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Why don't we get more bank holidays?

IT'S September and the last Bank Holiday until Christmas has faded into the distance (not that it makes much difference to me as I've worked every single one this year).

With three whole months to go until my holiday balance refreshes for the year I'd pretty much kill for a couple of bank holidays to break up the grim autumn months.

Why don't we have any? Along with the complete lack of public holidays between August and late December did you know that England has one of the lowest amount of public days off in the world? We may have had an extra day this year for the Royal Wedding and are due another extra next year for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, but I still want more.

The standard eight seems a bit low when you compare it with parts of Spain, which get more than 15.

Even the hard working Americans take more public holidays than us - 10 - and the workaholic Japanese get between 15 and 20, depending on the year.

How come we don't get a day off for Armistice or the end of the Second World War (VE and VJ days) as we were major players in both? France, Belgium and Canada get November 11 off, why don't we? A lot of people think St George's Day should be a public holiday but I say there are already enough in the spring and, besides, he was Turkish.

In Canada and the USA they have national days off to celebrate their country's founding - in other words, getting rid of us.

In Spain and Italy they have extra regional public holidays for their local saints.

Further to this, in Spain if a bank holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday they get the Monday or Friday off as well.

We're foolish enough to always have our bank holidays on Mondays or Fridays rather than on a particular date.

I guess the simple conclusion is that we're just not religious enough and as we haven't been successfully invaded since Roman times are too well established to celebrate our country's formation or constitution.

But thinking about it, it's not like we're a secular state, so it seems we're a bit of an anomaly to the religion / amount of public holidays correlation? Anyone who can enlighten me on why we get so few public days off is more than welcome to.


* CHANCE TO ESCAPE: Let's have more bank holidays!
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2011
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