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Celebrate your Britishness by not Celebrating your Britishness

Plans for Bank Holiday show Britons 'lack national purpose' - Telegraph according to a study which found that most people prefer to spend their Bank Holiday watching television or surfing the internet rather than celebrating the country's heritage.

Mintel said the findings showed public holidays "lack any real meaning beyond having a day off work" for the typical Briton.

The firm's leisure spokesman James McCoy said: "There is still a growing debate around adding an extra Bank Holiday to the calendar, particularly one that celebrates a shared identity or sense of Britishness.

"For this to work people need to get off the sofa and get involved, much like our overseas counterparts who often celebrate national days with fiestas and carnivals.

"Brits are simply not proactive or spontaneous during their bank holidays, preferring to lounge around the house or catch up on some rest. The fact that we don't do anything on bank holidays could well reflect this lack of national purpose."

Hurray - I don't want to be dragooned down to council organised "street parties to improve community relations." I just want the bloody day off, but then I'm a native here and that is how we think....


Tim, when do farmers EVER get a day off ? Surely an extra bank holiday would be a extra day NOT off for you ? Could you stand the strain ?

Alan Douglas

I will be "celebrating Britishness" this bank holiday by putting on a red coat and enjoying a bit of musketry against the Frog at this venue. There's usually a good turn out of spectators for such things, showing that they are interested in seeing a display of our traditional "national purpose."

Only foreigners from collectivist polities have "National Purpose". The unpriceable joy of living in (what once was) a Liberal Classical minimal State is/was that individuals were allowed to forget about stuff like "National Purpose".

If there was indeed any "point" about being British, then it was to teach other less fortunate peoples how to live, by, well, just showing them how, and setting up those minimal institutions which could not be strictly voluntary and individuallt-driven.

Then we went home.

When at home, we just did the garden, or watched the Wireless Tele Vision. (So what, I say?) It's meddling Stalinist lefties who can't understand this outward lack of seriousness of purpose. But it's one of the defining characteristics of a free society.

"Celebrating Britishness"? My trousers! (as said by our Latin master in the early 1960s, who went over the top on 1st July 1916, and lived.)

But would/could Nanny allow much in the way of celebration? How many places still allow burning "the Guy" remembering Fawkes? How much fun is it without that? Fireworks? Heck, didn't some Councils forbid restaurants to put candles on customer birthday cakes for Health-and-Safety reasons?

Most countries celebrations of "national purpose" are nearly all about revolution and military victory. Can we soon expect back bench Labour MPs and Guardian columnists to start calling for Trafalgar day or VE day?

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