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St George and the Boris

By March 23, 2009April 2nd, 2009News

It’s not often that we get an opportunity to applaud the Daily Mail here at BorisWatch Towers, and so we’re going to seize the moment: their recent article on Boris’s decision to encourage St George’s Day celebrations highlights a bold decision that should have been made years ago.

A multicultural society is important, there can be no doubt about that; in fact, trying to pretend that Britain is anything other than a melting pot of other cultures is pretty much hiding your head in the sand at this point. However, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating the traditionally English along with that, and Boris makes a very good point: why is it that we don’t make a fuss for our patron saint in the country the way St Andrew, St Patrick and St David are celebrated? Is England no longer a thing to be celebrated?

Still, if blatant nationalism isn’t your thing, you might want to note that St George’s Day marks the date of death (and probable birthday) of Shakespeare, so perhaps you might find yourself tempted by a few sonnets or a quick trip to the theatre.

Let us know your thoughts. Will you be embracing your Englishness come April 23rd? If so, how? If not, what’s stopping you?

(image: VentnorBlog Isle of Wight News)


  • angel says:

    To suggest celebrating St. George’s Day not only for that day but for a whole week is a masterstroke. The country, not just London is crying out for some fun, inspiration and the feelgood factor and trust Boris to be first in line to provide those things for the nation.

    Since 23rd April is Shakespeare’s birthday, it would be incredible if we could have the opportunity to watch some of his marvellous plays. This could easily be arranged. Huge screens could be erected in parks or Trafalgar Square, to enable Londoners to feast their eyes and ears on Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V, Robert Stephens’ King Lear, Toby Stephens’ Coriolanus…… we could thrill to Baz Luhrmann’s modern take on Romeo and Juliet, and there are so many brilliant performances of Hamlet on film to choose from, including Lord Olivier’s.

    Of the many Muslims of my aquaintance, I do not know one who would be offended by the celebration of St. George’s Day. The suggestion by the PC twerps that the Muslim people will be offended because they will be reminded of the Crusades is the height of lunacy, because Muslims accept we have our customs and history just as they do.

    Do the French nation avoid Waterloo station, because it reminds them of their defeat in the hands of the Duke of Wellington? Do we avoid Turkey as a holiday destination because of our humiliation when we lost the Light Brigade? Surely we should shun memories of the Crusades…. Saladin dished out defeat to Richard the Lionheart pretty successfully, kicking his butt in many battles. Every country has shameful episodes in their history and also things they are hugely proud of. Why should we be deprived of our pride in St. George? He reputedly had Turkish blood and fittingly, someone of Turkish blood has restored him to us.

  • angela says:

    I truly believe that St. Boris singlehandedly has slain the PC dragon!

  • catherine says:

    Shakespeare sonnets at the Globe theatre! How lovely! A whole week of celebrations for St. George is something to really look forward to.

  • angela says:

    Prestwick, exactly! But Saladin was a hero that all Muslims could feel proud of, and I always preferred him to Richard I. For example, Saladin and his forces had a most chivalrous attitude towards women and children in combat, they believed that women and children should be spared and protected. Richard I did not share this view. They were both, if I can remember my history of this period, skilled tacticians and fghters, but surely all Muslims must remember this time with interest and pride? If they think about it at all, which the guys at my local newsagent and at the local college assured me with guffaws they don’t!

  • dave says:

    The celebrations are bound to be hugely popular, and a whole week is even better. Well done Boris and all Londoners will raise a glass to the Mayor.

  • dave says:

    Does Boris intend to dress up as St. George?

  • catherine says:

    IIn the legend, St. George slew the dragon to rescue a princess. (I had no idea that St. George was of Turkish origin.)

    For anyone who wishes to read details of the legend, click on the link above.

  • angela says:

    My fondest hope is that it will be possible to have large screen showings of Shakespeare plays outdoors or in Trafalgar Square.

    As viewers will not have to pay to watch, there might be copyright problems. On the other hand, if permission were granted, the owners of the films could be sure of a massive increase in sales of the relevant DVDs.

    All Shakespeare plays would be magnificient on a large screen. I have never been very fond of modern versions of the plays, when they muck about with the text. (The one exception is Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet, I loved that.) Paul Schofield’s LEAR is so grim, could we take it on a large screen? It would be overwhelming. Better stick to HENRY V, either Olivier or Branagh, and MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM. CORIOLANUS is my favourite, but maybe not so suitable for St. George’s Day. TWELFTH NIGHT and ROMEO AND JULIET would be good.

  • Scout says:

    I’m glad we can trust Boris to have some sense when it comes to political correctness. I don’t know anyone who would actually be offended by St George’s celebrations and clearly Boris can see this. I’m glad that we’re a multicultural society but we still have our national pride do we not? Good on you Boris 🙂

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