More Public Holidays?
So I received an e-mail in my inbox today (one of many after my host had issues on its cluster servers) one of which was from Number10.gov.uk. Now I’ve put my name down on a few petitions that have been posted using Number10’s unique service. This particular one, though oddly worded, was with regards to having a public holidy to celebrate St. George’s Day. For those curious Number10’s response can be found here. The response, as ever, was half answering and half not but 100% political if you know what I mean.
The first thing to note is that the UK comes bottom when it comes to public holidays and annual holiday entitlement. Now some may say that the difference is only a few days, how can that matter? Though as someone who has worked for long periods of time without a break holiday, even just one day, makes a difference. I thought that one for St. George’s day would be quite apt as there are other countries which have days off to celebrate things of national pride and importance. America for example has President’s day and celebrate the 4th of July so a day to celebrate St. George’s day is just the same. I’d also go so far as saying there should be others for the other patron saints of the other home nations. I just don’t know why it’s so hard to make allowance for 2 or 3 more public holidays. A suggestion that was mentioned in Number10’s reply was one just after Remembrance Day another I’m also in favour of.
I think it’s key to have days which are central to a countries identity as ones to celebrate, in the case of the Remembrance Day it would give the country time to reflect on those fallen for the liberties we take for granted. The problem may come from those who are overly politically correct and feel that celebrating ones like St. George’s day would alienate those who have come to call the UK home. However I feel those fears would be mis-placed. Firstly no-one would complain with an extra day off even if it’s to celebrate a patron saint they have no attachment to. Secondly, one which many feel is a little right-wing but it’s the argument that those who choose to live here should adopt the customs and holidays into their lives. This view isn’t extreme, to me, it’s reasonable. If I were to emigrate to another country (which I am in the process of doing) I would try my hardest to adapt and adopt the customs and practices of that country into my own life, join in the celebrations. The sore point is on those which are religious in basis and I can understand peoples reluctance to adopt those but this isn’t about that. I wouldn’t make any person of another religion adopt that of their new host country, that is extreme. However to ask them to join in celebrations of their new homes patron saint is that of showing pride in the country in which they now live.
So the question is, will the UK Goverment impliment any of these ideas? Off the bat I’d say it’s unlikely I don’t think there’s enough cause for it. It’s not like we had so many and then had them taken away. Some quarters would say it’s people wanting more time to slack off not dedicated to hard graft and working for a living. Personally I hold out a hope that they will purely on the basis that we are the most taxed country we should at least have a couple more days off, surely it’s only fair.