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Scrap ‘socialist’ May Day bank holiday and create ‘Acts of Union Day’ says Telegraph assistant editor

27 Apr 2022 3 minute read
Picture by Reinhold Möller (CC BY-SA 4.0).

The Telegraph‘s assistant editor has called for the “socialist” May Day bank holiday to be scrapped and an ‘Acts of Union Day’ to be created in its stead.

Philip Johnston noted that the United Kingdom came into being on 1 May and that it should be used as a day to celebrate the Union.

He was responding to calls for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to become a yearly bank holiday called ‘Thank Holiday’, which he said was too “sentimental”.

“Why not scrap the socialist May bank holiday, and use the first of May to honour the Acts of Union instead?” Philip Johnston asked.

“What we really need is a National Day. We are one of only two countries in the world that does not have one, the other being Denmark though even they have a Constitution Day.

“Perhaps only states that have been invaded, occupied, colonised or had revolutions have national days, which would explain why we don’t, as none of these have happened to us for centuries.”

‘Move’

He noted that Wales and England only have eight bank holidays, the fewest in Europe, while Scotland has nine and Northern Ireland 10.

“When he was prime minister, Gordon Brown fretted about establishing a British identity and proposed a United Kingdom Day, although nothing ever came of it,” he said.

“Among the suggestions was October 21, Trafalgar Day, but that was ruled out for fear of offending the French. Magna Carta could be celebrated as a national event, except it never applied in Scotland and the agreement was made in June, which does not solve the problem of too many spring holidays.

“Why not turn May 1 into a National Day? It was the date in 1707 that the Acts of Union came into force and the United Kingdom of Great Britain came into being. We would just need to move the existing early May holiday from the first Monday back to May Day itself.

“Mr Johnson, when he became Prime Minister, also appointed himself Minister for the Union. He should mark his tenure by creating a UK National Day.”

‘Well established’

The move to create a new bank holiday in June comes despite the UK Government rejecting calls for St David’s Day to be made a bank holiday in Wales In response to a petition which had been signed by over 12,000 people.

Responding to the petition, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:   “Although an additional bank holiday may benefit some communities and sectors, the cost to the economy of an additional bank holiday remains considerable.

“The latest analysis estimates the cost for a one-off bank holiday (across the whole of the UK) to be around £2bn.

“The Government regularly receives requests for additional bank and public holidays to celebrate a variety of occasions. However, the current pattern of bank holidays is well established and accepted.”


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Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
5 months ago

What we can’t have: A St Davids Day Bank Holiday for Cymru
What we can have: Lots of Jingoistic nonsense

Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago

If that lot over the border were to have a holiday for every country they colonised or subjugated, they would be on a permanent holiday, with nobody working. Imperialist claptrap.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
5 months ago

What *we* need is an ‘Independence Day’.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago
Reply to  Welsh_Siôn

ASAP!

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
5 months ago

The “union” Wales and Ireland had zero choice in joining?

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
5 months ago

A St David’s’ Day bank holiday cannot be afforded but a Union Day bank holiday can. Currently, everyone can enjoy the May Day bank holiday as it is non political, universally inoffensive and is for all of us hard working, long suffering people who should be thanked for keeping everything going. So far, we’ve had suggested Thatcher day, Queeny day and now Union day so that only people who love and support those things are intended for inclusion and to hell with anyone who doesn’t like it. If anyone tells you Independence is ‘divisive’, take a look at THIS goading… Read more »

Marc
Marc
5 months ago

Go **** yourself

robin campbell
robin campbell
5 months ago
Reply to  Marc

well said

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago

Another one rises to the top of the bash the Celts roster and screw the workers list. Another Tory imbecile…. Just eff off.

Bill
Bill
5 months ago

“Perhaps only states that have been invaded, occupied, colonised or had revolutions have national days, ” Which would be our justification for having a “Cymru Day” perhaps as an aspiration to shake off the yolk of our colonial “masters”.

Llinos
Llinos
5 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Yoke I think.
Unless you are suggesting this dumb idea leaves the Torygraph with egg on its face?

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
5 months ago
Reply to  Llinos

Cracking up at that one, Llinos … 😉

David
David
5 months ago

Next they will want a Pornographic Day to remember the Tory MP’s viewing their phones in the Commons chamber.

Iain Graham
Iain Graham
5 months ago
Reply to  David

Indeed

Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
5 months ago
Reply to  David

Let every patriot stand proud and erect upon that day to give remembrance to those who came forth when duty called them to office.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Hill

You missed a trick, Cathy. You should have said, “Let every patriotic member …”

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago
Reply to  David

“All Rise”.

Llinos
Llinos
5 months ago

May Day is not a Socialist holiday. It is a religious one. Beltain Bel-Tan or Calan Haf were later celebrated with devotions to the Virgin Mary. It was a fertility festival dedicated to a mother goddess to pre-Christians and a celebration to the holy mother for Christians. I mean we are all adults here. We know what a May-Pole danced around by virgins means, yes? Typical those Prude Victorian throwbacks in the Torygraph would want to end one of the more fun HolyDays in favour of more flag waving bollix. Come one you know the rhyme “Hooray hooray The first… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago
Reply to  Llinos

… where ?

Llinos
Llinos
5 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

😆 Well I’ve heard rumours about certain rural car parks in the area, but I’ve not seen an itinerary.
I did once stumble across a pagan May ritual whilst out walking in some dunes. But they were at the drumming, singing, dancing stage. What they did afterwards I couldn’t say. Wild costumes though

Richard
Richard
5 months ago

The May Day bank holiday is certainly of very little modern relevance and a very last centuary but a new Empire Day is just a joke.

Why not ask folk what they want?

1. Empire Day
2. May Day
3. St Davids Day

Llinos
Llinos
5 months ago
Reply to  Richard

As Welsh_Siôn suggests above
4. Independence Day

Richard
Richard
5 months ago
Reply to  Llinos

Good one ☝️- option 4 it is 😃

The original mark
The original mark
5 months ago

What we need is someone to do some proof reading for nation.cymru.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

More bile inducing claptrap from the toilet paper Telegraph.

Last edited 5 months ago by Y Cymro
I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago

“Ban the Maypole!”, Oh eck, they did that 400 years ago!

Julie Jones
Julie Jones
5 months ago

Unionists really are clueless on history and terminology. Johnston’s article is full of inconsistencies and errors. Notice how they never use the phrase “State” which is how the UK should be labelled. The “UK National Day” cannot be, as the UK is not one, but four, nations. I blame the English Public School system (and colonialism, of course).

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