47 1 min 14 yrs

When Red Ken Livingstone was Mayor of London he spent around £225,000 of rate-payers as aN annual contribution towards the annual St Patrick’s Day parade in the capital. St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. By contrast, £19,000 was handed over for the St George’s Day celebrations. St George is the patron saint of England. Mmm, no hint of bias there then.

It is rumoured that new London Mayor Boris Johnson is considering whether this lavish funding of all things Irish should continue care of the London rate payer. He should do that which the odious Livingstone would never have even dreamed of – axe funding for both. If people want to celebrate ANY Saint’s day let them get on with it –  but no public-funding indulgences please. 

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47 thoughts on “SAINTS PRESERVE US!

  1. I was surprised in talking to a London based cousin how passionate he was in support of Livingstone. Maybe that explains it.

    Why do people love getting state money so much when they are paying for it through higher taxes in every case? I also think that if you are living in Britain you should be loyal to Britain. If you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, hop on a plane and spend a few euros in Ireland.

  2. >>Mmm, no hint of bias there then.<<

    I reckon he just knew which investment would pay off most for London businesses, David.

  3. To paraphrase an older saying, what if they gave a parade and nobody came? You guys have got to get it together and live it up little on St. George’s day. This the paddies get more money is the complaint of the complacent. Snap out of it, recall your glory and good deeds and don’t rest on your traditions, start some new ones.

  4. No to both. This is not America. We don’t need silly multi culti saints days to help ‘communities’ feel connected to their ‘roots’. They’re pathetic. If people want to go get a pint of whatever and dress up like demonic frogs or crusaders they can do it without government intervention for crying out loud! Otherwise next time I throw a fancy dress party in honour of whatever irrelevant saint i can dream up i’ll ask for a government grant.

  5. I wasn’t clear, you don’t need the goverment’s money, just some spirit. Enjoy the day.

  6. I wasn’t clear either. We don’t need silly new multi culti saints days. At all.

  7. St. George is multi-cult? I thought he was the Patron Saint. I suppose he wasn’t British.

  8. Mahons: Eh? These barmy commercial saints days parades have never been a part of British culture or tradition. This is a new thing and we don’t need them. In fact for the next one I may take along some rotten fruit and eggs and hurl them. That would be a traditional crowd pleaser I could live with.

  9. David,

    St Patrick’s Day has become a sort of Mardi Gras. It lost its religious significance a long time ago—except of course in NI where people actually take such things seriously. It’s been exported worldwide as just another excuse for a drinkfest.

    St George’s Day on the other hand is mostly local and low key. Unless some enterprising chaps interpret "chasing the dragon" in a novel way, it’s likely to remain so.

  10. Dawkins: A drinkfest is certainly involved in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations (as if that is a bad thing), but it is also important as a day of heritage and pride with great music, food, dancing, parades etc.

    I’ve always enjoyed the many different ethnic pride days we have here, be it the Italian San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy, Chinatown’s New Year’s fireworks and mayhem, the German Octoberfests, Scottish Tartan Day and the Ukrainian Festival. Great fun, and great chance to experience other traditions.

    Alison – what could be more England than Twelfth Night, St. Crispin’s Day, Midsummer’s Eve as the Bard himself would point out. Dare I mention that the three patron Saints of the UK perfectly align with ATW – St. Andrew, St. David and St. George (as a George myself I am biased). There’s even British Saints named Adrian and Felix if one is familar with certain past regulars of these pages. No St. Alison yet, I am afraid. Perhaps this lies at the heart of your party pooping.

    Have some fun, it doesn’t have to be overly commercial. Break out the St. George’s flags, a couple bands, Kiss My I’m British buttons etc. You might find yourself enjoying it.

  11. I’ll agree that Ken Livingstone is/was a rat, but I see no bias here.

    If large numbers of Londoners want to persuade in a big St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and if much smaller numbers have an interest in marching in a St. George’s Day event, then what’s wrong with spending more money on the larger gathering?

    Each event should be taken on the merits- including how important it is to the community, and how many people it brings into center city to spend a few quid in the local businesses, etc.

    The St. Patrick’s parades and commemorations, in New York and in many other cities and towns in America, are just wonderful.They’re as fun and as open and inclusive as they could possibly be, and if anything they are treasured -more- by those of us who are not Irish or of Irish descent.

    Its very much an Irish/Irish diaspora event, but its simultaneously a nonsectarian second Christmas gathering of friends and tribes.

    Traditions do evolve.If Londoners aren’t really into St. George’s Day, then, they they may want to consider doing what the people of Savannah GA, New York, and countless other cities have done–participate in St. Patrick’s Day and put your own stamp on it.

