Sunday, 5 December 2010

A Day Orff for the Lower Orders

Prince William is getting married. Hurrah for William! And Mr Cameron has given us the day orff. Three cheers for Mr Cameron! Hip hip!

You can see where Mr Cameron is coming from. Maybe he remembers Alderman Snudge at school speech days: Because you have worked so hard, I have asked the Headmaster to grant you an Extra Day's Holiday! Hurrah for Alderman Snudge!

What will actually happen?

GPs will shut down their surgeries, yet again, and moonlight as Out of Hours doctors, for which the going rate is £175 per hour[ Sunday Times research]. Three cheers for Mr Cameron!

Refuse collectors will work on Saturday and even Sunday to "catch up" the round they missed on Friday. They will be paid double or treble time. Hurrah for William!

Schools will shut. Last day of school, last day of sorrow! A supply of fresh faced children will be made available to line the streets and wave the flags. Hurrah for William! Three cheers for Mr Cameron! They will be bussed in to create the illusion of popular enthusiasm. London will be quietly transformed into a Potemkin village.

Apparently, in North Korea, attractive young women in nice clothes are employed to sit on benches, book in hand, near the awful monuments which tourists are obliged to visit. It's meant to create the illusion of normality in a country where people starve and die on the streets, but not on the streets of Pyongyang because only the party faithful are allowed there.

While the children are waving their flags, their teachers will be shopping in Ikea and Tesco, whose workers - of course - will not enjoy a day orff. Public holidays in Britain are basically public sector holidays and public sector workers like to be served. There is a pecking order and at the end of the pecking order is the ethnic minority check out worker in Tesco. Who is also expected to cry, Hurrah for William!

There is no public holiday on which shops and restaurants shut and town halls and GP surgeries stay open.

There is no public holiday when it's England versus Germany. The economy cannot afford it. But when the second in line to the throne decides to marry, it's only natural that the Prime Minister of the bride should want the public to pay for it all.

Not that the bride is terribly important. She will have to learn her place. Just like Diana.

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