Thursday, April 25, 2002
There will always be an England

A little over a year ago, I was walking through Central London and, as I passed by an office of the British Tourist Board, I was stopped in my tracks by a notice in the window advertising St.Patrick's Day. I began to steam. It was only by virtue of a sterling act of self-control that I did not march into the office and confront the management with my indignation (brandishing a brolly!).

It was not that incident alone, I must add. Years of exposure to anti-English sentiment and Celtic whining and Fenian propoganda had left my nerves more than a little jangled and I suppose the above-mentioned advert was the proverbial straw. Somebody should start a fightback, I thought. Turned out that somebody was me.

Using the best traditions of my extant opponents of the left, I decided that a good and civilised way to do this was by 'raising awareness' of the the Patron Saint of England, St.George. I began to ask people if they knew the date of St.George's Day. The results were disappointing.

"Er....sometime in it in February?.....St.Who?"

This would never do, it had to change and the only way you ever change things is by starting the ball rolling yourself. I decided to hold a St.George's Day party in London. Through a series of connected begging phonecalls I managed to secure an extremely shi-shi nightclub in Central London* and I set about marketing the event by using the extensive e-mail lists of various other members of the Libertarian community.

I must say that it was not without some trepidation that I pursued this project. I had no idea what I might be starting and I was very worried that it might attract the sort of neanderthal nationalists that a) I do not want to be associated with and b) would kill the baby in its crib. However, by stressing the 'patriotic' nature of the event rather than the nationalist nature, that unwholesome eventuality was avoided and the party went swimmingly well, attracting all manner of interesting and civilised people, and a heartening number of congratulatory and encouraging e-mails from people who, for various reasons, were unable to attend.

The event was so successful that I resolved to try to make it an annual event and, on Tuesday evening last, and with the assistance of my fellow Samizdata blogger, Tom Burroughes, another St.George's Day party was held in Fulham. Again it was a great success; a wonderful party that was well-attended and appreciated. We are on the way to making this a regular fixture on the London social scene.

There is no grand macro-political motive to this event but there are quite a few worthwhile micro-political (or cultural) motives, the most enjoyable of which is the way that mere mention of St.George leaves Guardianista types squirming with discomfort. On that basis alone, it is worth it.

*The chap who owned the nightclub was a gentleman called Piers Adam who I only spoke to on the telephone having no idea who he was. He was wildly enthusiastic about celebrating St.George's Day and offered his premises at cost only. I found out later that he is something of a 'celeb' and was Best Man at the wedding of film director Guy Ritchie. So for my efforts, I now claim 2 degrees of separation from Madonna


Post a Comment

Blog Archive