Lot of tired articles knocking around at the moment, complaining about St George's Day. It's jingoistic, he's of dubious provenance, he never visited England, it panders to right wing racists, etc, etc, blah, etc.
1) If we dispensed with silly, anachronistic, pseudo-religious festivals, we basically wouldn't have any scheduled national piss-ups at all.
2) Most saints' lives are conflations of various popular myths, at best interlaced with a smattering of tenuous 'facts'. Most saints' days are pagan festivals hijacked by Christians. St Andrew never visited Scotland. St Nicholas never shinned down your chimney. St Patrick didn't chase the snakes out of Ireland. Don't pretend that historical veracity is remotely relevant. You'll just make yourself look ridiculous.
3) Last I checked, surrendering anything to ultra-right wing racists was a profoundly bad idea. If there is just one compelling reason for claiming St George's Day and clutching it to the national bosom, it's to stop those drooling Neanderthals from appropriating ready-made branding. Let's make it a celebration of weedy, disabled, feminist, multi-ethnic gayness. With real ale. After all, if Bletchley Park is anything to go by, it's these unique aspects of our national character that probably did more than anything in our history to really stick it to the fascists.
Foodie and grubby: not the same thing
2 weeks ago