Firstly, as for David Starkey, he is quite wrong to suggest that national days are an indicator of a 'petty nation'. I am certain that virtually all countries have one, including the USA and Russia, neither of which can be described as 'petty'. Moreover, St. George's Day has never been an exclusively English event, as St. George is patron saint of many places, including Catalonia, Genoa, Turkey, Georgia. In Barcelona, the custom is for the women to be given flowers and the men to be given books; a charming tradition that I'd far rather import to this country than 'trick or treat'.
Secondly, Vince Cable's view, which is that he is proud to be British, and that this is the acceptable and preferable way for English people to feel, is fine for him, but I don't share it. I do not feel proud to be British, I don't care about Britain. I was born in England, I live in England, I speak English. I am English, and that's enough for me.
I am an English nationalist. What that means, in part at least, is that I am a nationalist who happens to be English. My view of the nation state is bound to my belief in democracy and popular sovereignty. As I've said before, without national sovereignty there can be no democracy, because there will be nothing for the demos (δῆμος) to rule.
My nationalism is also linked to my views on the economy and opposition to globalism, the force which has tried and very largely succeeded in destroying national sovereignty the world over. A propaganda war has been waged for almost a century to deride nationalism as a reactionary and dangerous creed. We have been told that nations alone cannot solve the problems they face, and, as sovereignty is continually stripped away from nation states, this becomes ever truer, but this is not inevitable, rather the consequence of policy, driven by the IMF, the WTO, the EU, NATO, the OECD etc - the pillars of the post-1945 World Order - with the international corporate banking elite smiling benignly in the shadows.
What must be understood is that acquiescence in this globalist agenda means the extinguishing of democracy. This country (England or Britain, take your pick) has never truly been a democracy, but what meagre serving we had is fast disappearing. If that MP we elect can no longer influence the laws that govern us, and if our government is no longer answerable to the people, but rather to international institutions, which can dictate policy no matter what the people of the country cry out for, and no matter what party is in power, then democracy has flown the nest.
Back in 1951 at the birth of the European Coal and Steel Community (cromagnon man to the EU homo sapien) Minister Herbert Morrison turned down an invitation for Britain to join with the famous comment 'the Durham miners won't stand for it'. Today's government can disregard the wrath of Durham's miners; the question they must ask is whether the IMF, the EU and the WTO will stand for whatever policy they are considering.
To return to the original issue, that of St George's Day and whether it should be celebrated with a public holiday, the simple answer is; of course! Going to work is shit. The more public holidays the better (within reason I suppose), and screw those statistics which allege a bank holiday costs the nation £6 Billion or whatever (who cares anymore? That's probably the amount the national debt has grown whilst I've been writing this post). The only reasonable argument against it would be it's timing in relation to other public holidays, and that it would be better to have a day off in summer, say the 1st July, which is fine with me, and an opportunity to push my particular innovation;
Robin Hood Day.
Just think about it... happy people, smiling in the sunshine, archery contests on the green, drunken mobs laying seige to tax offices... A celebration of Englishness.