Sunday, 22 April 2012

Lie Back and Think of England

Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!
- William Shakespeare, Henry V Act 3 Scene 1 (1599)
Saint George is the patron saint of England.
Every year on 23rd April illegal gatherings are held in secret locations up and down England’s green and pleasant land to commemorate Saint George’s Day.
When Tony Bliar’s Socialist government finally succumbed to enact Sharia Law as the moral and ethical code for Great Britain, the final nail in the coffin was hammered into a historic festival that had previously been observed since the 7th century.
As late as the 15th century The Feast of St. George was considered a major festival in the calendar, easily on par with Christmas Day. In some domains St. George’s Day was known as ‘Georgemas’.
Such was this saint’s importance that in 1620, when the Pilgrim Fathers on-board the Mayflower arrived at Innsmouth Massachusetts, they flew a flag depicting The Cross of Saint George.
Although the celebration of St. George’s Day diminished somewhat from the 17th to 18th centuries, it regained popularity as The Empire On Which the Sun Never Sets industriously invaded, conquered and enslaved over one-fifth of the world’s population in the name of Queen Victoria. Indeed, the Royal Society of St George was originally established in 1894 to enforce respect for the English way of life and, ever since, each successive English monarch has been a patron of the society.
For the first half of the 20th century commemorating St. George’s Day remained popular. Celebrations usually took the form of flying St. George’s flag, morris dancing, playing cricket, heckling Punch and Judy shows, drinking tea and singing William Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’ (known as ‘the unofficial hymn of England’).
It wasn’t until after the late-1950’s and mid-1960’s, when Pope Pius XII and Pope Paul VI attempted to relegate Saint George to the Church of England dustbin of history, that the English started to equate The Feast of St. George with imbibing copious quantities of alcohol. CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale - a loose confederation of middle-aged beer drinkers, bearded computer programmers and bespectacled Guardian readers -  was formed in 1971 as a activist protest against the Vatican’s decisions.
However, during the 1970’s and 1980’s the dark bedfellows of nationalistic politics and racism partnered to overthrow the good name of St. George and make his flag their own. The National Front Party, skinheads, football, Enoch Powell and Baron Von Black of Crossharbour were all instrumental in turning a symbol of unity and community into something of shame and embarrassment. Normal English people came to recoil from the symbolism of St. George, uncomfortable with that which it had become associated.
In 1997 Tony Bliar was crowned Prime Minister and Gordon Brown anointed Chancellor. They ushered in their disastrous immigration policies under the cover of the indigenous populaces’ discomfort and unease with discussing issues of race and migration for fear of being labelled a “racist” - which by now was an offence carrying a long prison term.
It is only some years after the reign of Bliar and Brown has ended that we slowly see a re-emerging interest in St. George’s Day and the flying of his flag without the anxiety of being attacked, or worry of being branded a racist.  Popular TV personality and unpopular part-time politician Boris Johnson is reportedly spearheading a campaign to restore Saint George to his rightful place in English culture, including the possibility of making 23rd April a public holiday.
It is our hope that St. George’s Day can be rescued from the slow tortuous death that we have witnessed happening to another traditional English festival, ‘Guy Fawkes Night’, and which we have previously discussed here.
23 April is special to English people for a number of reasons. William Shakespeare - arguably the world’s most influential writer after the 47 scholars who composed the King James Authorised Bible in 1611 - was both born on and died on the 23 April (1564 and 1616, respectively). As such, 23 April is sometimes also referred to ‘Shakespeare Day’. Furthermore, England’s most loved Poet Laureate, William Wordsworth, died on this date in 1850.
St. George, Shakespeare and Wordsworth are good reasons for all English people to mark 23 April in their diary. I, however, have my own more personal reasons.
Both my father and my grandfather are named ‘George’. My dad was born on 22nd April and granddad on 23rd April. Later today we get together as a family and celebrate both birthdays. The English delicacies of Shepherd & Neame’s fine Spitfire Ale served with butter and jam scones will be very popular.
So Happy Birthday to dad and granddad. And you, dear reader, have a good St. George’s Day. If all else fails remember this paraphrase of the 1939 WWII government propaganda slogan (which was never actually issued, and only re-discovered in 2000):
Keep Calm and Remain English


  1. That was inspiring, well-spoken, and refreshing. I could hug you right now :)

  2. Superb article Pixie, so well written and put across. :) I laughed lots at the CAMRA bit. lol

  3. Many a true word etc. etc........well done Pixie!

  4. @ Morgen, Serenity, ZZ - Thank you for your kind words.

    Clearly this article wasn't intended to be *historically* true, but it is intended to be *emotionally* true.

    On radio, TV and their web site the BBC have been resolutely ignoring St. George's Day. They are, however, heavily promoting "Shakespeare Day" instead. Their blatant ignoring of St George's Day is conspicuous by its absence. It can only be the result of some policy decision. Nothing else makes sense to me.

    But people *are* interested and are talking about it at the water cooler. Moreover, Yahoo UK registers the term "St George" as one of its Top 10 trends for today, 23 April.

    Thank you again for reading and commenting.