Friday, 20 April 2007

God help England and Saint George

[...] I suppose it wasn't going to be long before they got round to England's patron saint. Sure enough, just in time for St George's Day on Monday, there are calls to give him a political version of the Trinny and Susannah treatment.

The proposal is outlined in a new report from an ecclesiastical think tank, entitled: "When The Saints Go Marching Out: Redefining St George For A New Era."

Simon Barrow, one of its authors, declared: "It is time that St George was reclaimed from the dragon, from past associations with racism and the far right, and from images of arrogant flag-waving."

Writing in the latest edition of the Church Of England Newspaper, he says St George's Day should become a "day of dissent" - celebrating "the pro- democracy Putney Debates, the equality-seeking Levellers, the anti-slavery abolitionists, the women's suffrage movement, conscientious objectors and peacemakers, anti-racism campaigners, human rights activists and those struggling against debt and poverty".

He seems to have missed out the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the Bryant & May match girls, the Birmingham Six, the Dave Clark Five, the Guildford Four, the Fun Boy Three, the Forest Gate Two and the Winston Silcott One, but never mind.

It's the thought that counts. This is St George, patron saint of the Guardianistas. Read more

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