MR PENDLE: Time to replace May Day with a St George’s Day Bank Holiday?

THE Government’s proposals to move the May Day Bank Holiday to St George’s Day certainly awakened the dinosaurs in the trade union movement who Mr Pendle thought had long since fallen into a deep coma.

And what a load of typical old Socialist-style tosh they came up with to justify their opposition to the idea.

Loads of outdated waffle about the idea being a “them against us” move - a public schoolboy-dominated Government against the poor downtrodden masses, and how it was politically motivated by what they described as “Tory backwoodsmen with a bee in their bonnet” about the link between May Day’s associations with the Labour movement.

Wow! One can almost hear the cries of “What about the workers, mate” echoing around the industrial heartlands of Lancashire and Yorkshire from men in flat caps with a Woodbine in one hand and a whippet on a lead in the other.

Why should we not have a Bank Holiday to celebrate England’s patron saint?

OK, George might be of Palestinian rather than English stock, but he is the only saint we have and in any case, such a celebration would certainly be more in keeping with this country than commemorating an International Labour Day most noted in the past for televised pictures of a parade of tanks and military might rolling through Red Square in Moscow in front of stern-faced Politburo politicians, with the poor workers kept out of sight in the background.

Keeping up the opposition to the change, TUC secretary Brendan Barber says the change would disrupt people’s schedules and create red tape for employers.

Absolute poppycock. What schedules? What red tape? There will be no change, if there is any at all, until 2013 at the earliest, so there is plenty of time to adapt and make any changes necessary.

The only problem Mr Pendle can see with a St George’s Day Bank Holiday will be if, as is the case next week, Easter falls on or around April 23rd, meaning that an extra day will have to be found somewhere in that year to fit the holiday in and avoid the poor workers losing out on a day off.

Which brings us nicely back to the stance of the GMB.

Once again sounding like a relic from the past, it tells us it would work to secure a commitment from a future Labour government to restore the May Day holiday.

Restore it, that is, not replace it.

In other words, the brothers and sisters would keep the new, unwanted Bank Holiday, and bring back the May Day one on top of it.

A case of them having their cake and eating it, is it not?