as "British"? As the Guardian said, "'Girls Aloud' and 'Ant and Dec'?"

The Guardian: "After a traditional British breakfast of Danish bacon, French croissants, Florida orange juice, Australian-owned newspapers and Indian tea..."
He also has a follow up post where people are discussing what such a day would actually celebrate. The list currently includes the Domesday Book, Eddie Izzard, Sean Connery, Tea, Oscar Wilde and Douglas Adams. That's just me picking stuff at random. Worth a look if you've got some time to kill, 157 comments on the latter one and counting.

Paul's post on the subject is here, but, well, if you're reading British blogs generally you've likely already seen it heaped with bile in various places. Personally, I'm cynical, but think it's a good idea, just, well, Gordon Brown; maybe I'm too cynical, NuLab, Cool Britannia, another little ploy? One commenter has suggested July 7th, if it's going to happen then, well, why let Brown pick the date?


chris said...

Perhaps they could use that expensive and pointless 'icons of britain' website thing they set up to pick the activities. So a look at the top three:
1. Fox Hunting
2. The English Countryside
3. Morris Dancing

Ermmm ... back to the drawing board then.

Katherine said...

Hmm - "Domesday Book, Eddie Izzard, Sean Connery, Tea, Oscar Wilde and Douglas Adams" - so that is: English, transvestite, Scottish, not-British, gay and, erm, funny. Excellent stuff! I'll sign up for a extra day off for Domesday/Izzard/Connery/tea/Wilde/Adams Day!

KathyF said...

The British blogosphere is discussing whether or not a day to celebrate tea is a good idea, while the American blogosphere is discussing whether or not our president who clearly stole an election or two also broke the law by spying on citizens.

Why again did we leave this country?

MatGB said...

@ Kathy.

Y'see, the thing is, I think utter dislike of Bush has permeated us to an extent that, well, we've given up trying.

But we're quite happy to have a go at Tired Tony the liar et al. Just, well, only so much you can say on one subject.

Besides, Brown is PM in waiting, supposedly, cheap publicity stunts are worthy of derision, do't you think?

As to why you're where you are? No idea...

Katherine; precisely, let the geeks assemble the list, it'll be much more representative of stuff we can actually be proud of.

Unlike this icons site, which was bound to get hijacked almost immediately.

"The English Countryside" is an icon? Um, no, it just is. Fox hunting happens everywhere, and morris dancing at third? Ouch, the England Project not doing very well then, they're plugging St George, which, well, I have to say I kinda agree with...

KathyF said...

I sort of meant that as praise, actually. Our concerns over a government run amok in America are so much greater than yours. Yet our ancestors once thought you guys were the oppressors.

Not that everything's great here...but the disparity of our respective disagreements with our govts are huge.

(By "here" I mean in the U.K. for those who don't know I'm an ex-pat American.)

The Remittance Man said...

'ang on! The Scots get a day off already for St Andy's Day and even the papist hating Ulster Unionists get to go home and put on the orange sash on St Paddy's Day. Before we go giving them another day off can we at least even things out for the Anglos and the Welsh?

So that'll be one St David's Day west of Offa's Dyke and one St George's Day in God's Own Country, please.

If we get that, I'm prepared to nominate either Battle of Britain Day or Trafalgar Day as suitable dates for a Union-wide holiday.