Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Reasons, again, to Hate St George’s Day.

with 4 comments

St George’s Day: Celebrating Everything English.

 

Celebrations “from the archaic to the eccentric” are planned across England as David Cameron says St George’s Day has been overlooked for too long.

Celebrations will include a feast in Trafalgar Square, bell ringing at churches across the country and an annual “asparagus run” in Worcestershire to welcome in the harvest.

The day has also been commemorated with a Google Doodle, an animation showing George on horseback ready to fight the dragon.

This year, the Prime Minister said that the cross of St George will fly proudly above No 10 as they honour everything it is to be English.

Mr Cameron said: “Up and down the country – including here in Downing Street – the flag of St George is flying high and celebrations – from the archaic to the eccentric – are taking place.

“In Plymouth – a patriotic festival; in London – a great feast in Trafalgar Square; in Leicester – a medieval re-enactment; and in Worcestershire – an annual ‘asparagus run’, to welcome the new harvest.

“St George has been England’s patron saint since 1350. But for too long, his feast day – England’s national day – has been overlooked.

“Today, though, more and more people are coming together on or around April 23, eager to celebrate everything it is to be English. And there is much to celebrate.

Daily Telegraph.

Celebrating everything that it is to be English.

That’s the rub.

Me I celebrate Chaucer, Dickens, and mushy peas (the day they were invented).

Cameron does not figure, some tat in Trafalgar Square, and a bleedin’ asparagus run?  Asparagus originated in Egypt and  was a famous Roman dish, whence the name,  via the  Latin from Greek asparagos .as far as I am aware).

As for the Traflagar Square – Monday apparently – look as this sad commercial do,

Organised by the Mayor of London, the Feast of St George is inspired by St George’s Day’s 13th century origins as a national day of feasting.

There’ll be an English farmers’ market, with around 20 stalls selling mouth-watering treats like hog roast, homemade pies, cakes and freshly squeezed lemonade – all can be enjoyed in a splendid banqueting area seating 250 people between Trafalgar Square’s iconic fountains.

In Cooks’ Corner, supported by Northbank, see live demonstrations from leading London chefs as they cook up English dishes from past and present.

The afternoon’s soundtrack comes courtesy of the Music Medley bandstand with talented young musicians and singers from GIGS, the Mayor’s busking competition.

There’ll be plenty of activities for the kids too with a marquee full of family activities and an outdoor games area where you can try a range of traditional garden games.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson says: “Our Feast of St George is set to be a day of revelry and merriment for all the family, with delicious food and a whole host of activities for all ages.

About the only Englishness I can thole is this kind:

A Ballade of an Anti-puritan

They spoke of Progress spiring round,
Of light and Mrs Humphrey Ward-
It is not true to say I frowned,
Or ran about the room and roared;
I might have simply sat and snored-
I rose politely in the club
And said, `I feel a little bored;
Will someone take me to a pub?’

The new world’s wisest did surround
Me; and it pains me to record
I did not think their views profound,
Or their conclusions well assured;
The simple life I can’t afford,
Besides, I do not like the grub-
I want a mash and sausage, `scored’-
Will someone take me to a pub?

I know where Men can still be found,
Anger and clamorous accord,
And virtues growing from the ground,
And fellowship of beer and board,
And song, that is a sturdy cord,
And hope, that is a hardy shrub,
And goodness, that is God’s last word-
Will someone take me to a pub?

Envoi
Prince, Bayard would have smashed his sword
To see the sort of knights you dub-
Is that the last of them-O Lord
Will someone take me to a pub?

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

4 Responses

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  1. The idea of celebrating St George’s Day seems rather odd. You’d think that if the flag-wavers wanted to prove how uniquely brilliant ‘their’ country is, they’d have picked a saint that wasn’t shared by so many other nations.

    Igor Belanov

    April 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm

  2. It’s just a publicity stunt. I don’t know how you can take it so seriously. My sister-in-law was ‘complaining’ that the Norfolk coast is going to be christened ‘the Royal coast’ in honour of Bill and Cathy, but I said to her, it’s a tourist thing. Listen, I sat in my house on April 23rd, and never a squeak of anyone celebrating a saints’ day reached my ears, and I expect it the same for ninety-nine percent of the population. The fact that you remark that chefs will be demonstrating English cookery tells me all I need to know. This is inspired by commerical considerations not patriotism.

    sue r

    April 23, 2014 at 9:08 pm

  3. Also love Chesterton’s Ballade of Suicide which has got me through many dark hours:

    The gallows in my garden, people say,
    Is new and neat and adequately tall;
    I tie the noose on in a knowing way
    As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
    But just as all the neighbours–on the wall–
    Are drawing a long breath to shout “Hurray!”
    The strangest whim has seized me. . . . After all
    I think I will not hang myself to-day.

    To-morrow is the time I get my pay–
    My uncle’s sword is hanging in the hall–
    I see a little cloud all pink and grey–
    Perhaps the rector’s mother will not call– I fancy that I heard from Mr. Gall
    That mushrooms could be cooked another way–
    I never read the works of Juvenal–
    I think I will not hang myself to-day.

    The world will have another washing-day;
    The decadents decay; the pedants pall;
    And H.G. Wells has found that children play,
    And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall,
    Rationalists are growing rational–
    And through thick woods one finds a stream astray
    So secret that the very sky seems small–
    I think I will not hang myself to-day.

    ENVOI

    Prince, I can hear the trumpet of Germinal,
    The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way;
    Even to-day your royal head may fall,
    I think I will not hang myself to-day

  4. In my experience Sue these kind of British cooking events are below criticism.

    Thanks for that Roger – G.K. was so often spot-on, though not always, shame about a few things, starting with The Ballad of the White Horse!

    Andrew Coates

    April 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm


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