Saturday, April 24, 2004

Take down the Union Jack it clashes with the sunset. And pile up all those history books but don't throw them away.

It would be fantastic if we could really celebrate St George's Day.

If we could use the energy of English pride and put it to good use solving problems rather than creating new ones.

No doubt there are elements of the population who would hijack such celebrations for their own cause. But let's out shout them, out party them. Let's shame their negativity with our positive intentions.

Of course I wouldn't trust The Sun not to use the occasion to have another go at asylum seekers and no doubt the Daily Mail would use it to have another pop at European Union.

Why, in this country, can we not celebrate our own achievements without belittling other nations, races or cultures?

And tell me this: If England, and indeed Britain, is so great? If Britons never shall be slaves? Then why are we, politically speaking, hanging on every word of the President of the USA? Why are we acting out this role as the 51st state? Whey are we being press-ganged into not only fighting in Iraq but also refusing to denounce the atrocities of Israel? Whether it's Sharon or Bush who is ultimately calling the shots, it is sure as hell not Blair, and it is definitely not the will of the British people.

So let us inject a little humility into our celebrations.

Let's use St George's Day as a way of celebrating the positive parts of our society. Let us promote the multi-culturalism of our cities. By all means let us remember the people who died fighting fascism in the World Wars. But let us not wallow in nostalgia for war.

St George's Day shouldn't just be for white English people. It should be for people of all races and religions who call England home. Let us fight terrorism from within by building bridges with British Muslims rather than creating suspicion and mistrust.

St George's Day should be a celebration of all cultures and religions. We should toast each other with Cobra Lager and scoff platefulls of Chicken Tikka Masala.

We should dance down the streets to skiffle, folk, bhangra, rock and pop. Let us celebrate British music, one of our most successful exports, but also let us remember that we didn't invent it.

There has been something of a campaign to change our national anthem. I would agree with the sentiments. I no longer want to speak of Ruling the Waves or Saving the Queen. I would back the suggestions for Blake's Jerusalem .

So let's take this celebration back from the BNP and make it into a celebration of the real positive aspects of our society. Let us show how out of touch the press are with what England is now. Let's dwarf the sumbag racist upstarts' own events with massive, happy, colourful carnivals that create bonds between all elements of society and remind us all what being English can be about.

Love, light and peace,


I saw two shooting stars last night I wished on them but they were only satellites. It's wrong to wish on space hardware. I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care.