Brit minister says boozing best way to celebrate British national day!

September 15th, 2008 - 5:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown

London, September 15 (ANI): British Immigration Minister Liam Byrne says that alcohol consumption and television watching will be suitable to celebrate the proposed bank holiday in the country.
These are among 27 suggestions that Byrne has enlisted after a year of canvassing public opinion on how to celebrate the British bank holiday, proposed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
His suggestions are aimed at bringing together the different communities living in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The list of activities and ideas is contained in a pamphlet Byrne has written.
Morris dancing, fireworks, a Live Aid-style concert, wearing cultural dress, and remembering war veterans and national figures like Sir Winston Churchill also figure in the pamphlet, titled ”A More United Britain”.
Other suggestions include street parties, regional food and watching a speech by the Queen.
The idea is to hold all events “cheaply, so people get involved”.
“Last year, wherever I went in Britain talking about immigration, I got a sense that Britain was today a country that was comfortable with difference….(there is) a strong sense that the time is right for Britain as a country to do more to celebrate the things that we do have in common. A national day would be the perfect way,” the Telegraph quoted Byrne as writing in the pamphlet.
Asked whether including drinking on the list of activities would encourage the bingeing culture, he said: “Well, as the bloke said to me, ”It’’s my day; it’’s my right to do whatever I like!” Best of British, I thought.”
After becoming prime minister last year, Brown proposed creating a new British Day to bring together citizens throughout the United Kingdom as well as new immigrants.
Byrne was of the opinion that the second May bank holiday could become British Day because it is already part of the calendar across the UK.
However, critics see it as a political tool to bolster Browns position because the Scottish government seeks to break ties with Westminster.
“All this idea for a British Day is simply the sign of a nation and a government in trouble,” said David Starkey, the historian whose books include ”Monarchy: From the Middle Ages to Modernity”.
“Brown is a Scot and that’’s why he and his government have to go on about Britishness. There is an air of absurdity about this idea when key people like Brown are dictating what they think is Britishness from a Scottish standpoint,” he added. (ANI)

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