I COMPLETELY agree with Cllr Jeremy Birch that Hastings Day should be the new public holiday.
He’s also right to say that the current government should leave the May Day Bank Holiday alone.
May Day is an ancient annual rite across many cultures that any Government tampers with at its peril.
The fact that it has also become Workers’ Day in many countries across the globe should serve as a reminder to the Government of the need to keep the disgruntled masses happy.
As for the proposed autumn Bank Holiday, as I understand it the Government favours Trafalgar Day, October 21.
But is a commemoration of a famous naval victory over the French which ensured Britain’s naval supremacy for the next 100 years and enabled the rapid expansion of empire really what modern Britain needs? Jingoism is surely the most dangerous political emotion going.
Surely, a far more subtle sense of national celebration would arise from remembering the Battle of Hastings, only a week earlier, an event in which the nation that we became is both conqueror and conquered.
The battle is our founding myth, a tale of ruthlessness and humiliation that enables us to identify with vanquisher and vanquished alike. I can’t think of a better history lesson than that.