Thanks to the Lionesses, people are discussing more bank holidays – if only someone had thought of this before…

Lionesses playing with Corbyn watching bank holiday
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People are calling on the government to grant an extra bank holiday if England’s Lionesses win the football World Cup. However, the “mean-spirited” Tories have refused. This has prompted the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to say we should have four extra bank holidays a year, regardless. However, a certain former Corbyn-shaped Labour leader said this before.

Where’s our Lionesses’ bank holiday?

The TUC said in a press release that it:

called on the government “to do the right thing” and grant a special bank holiday if England’s women win the football World Cup.

The union body says people should be given at least an extra day off if the Lionesses are victorious against Spain.

Millions of households across the country are expected to watch the final that kicks off at 11am on Sunday.

But ministers said… that no plans were in place for an extra day off if the Lionesses triumph.

Over on Twitter, people weren’t happy that the Tories weren’t planning a bank holiday in the event of a Lionesses win. A lot of people commented that if it was the men’s team, maybe things would have been different:

Read on...

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Of course, former PM Boris Johnson was reportedly considering an extra bank holiday if the men’s team won the Euros in 2021.

Others noted the extra royal bank holiday:

We shouldn’t be surprised really though, as the sexism and patriarchy is strong here. As BBC News said of the World Cup final:

The match looks set to be played without the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak or the Prince of Wales – who is chair of the Football Association – in the stadium, with neither expected to make the journey to Australia.

So, just so we understand: Sunak can get spend nearly half a million in less than two weeks on private jets (including a one-day trip to Egypt) but can’t charter one to take him to Australia for a few days? And where’s Wally – sorry, William? Who knows.

Fewest bank holidays in Europe

Meanwhile, the TUC also made a point of stressing “how workers in England and Wales get just eight bank holidays a year, fewer than any EU country”:

Fellow World Cup finalists Spain get the European average of 12 public holidays.

Meanwhile workers in France get three additional public holidays a year, while workers in Sweden get 13 days – equivalent to an extra week off. Slovakia, Slovenia and Finland top the table with 15 days each, enjoying nearly twice as many public holidays as their British counterparts.

The TUC believes that all UK workers should get 12 days of public holiday a year – an extra four days.

Its general secretary, Paul Nowak, said:

UK workers get far fewer bank holidays than their Spanish counterparts and most other workers in Europe. That is not right.

The TUC has long called for more public holidays and it’s time to make this happen.

Great – but if only someone had planned to do something about this before.

Could’ve had Corbyn

Of course, someone did! It was Jeremy Corbyn. In 2019, Labour’s proposed four extra bank holidays across the UK. A press release at the time stated:

Labour will work with the governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to agree four more UK-wide public holidays. These would be held on St David’s Day (1st March), St Patrick’s Day (17th March), St George’s Day (23rd April) and St Andrew’s Day (30th November).

Corbyn said:

I am patriotic about the UK and what that means to me is caring for the entire society.

Patriotism is about supporting each other, not attacking somebody else.

Labour will work with the devolved governments to introduce four bank holidays for the whole of the UK, one for each of our patron Saints.

Labour would bring the number of public holidays workers enjoy in line with countries across Europe and give people more time with their families and friends.

But we all know how that ended. Yet now, much like ‘communistfree broadband, suddenly everyone thinks Corbyn’s ideas were good.

This is what you get

Summing up, Nowak said:

We all hope our amazing Lionesses can get over the line on Sunday.

And if they do bring it home the government should do the right thing and allow the country to celebrate with a special bank holiday.

It would be mean-spirited not to do so.

Of course it would be mean-spirited – so of course the toxic Tories won’t give us one.

Featured image via BBC Sport – YouTube and Newsnight – YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. I’m not really sure why a football team representing one of the four British nations should be held up as representing the entire UK. The millions of working-class Brits who haven’t the slightest interest in football, whether played by women, men or hedgehogs, might wonder why that particular sport gets all the attention. Still, another paid holiday is always nice to have.

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