The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Bank Holiday


Today is Spring Bank Holiday Monday. And, as with every other Bank Holiday of the year, our thoughts turn to... what is the bloody point of Bank Holidays?

A statutory amount of leave, yes. Good sensible thing. Everyone taking their day off at once so the beaches, parks and motorways get clogged. Bad foolish thing. What’s the point of having a day off if you can’t enjoy it because you’re surrounded by infants wailing because they’ve just stuck their ice-cream down their pants?

It used to be a thing Bank Holidays were special occasions. ITV would show a Bond movie and the BBC would show One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing. Now, looking at the schedules, an alien society picking up our television signals would be hard pressed to tell it was a special occasion at all. Think on!

It would be understandable if the holidays were commemorating specific things, like Bastilles being stormed or independences being declared or even some well-meaning fellow being executed in a much-loved work of historical fiction. But they’re not. Why aren’t we celebrating Shakespeare, Dickens, John Lennon, Charles Darwin or Shane Ritchie? Where’s our excuse for a party?

And why do banks deserve a holiday, anyway? Is counting our money really so exhausting compared to, say, digging up coal or wiping geriatrics? Come on – we’re in a bloody recession – all leave should be cancelled until they sort it out. No more holidays for bankers! I want them working 7 days a week!

What is it with the shortened 10-minute editions of the television news? Is it because fewer things happen on Bank Holidays? Do the hurricanes, famines and earthquakes take a day off? No. Either do a proper 30-minute edition, or – even better – they should only do 10-minute editions of the news from now on.

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