Monday, 23 April 2018

Happy Saint George's Day

Like Saint Andrew's Day, Saint David's Day and Saint Patrick's Day, this ought to be a public holiday throughout the United Kingdom. Away with pointless celebrations of the mere fact that the banks are on holiday.

Yes, that was a Labour manifesto commitment last year. I am very glad that it was. But I have been saying it for more than 20 years. Admittedly, that was also true of several other things that were in last year's Labour manifesto.

It is amazing how many people assume that because there is a legend about Saint George, then he himself must be a purely legendary figure. He is not. Although the Tomb of Saint George at his birthplace, which is now known as Lod and which is the location of Israel's principal airport, has become a shadow of its former self.

It was once a major focus of unity between Christians and Muslims in devotion to the Patron Saint of Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt before, and as much as, the Patron Saint of England. But three quarters of those who practised that devotion were violently expelled in 1948. On what remains, see here.

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