Happy St George’s day

Today we celebrate England’s day.

We remember our greatest  dramatist and poet, William Shakespeare, who was  born and died  on or about this day.

I wish you all  a happy April 23rd.

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42 Comments

  1. bigneil
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    And same to you John though i’m surprised something so English has survived so long in this day of “Destroy everything English to wipe out national identity”.

    • Hope
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Is it unreasonable to expect EVEL promised by Cameron on the steps of Downing Street. He even claimed only the Tory party could deliver it! Alas another false tale.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Happy St George’s Day.

    Without this I would have forgotten. The English are not big on nationalism.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Off topic – How many hip/knee replacements does the London Marathon cause the NHS ? It’s got to be significant when all the training is taken into consideration.

    I run thrice a week but would never dream of doing those sorts of distances. Madness.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Indeed why don’t the marathon fun runners do something useful with all that spare energy instead of wearing out their joints ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 5:14 am | Permalink

      Indeed my father was a keen squash player, but in his sixties to eighties needed two hip ops (three really as one got infected and needed redoing) plus one knee op and a back op. The lack of mobility in his later years affected him badly. Fortunately he had private medical insurance through his company (back in the sensible days when you got tax relief and there was no 12% IPT on it). Thus lightening the load on the NHS. But now we have Hammond’s state monopoly NHS approach.

      One year, I think four people actually died during the Great North Run (and that is only half a marathon). How many die or get injured in training for it one wonders. I shall stick to my walking, swimming, table tennis and the occational bike ride I think.

  4. Mark B
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Happy St. Georges Day to our kind host and fellow contributors, where ever they may be.

  5. Newmania
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Shakespeare – Remain obviously, far too cosmopolitan to be a little Englander although he certainly understood the emotions of identity. I struggle to think of any great writer who can imagine voting for Brexit , Rudyard Kipling maybe , Bunyan , Fielding ?
    Jane Austen is an interesting one , a Conservative certainly but I cannot see her relish of order as Brexity. In end it is Sense , not sensibility we are invited to chiefly admire although this hardly does her justice to read even her most schematic book so literally .
    When it comes to poets not only can I not think of anyone but it almost seems to spirit of poetry rebels at the small mindedness of Brexit

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Tell it to the French or the Dutch – They have elected REAL right wingers in significant numbers.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Jane Austen represents British Conservatism at its best. Her background was gentry (mother’s family), merchant class as well as clergy (father) and navy (brother).
      She was witty, modest, and self-controlled.
      In her books, she upholds traditional English values, but she was no Little Englander either, scorning small-minded, ignorant English provincialism.
      Although not overtly religious in her writing, Mansfield Park is a subtle attack on the atheism of the French Revolution. Mansfield Park is very much a defence of the traditional, Christian / Conservative values of the day.
      I have no doubt, Jane Austen would have been appalled by the Conservative Party introducing gay marriage as well as by the vulgar, greedy, hard-right, populist Conservatism we’ve seen in the USA recently (and she would have loathed social liberalism and socialism of course).
      She was a lady, a wit, a Christian and a British Conservative in all the best senses.
      Thank God for Jane Austen

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 23, 2017 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Oh do give it a rest.

        Over wordy Arts grads are what have got us into this mess. STEM students will get us out of it.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 25, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          ‘STEM students will get us out of it’

          – I think you’ll find that a lot of entrepreneurs, including in the technology sector, have arts degrees (and many don’t even have any degree at all). Not forgetting, of course, that the arts aren’t just about creativity – essential to creating a business – but also about logic argument and persuasion – all key to helping to build up your business.

          But, anyway, our country isn’t just about jobs and economics, important as that is. It’s also about culture, the imagination, beauty and the arts (which also leads to increased patriotism – love of country, a key Conservative value). And without these, you have end up with a pretty dull, dysfuctional society.
          Regards

          ‘Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere’ – Einstein

      • Newmania
        Posted April 24, 2017 at 4:23 am | Permalink

        Ha ha …we share a passion Mr Mahony !!! I agree with you , a magical writer , a Mozart of the written word .

