Monday, May 28, 2007

(Bank Holiday) Monday Once More

Just Another Washed-out Monday
There are certain traditions that surround bank holidays. Most of these, such as filthy weather, traffic jams and French air traffic control or dock worker strikes, are well known. One lesser known tradition is that should any politician have the temerity to suggest sensible changes to bank holiday arrangements he or she will have, unwittingly or otherwise, have stepped on to one of the more obscure ‘third rails’ of British politics. Any potential middle ground consensus becomes impossible and old fashioned tribal warfare begins in earnest.

Any Conservative proposal is rejected out of hand as being an attack on the May Day bank holiday whether or not it effects this particular holiday. It is natural that those afflicted by leftism does so; after all it is their unique privilege to have a national holiday that is associated with their particular political ideology. Those in the advanced terminal stages of this terrible disease have lost all the battles that really count, so I think we can afford them May Day as some kind of palliative care; a pointless battle we can let them win, even if most of us associate May Day with parades of SS20 missiles through Red Square rather than anything positive.

Labour proposals invariably involve ‘more’ to bring us up to ‘European Averages’. Cue another battle. We could probably handle an extra public holiday but even I’d find it hard to find common ground with the Labour proposers of the various EDMs and adjournment debates. In general, I find being far from European Averages in terms of employment law to be a good thing and the language of the arguments of those in favour tends to betray the instinctive distrust of business from the Labour benches. Alternatively, you find the root of their desire for change is based in their outmoded views of multiculturalism and hence the religious roots of holidays like that today and Easter.

As it happens there is a change I would like to see; I think it is sensible and does not tread on any of the various sensibilities.

Why not move all the one off bank holiday Mondays to the previous Friday, other than at Easter which already has Good Friday. I suggest five reasons for this.

  • Productivity : Thursday is an increasingly popular drinking day, especially for work groups. Friday bank holidays would allow people to have a belter on Thursday without having to endure the typical nightmare Friday.

  • The Working Week: No matter how hard I try tomorrow will just feel like another Tuesday. Starting a week on a Monday, knowing that I only had to survive to Thursday really would feel like a four day week.

  • Sunday: It just gets in the way situated in the middle of a three day weekend; much better that it is a chilled out day at the end of it all.

  • Religious Neutrality: It would probably be popular with the Muslim minority to have a day off on Friday, thereby spiking the guns of the multiculturalists over terms like ‘Whitsun’.

  • Weather: Who knows…it might be the magic bullet!

Oh dear, rereading all of that it all sounds all to sensible, there isn’t a cat in hells chance of getting anyone to take up the challenge!

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