A national day to promote a stronger sense of British identity, and prevent communities from becoming more divided, has been suggested by two ministers. Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly and Immigration Minister Liam Byrne say it could be a new bank holiday. Ms Kelly told the BBC: "The point of it would be to celebrate the contribution that we all make to society."
It would be easy to mock an idea such as this. So easy, in fact, that it would make falling off a log look like the kind of skilled work that we’d have to recruit eastern European migrant workers to deal with. But instead, I shall do my patriotic best to suggest possible themes for the new national day.
Post-Imperial Day: Inspired by Dean Acheson’s remark that “Britain has lost an empire, but not yet found a role”, excited townsfolk will spend the day hunting for rolls that the local baker has hidden. On other people’s land.
The Initia-nativity: The nation celebrates the birth of another spur-of-the-moment politician’s hare-brained scheme by going out into the woods and braining a hare.
Yank Holiday: Fourth of July festivities to mark getting rid of America.
Hog Man, Eh?: A day to mark the national obesity crisis by sitting at home with several kilos of ice cream and pie, making pigs of ourselves.
Who Do You Think You Are Month: A BBC production crew dressed as policemen will burst into a celebrity’s house and interrogate him or her without charge for 28 days about possible terrorism-related identity fraud. Viewers will have their own personal celebrations by sending each other brightly coloured Identity Cards (available at all good stationers and newsagents) with endearing messages such as ‘I love you cos you’re British’ and ‘Fellow citizens 4 ever’.
Brand New Day: A solemn morning of contemplation and weeping to mark the unveiling of the London 2012 Olympic logo. In the afternoon, things move up a gear with the ritual burning of a branding consultant in a giant wicker torch. This idea may be one for the long term, as the contractors say the bunting won’t be ready until 2017.
Grumpily Mourning Mythical Past Day: The populace gathers together in village halls, pubs, post offices and asylum detention centres to moan about how life is so much worse than it was when they were younger. The staff of the Daily Mail will treat revellers to a rendition of ‘Things ain’t what they used to be’. Although last year the Mail on Sunday team was there as well, and there was a Victoria sponge cake race. But now Health and Safety says it’s not allowed.
Islam O’Faux Beer Weekend: Marking the contribution to national life of the British Muslim Community, the citizenry shall gather together in Irish theme pubs and swig pints together – alcohol-free, of course!! – until a moment of perfect cohesion is achieved.
Q-Day: Following the popular success of D-Day and VE Day, this continues the World War II theme by celebrating how people waited patiently in line with their ration books .
VD Day: Twenty-four hours of wanton, indiscriminate copulation to enhance public understanding of the growing spread of sexually transmitted infections.
TV Day: A dozen contestants are locked in a house where they will watch live reality footage of the remaining 60,776,225 members of the UK population (excluding Davina McCall) and send text messages to evict the least British.
Black Wednesday: To celebrate the UK’s racial diversity and leading role in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, the nation will (ironically!) black up and congregate on the White Cliffs of Dover (also blacked up), where they will symbolically drop pound coins into the sea. Norman Lamont will lead a chorus of ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’.
Slack Monday: Tired, bored and slightly hung over from the weekend, a proud nation doesn’t get very much done at work.
Shallowe’en: A 15-minute televisual extravaganza to stifle awareness of how the media have dumbed down. In association with ITV Evening News. Will provoke silent contemplation about whether the ad break in the middle will be long enough for a trip to the loo, or whether we’ll all just have to soil ourselves on our stupid flat-pack sofas and then be able to blame it on the dog.
Eff Off Back Where You Came From Week: On the proven assumption that people can only properly integrate when they feel secure in their own historical culture, all people of foreign extraction will be deported so that they can get in touch with their roots. Everyone remaining in the country will spend the week having a giant British National Party, with little sausages on sticks, morris dancing and gay-bashing.
Make History Poverty: In this summer party, youngsters congregate in Hyde Park where rock stars will discourage them from understanding the past properly.
Di Another Day: Diana, Princess of Wales, will still no longer be alive.
Any better ideas?