    Or if you don’t want to participate in any of these events, don’t be the dog in the manger. Let the others enjoy them, and do what you want to do on March 17.

  12. NO to crummy multi culti big old commercial saints parades! Thanks. It ain’t British and it certainly ain’t traditional Mahons, okay? Why do we have to do what you lot do? These saints things are usually small local events only and that is all we need. We have loads to celebrate our culture already from Trooping the Colour onwards.

  13. -Why do we have to do what you lot do?-

    You don’t have to do what "we lot" do.( The Americans, Canadians, Aussies, etc ) Not at all.

    But I think you’ve said before that you’re not of British ancestry, yet you seem to have taken upon yourself as the "more British than anyone who has ever lived" attitude on this and anything to do with British customs. Are you overcompensating?

    There may be other opinions from other English or British persons.

  14. Phantom: I was born here and i know what is traditional and what isn’t. And this isn’t. It’s a big old commercial farce to please the pubs and clubs, copycatting NYC. Stop projecting your view of what constitutes our culture and how we should manage it. If im ‘overcompensating’ then what would your over involved comment above be – superprojecting?

    Well said Dawkins, thats the long and the short of it.

  15. I said that the English should do whatever they choose. Please re-read.

    If I was of a first generation born in Italy, I think I’d have the good sense to not imagine that I was the ultimate arbiter of what constitutes proper Italian custom and what does not.

    Yet, here you speak with intense and proprietary fervor which outshines the English here who may have an ancestral tie that goes back to the Druids. Its pretty funny.

    But yes, do what you wish.

  16. Yeah i agree you are pretty funny – speaking with such authority on how our traditional culture should evolve (your words) – when you aren’t British.

  17. >>We have loads to celebrate our culture already from Trooping the Colour onwards.<<

    With respect, Alison, an event like "Trooping the Colour" appeals to a rather different part of the human soul, and the human feet, than something like St. Patrick’s Day.

    You’ve got to lighten up; these festivals are not a "farce to please the pubs and clubs", they are a farce to please the people, and that’s what they evidently do very successfully, which is what it’s all about.

    But stay! – look friends, a compromise: London’s very own festival! (and here ) The second biggest such bash in the world, and with a tradition stretching back over half a century.

    Who’s tired of that is truly tired of life!

  18. Nope. This is about culture Noel, something we managed very well before the ludicrous St Paddy’s Day export made it a sudden necessity to have a St George’s Day blow out of equal magnitude. Which was never a part of our traditions, never something we indulged in – people can grab a pint and party 24/7 in this capital without requiring a Saint to help them (as they proved on the Tube last night). And if our culture is in sudden need of multi culti ‘development’ then the people whose capital it is, should decide how they want that to move along. Not that divisive multi culti livin’ prick Livingstone – who fully admitted that this Paddys Days crap was to compete with NYC.

  19. Phantom,

    "I said that the English should do whatever they choose."

    Amen to that, mate. I’m English and I do whatever I choose whenever I choose, and try not to get up anyone else’s nose in the process. That last is important.

  20. I’ll stick to cheery pints, football and friends Mahons. You keep the cat and parades. Kids like them.

  21. –You’ve got to lighten up–

    Lots of luck on that one.Finger-waggers like this don’t often change.

    And mahons, do think of the poor cat’s interests before you make suggestions like that.

    –speaking with such authority on how our traditional culture should evolve (your words)–

    No. Perhaps you should have attended university in England so as you could have learned how to gain a more perfect knowledge of la langue de Shakespeare. Read it a third time if you would.

    What I did say was "Traditions do evolve.If Londoners aren’t really into St. George’s Day, then, they they may want to consider…".

    I didn’t say that the English must or should do anything, It’s not my job to tell the English how they should party or commemorate great men. That’s their affair.

    Maybe they don’t need "fiestas" like St. Patrick’s Day. Life will go on just fine if they don’t have such things. Have never said otherwise.

  22. "It’s not my job to tell the English how they should party or commemorate great men. That’s their affair".

    Oh really? So the last 50 odd lines you’ve written were a giant waste of your time then. Thanks for clarifying to this English London based finger wagger!

  23. You can’t really blame the English for not relating to
    Saint Paddy’s day, like we do in the States Mahons.
    They don’t have the memories of March 17th in NYC like
    you do.

    Urinating on yourself after drinking 1 too may Colt 45’s.

    Getting punched in the face by a fat man who
    is dressed as a Leprechaun.

    Banging your head against a streetlight
    until you pass out in a pool of vomit,
    which you hope is your own.

