British Values Day, One More Time

The people who grouped themselves together under the New Labour brand identity had many, many stupid ideas, one of which was the proposal for British Values Day (also, especially) which they served up from time to time.

But even New Labour’s stupidest ideas aren’t too stupid for the Coalition, which is now making plans to abolish the Virtual Stoa’s favourite bank holiday–May Day–and replace it with a BVD-themed UK Day, appropriately enough in October, when everyone’s beginning to feel cold and miserable.

H/t, Simon.

May Day Greetings (to the Workers of the World)

Happy May Day!

I’m still in a far-too-busy-to-be-posting-much-of-anything kind of state right now, but the old May Day-themed Stoa posts are on this page, and Dave Osler’s got a suitable joke for us all to enjoy.

In several years of recording Dead Socialists, I still haven’t come across one who died on May Day. I hope this is not accidental (comrade).

And, Americans!, for you, as ever, it is Loyalty Day!

(Actually, “as ever” doesn’t seem to be quite right: wikipedia tells me that in 1921 it started out as Americanization Day, which is even funnier.)

Here in Oxford, of course, we have our own reactionary invented traditions.

UPDATE [11.30pm]: Americans! Here is your annual Loyalty Day Proclamation!

Americans!

Remember that today is Loyalty Day. I haven’t found this year’s executive proclamation on-line yet, but it can’t be too long in the pipeline. So go on, all of you: pledge yourself to that flag and (more importantly, since this isn’t Flag Day) to the Republic For Which It Stands.

The comments thread will do just fine as a place to deposit your protestations of allegiance. Go for it.

Best May Day Ritual Ever

Four years ago, PM told me about this custom and practice over at the University of Chicago:

In front of our building [Pick Hall: which used to house the Economics Department] is a lovely abstract sculpture which, at precisely noon on May 1st each year, casts the shadow of a hammer and sickle on the ground in front of the building. As if that weren’t enough, large crowds of students — including anti-communist demonstrators carrying full-sized American flags — gather at noon at the sculpture, to protest its shadow, I suppose.

Re-enactment should take place in a few hours’ time…