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Shakespeare was a British patriot (like Jane Austen) but in the best sense of the word (it seems that he was a Roman Catholic – with patriotism being a Catholic virtue, similar to it being a virtue in the Church of England Christianity of Jane Austen). However, he was certainly no Little Englander (Catholicism is also about being aware about what is ugly about one’s self and one’s country and not being blindly, mindlessly and fanatically patriotic – and you find this very much in his plays). And he loved European culture, the Renaissance and in particular the arts, science and history of Italy.
      Thank God for William Shakespeare

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      I find it really sad that people have to go to extremes.
      On the one hand, I’m sure there are some / perhaps many Brexiteers who dislike/loathe the concept of patriotism.
      On the other hand, I’m sure there are some / perhaps many Brexiteers who are uncritically/blindly patriotic.
      When what’s needed, surely, is a healthy balance between the two extremes.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        ‘On the one hand, I’m sure there are some / perhaps many Brexiteers who dislike/loathe the concept of patriotism’

        – Sorry, i meant Remainers not Brexiteers – should be: ‘On the one hand, I’m sure there are some / perhaps many Remainers who dislike/loathe the concept of patriotism.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Newmania

      ” Who is here so vile that will not love his country?”

      Hamlet
      ” All the worlds a stage”

      The merchant of Venice

      ” Thou know’est that all my fortunes are at sea”

      King Lear
      ” How, in one house, should many people under two commands hold amity? ”

      ( Not a fan of supranational government then )

      Taming of the shrew

      “No profit grows where no pleasure is taken”

      Of course being totally ignorant you fall into the trap every time of believing your own flawed analysis . Brexit is internationalist, globalist and expansionist and seeing freedom in the world. Remainers are trapped in a 20th century backwater of Western Europe. Have you never asked yourself why Europe hasn’t produced any innovative breakthroughs, new industries or indeed even participated in them. How many mobile phone, tablet or other advanced digital devices are manufactured by EU countries…oh none… Whilst I enjoy good art, writing and poetry you can’t live on it

      Think on

    • James Matthews
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Yep. That speech before Agincourt. What could be more Europhile?

    • Richard1
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell would surely have been for Brexit, as would Dickens and Trollope. Karl Marx on the other hand – not British but resident in England – would have loved the emasculation of nations which EU rule enforces.

  6. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    This should have been your first subject of the day.

    Seems as if you needed to be reminded.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Indeed, and not a cloud in the sky here.

    Other than the current lefty, high tax, big government, leadership of the Tories that is.

  8. Iain Gill
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    You too John, all the very best!

  9. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    At home, I have a framed ‘picture’ of about 30 quotes from Shakespeare, which have all enriched the English language. Examples:
    – To thine own self be true
    – A fool’s paradise
    – Come full circle [often misused by the ignorant to mean ‘come half circle’]

    At the foot is a quote from Jane Austen from ‘Mansfield Park’ in 1814:
    “His thoughts and beauties are so spread abroad that one touches them everywhere. One is intimate with him by instinct.”

    Quite so. I think we can forgive him for believing in the divine right of kings, and telling of a clock striking in ‘Julius Caesar’. The balance is overwhelmingly on the positive side.

    Jeremy Corbyn proposes 4 new Bank Holidays, one for each of our UK patron saints. I doubt if Shakespeare would have approved. He wasn’t slothful.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      ‘I doubt if Shakespeare would have approved. He wasn’t slothful’

      – Shakespeare was probably Roman Catholic so he would have approved as Catholics, quite rightly, to have holidays for patron saints (and he really know how to do fun and joy in his plays). And, yes, he also worked hard too (Catholic virtue of diligence).
      England was almost Catholic for 900 years before the Reformation. And i certainly think Catholic England knew how to enjoy itself (and work at same time, creating Oxford and Cambridge, guilds, legal system, monarchy, grammar schools and the rest). It was the dreary Calvinistic/puritan-like spirit, during and after the Reformation, that opposed time off and having fun.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 5:20 am | Permalink

      He said that he had not even considered the financial impact, but that it could be positive as we might spend more over those weekends! He makes even the silly socialist May look relatively sensible.