    Those are all great memories that you’ll get to
    share with your kids one day. But its still a start
    up holiday in England it may catch on.

  24. AC1

    Don’t think that the English need coaching on how to get plastered. That art has been well perfected for some time now, a fact that has been commented upon repeatedly here and in all British media.

    Some here will undoubtedly blame that on a pernicious American influence!

  25. Why would the English celebrate an Irish holiday anyway?

    I remember the story of how a young St. Patrick drove all the potatoes out of Ireland, man that is some historic shit. As Irish Americans that is our legacy to uphold and frankly the Brits have no business in it.

    Yeah man all the potatoes, must have had a big ass pick up truck to do that.

    Erin Go Bragh!

    or as I saw on a t-shirt this past March 17th:

    Erin Go Bra-less!

    Here here!

  26. Nope – we will claim that as all our own thanks Phantom. Thanks for your concern over our need for a Saints parade to endorse it though.

  27. Mahons was that you in the "Erin Go Bra-less" shirt?

    Yeah It might have been, do you remember taking a swing
    at a Police horse this past St.Pats, man that was

  28. >>As Irish Americans that is our legacy to uphold and frankly the Brits have no business in it.<<

    AC1, I suppose you also think there are more Irish people, or even people of Irish extraction, in the US than in Britain.

    BTW, what is it about David’s site that attracts Irish Americans? Troll, mahons, Phantom, New Yorker, now AC1 .. I must go check out Patty.

  29. I was joking dude.

    Trying to say its all meaningless, St.Pats, may as well
    call it St.Budweiser’s day.

    Its definitely Mr. Vance’s accent.

  30. AC1,

    I won’t hear a bad word said about St. Budweiser, patron saint of canoeists.

  31. Noel

    I wouldn’t bet the ranch that AC1 is Irish American.

    He’s a silly child and I won’t necessarily believe anything that he says about himself.

  32. He’s patron saint of the V8 engine as well.

    Aye a grate ma’an twas he.

    Is that Irish? or Yoda? I can never get them right.

  33. Oh c’mon dude.

    You’re saying you can’t be silly and Irish.

    I can think of plenty of silly Irishmen. There’s….


    actually no…

    nope he’s not really silly either…

    okay so silliness and Irish-ness don’t go hand in hand, not quite the way paleness and Irish-ness does

    so shit you got me there, maybe I’m not Ooooirish after all.

  34. Why not a multi cultural celebration day in London called St Prats Day – pick a date. We could all celebrate. I hope our new mayor cuts all unnecessary expenses…go celebrate in Ireland if you want but let us cut our outrageous local council tax by any means possible.

  35. Why not a multi cultural celebration day in London called St Prats Day – pick a date. We could all celebrate. I hope our new mayor cuts all unnecessary expenses…go celebrate in Ireland if you want but let us cut our outrageous local council tax by any means possible.

  36. Maggie

    Hate when that happens!

    Can you try a scientific experiment?….squarespace of course allows you to edit your own comment for 14 minutes after posting. Can you take one of the duplicate comments, erase all that you said therein, and then repost (with no text)?

    Want to see if it makes the duplicate comment disappear.

  37. AC1 – I haven’t had those experiences on St. Patrick’s Day, but I am sure some folks have. People do stupid drunken things on New Years Day, Christmas seems to have a high suicide rate and folks blow their fingers off with fireworks on July 4th. No need to give up a holiday comes some idiots act up.

  38. One of my fav quotes:

    What’s the use of being Irish if the world doesn’t break your heart?

    I’ve no idea what it actually means yet detect a profundity there :0)

  39. Dawkins: Like you, I find that expression profound and pleasing.

    It seems to imply that the whole point to being Irish is to deal with a broken heart. Also implying that the only thing Irish has going for it IS to deal with that broken heart, so why bother with Irish unless you have a broken heart?

    hmmm….liked it better before I analized it.

  40. I think that is a paraphrase of Daniel Moynihan’s comment on November 22, 1964 when JFK was killed.

  41. 1963

    but yes now that you mention this you are right

    Dr. Moynihan had a disproportionate share of good quotes incl

    "No one is innocent after the experience of governing. But not everyone is guilty."

    "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own fact" ( very useful to one who must suffer fools in business or other settings )

  42. Phantom – Thanks, a slip of the mind as I was born in 1964. Or so they say.

  43. Well here is a birthday present from 1964, It’ll be a nonsense to our European friends, but I just loved it. ( A home movie from a brand-new Shea Stadium in Queens NY, a few blocks away from the brand new World’s Fair.)

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