Saturday, 5 February 2011

For the May Day is the great day...

Britain's Minister for Days Off wants to move the May Day Bank Holiday to October.

Why? Partly because there are too many bank holidays (public holidays) in the spring and none in the autumn (which is true) and partly because May Day Bank Hol was a nasty Old Labour introduction from the Seventies, and still carries the shade of socialism - which apparently upsets some Conservative MPs. If so, they really should grow up a bit..

The true May Day itself, with all its folk traditions, would be largely unaffected by this move, because the bank hol is rarely actually on May 1st anyway - its official name is "Early May Bank Holiday" and in 2012 it'll be a week late, on May 7th! 

Abram Morris Dance
By the way, I'm delighted to see that May Day Morris is not confined to Britain. See here. Now, if the UK government wants to boost tourism, it's no good simply shifting the days off around - instead they should introduce more.
We're getting an extra day for the royal wedding this year, and another for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next year (both in the first half of the year), so why not actually just have one more bank hol in the second half of the year, and leave May Day alone? 

That would truly boost tourism and bring us a bit more into line with the rest of Europe, nearly all of which has more public hols than the UK.

East Kent Morris
A bit more, I say, but not actually "in line". The average number of public holidays in Europe is 11 - the UK gets 8. So go on, minister, give us three extra days off. I'd dance to that!

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