A day to remember
Hijacking a significant anniversary for political ends—that apparently is the master plan. Having failed to get the bongs of Big Ben to sound on the 31st January, ‘Brexit day’ Johnson has now decreed that Churchill’s VE Victory speech must be broadcast in public places on the 8th May, the 75th anniversary of victory in Europe. This date has been declared a bank holiday, being shifted from the previous Monday’s usual slot. I don’t suppose there’ll be much opposition to this particular date shifting, but it craftily achieves another long-held Tory ambition—to end the association of a public holiday with International Workers Day. They have wanted to shift this bank holiday since 2011, to ‘Trafalgar Day’ in October. This year’s change is going to be a deft little move to make that happen. I don’t suppose the public will react very much to such a change, indeed they may welcome a bank holiday in the long holiday-free autumn period. But it will be one of those little tell-tale signs of contempt for workers which ‘ex-red wall’ voters in the north may wish to mark. Johnson cares little for them, and any concern he had will evaporate as fast as has his demonstration of concern for flood victims, who now that the election is out of the way have experienced neither sight nor sound of him.
For my money I would have an extra public holiday in autumn—it would be on the Monday after Remembrance Sunday– but given Johnson’s lamentable performance at last year’s Cenotaph ceremony, he probably doesn’t want to go there.
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