St. George and the Coloured RagThings have moved a long way since Enoch Powell's rivers of blood speech 40 years ago. Today, all the mainstream parties are against immigration, as long as it's illegal of course. A border police force has even been set up to keep them out. St. George's Day was once celebrated only by fascists. Now the red-and-white coloured rag is even flown on public buildings. The gentlemen of the League of Saint George (see http://www.leaguestgeorge.com/) must be happy.
Yes, unfortunately, St George's Day is upon us again, but what is this mythical saint supposed to have done?
We all know that, according to legend, he slew a dragon but in The History of the Seven Champions of Christendom we are told that, among his many feats of valour, he did away with two.
He was, so the story goes, born in Coventry, son of Lord Albert, High Steward of England. Having been abducted as a baby and held captive by the witch Calyb for 14 years, he tricked her into revealing her magic whereupon he split a rock and imprisoned her in it. This freed not only St George but also St Denis, patron saint of France, St James (Spain), St Patrick (Ireland) and St David (Wales), after which they went their separate ways on great adventures and acts of valour. These included sorcery, battling against incredible odds and rescuing princesses.
George, the legend continues, fought and won many battles, apparently single-handed. In the course of one he also freed St Denis who had carelessly allowed himself to be captured. And, of course, he slaved that dragon.
On his return to England he wanted to turn to a contemplative life but the king asked him to slay one more dragon which was terrorising the people of Dunsmore. This time, although he killed the beast, he also died from the poison spewed on him by it. He was, we are told, buried in the chapel at Windsor Castle and his sons - no mention of a wife - were given high office by the king.
If you believe all this you'll believe anything, including that St George's Day is anything more than an excuse for xenophobia - and for pubs to sell more beer.
We shan't be celebrating today but will continue distributing our leaflets in favour of world-wide socialism where the planet and its resources will have become the common heritage of all humans and the world won't be criss-crossed by frontiers.