  10. Richard1
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    And to you, but we don’t need another bank holiday with all the costs that means for business as per Corbyn’s ridiculous proposal.

  11. margaret
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    And you also.

  12. Iain Moore
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Did anybody hear our national broadcaster the BBC make any reference to it being St George’s day?

  13. Bert Young
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    It should be a National Holiday celebration !.

  14. Edward2
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Thank you.
    The 23rd of April always been a special day of celebration in our family.
    I love my country and the United Kingdom
    Long may it remain prosperous and peaceful

  15. Iago
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Well, I don’t feel happy. We have a prime minister, who equates terrorism with hate speech – is that a crime yet, I suppose it is. “The fight against terrorism and hate speech has to be a joint one.” And her main policy seems to be massive immigration, legal and illegal.

  16. Juliet 46
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Flying my St. George’s Cross and also a Yorkshire flag. Hope you all have a good St. George’s Day!

  17. John
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Happy St Georges day. He had values we still aspire too:

    The Diocletianic or Great Persecution was the last and most severe
    persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. On 24 February 303,
    Diocletian, influenced by Galerius, issued an edict that every Christian
    soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should
    offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods of the time. However, George
    objected, and with the courage of his faith, approached the Emperor and
    ruler. Diocletian was upset, not wanting to lose his best tribune and the
    son of his best official, Gerontius. But George loudly renounced the
    Emperor’s edict, and in front of his fellow soldiers and tribunes he
    claimed himself to be a Christian. Diocletian attempted to convert
    George, even offering gifts of land, money, and slaves if he made a
    sacrifice to the Roman gods; he made many offers, but George never
    accepted. Recognizing the futility of his efforts and insisting on upholding
    his edict, Diocletian ordered that George be executed for his refusal.
    Before the execution, George gave his wealth to the poor and prepared
    himself. After various torture sessions, including laceration on a wheel of
    swords during which he was resuscitated three times, George was
    executed by decapitation before Nicomedia’s city wall, on 23 April 303.
    A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra of Rome and
    Athanasius, a pagan priest, to become Christians, as well, so they joined
    George in martyrdom. His body was returned to Lydda for burial, where
    Christians soon came to honour him as a martyr

    • Protestant Reformed
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Happy St Georges day. He had values we still aspire too…..

      >
      Thank you John that was inspiring!

    • Protestant Reformed
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Diocletian ordered that George be executed for his refusal.
      Before the execution, George gave his wealth to the poor and prepared
      himself. After various torture sessions, including laceration on a wheel of
      swords during which he was resuscitated three times, George was
      executed by decapitation before Nicomedia’s city wall, on 23 April 303.

      >
      I wish more people knew all of that and respected these men of conscience more.
      Men like this our national heroes.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Inger-lund, Inger-lund, Inger-luuund !

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      He also appears on the coat of arms of the Russian Federation (which,barring one or two minor details,is the same as that of pre-Soviet Imperial Russia) as an escutcheon on the breast of the double-headed Byzantine Eagle,indicating Russia’s connection with the Christian Eastern Empire.

  18. Eleanor Justice
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Happy St Georges Day Mr Redwood our flag is flying,scrap May Day a socialist idea.
    and have a St Georges day holiday.We few we happy few.

  19. Aussi
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Vive la France !

  20. Ross Towes
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Technically – liturgically? – speaking, as it is Sunday today, St George’s Day is tomorrow.

  21. Original Richard
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    It is surely a myth that the man from Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare, wrote the plays and poems under this name.

    This gentleman clearly never had the necessary education or the travel and court experience to be able to write such plays.

    He would also have had to move in well educated and literary circles to discuss and feed upon ideas for his plays.

  22. ale bro
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    As an atheist, I can’t get on board with Christian celebrations. Continuing to observe them whilst at the same time accepting the body of scientific enlightenment makes a mockery of everyone.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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