May Day madness

Posted March 04, 2011

May Day madness

Roll up your ribbons and dismantle your maypoles. May Day is cancelled! We’ve celebrated May Day in this country for centuries - the crowning of the May Queen, Morris and maypole dancing and necking down real ale (sorry, is it just Thaxted that’s added that bit on?).  It’s a slice of ancient tradition that always unleashes our pagan desire to welcome summer. Now this government wants to scrap it.

Its latest big thinking idea is to move the holiday to St George's Day in April or create a new holiday, called Trafalgar Day, in October. Is anyone giving this coalition government PR advice? If so, they should be sacked. For starters, moving it to St. George’s day is just asking for trouble. Any gentle, good natured fun will be replaced by jingoism at its worst. Instead of flowers and ribbons we’ll have union jack tattoos and dangerous dogs snarling at the leash.

The thinking behind the madness is that it would extend the tourist season beyond the summer holidays. And this would be good for the economy. However, if people would like to keep May Day (yes please!) then we’ll get the chance to voice our opinions. The tourism minister, John Penrose says, "A national conversation on the issue would give everyone the chance to have their say. It's the Big Society in action."

Is this what the Big Society boils down to – spoiling our fun? Why not go the whole hog and replace it with a Cromwell Day? Oliver took austerity to extreme measures; he didn’t believe in any kind of pointless enjoyment.

So if he was around today to influence Dave and Nick they could follow his lead by shutting the ale houses (yikes!) and closing the theatres down. Sports would be banned and any boys caught playing football on a Sunday would be whipped as a punishment.

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