St George's Day celebrations in Manchester have been hijackedFEBRUARY 2011:
MANCUNIANS are upset that the city's traditional St George's Day celebrations have been scrapped and replaced by a Caribbean-style street parade led by a black puppet portraying England’s patron saint!
Clergy at Manchester Cathedral are even changing the date of England's national day from April 23rd to Sunday 8th of May, and instead of the traditional patriotic bunting and street parties are holding for festival of puppets and poets with a carnival procession and jazz music.
Canon Andrew Shanks, from the cathedral, said he and other churchmen wanted to help ‘rebrand’ St George’s Day by depicting the saint as a young black man cutting free the restraints of a pitiful dragon (right).
This hasn't gone down well with some of the city's residents who have written to their MEP to complain.
"What has it come to when our own church tells us to be ashamed of our Englishness and instead to celebrate the occupation of our country by people who have arrived here from the other side of the world within my lifetime," said one lady.
"I had always hoped that one day the British people would wake up to what has happened to their country and that the English would be the people to lead the Scots, Welsh and Irish in the campaign to reclaim it.
"Let's hope that this hi-jacking of St George's Day stirs the English people of Manchester at the very least," she said.
Nick's constituency office has received more than twenty emails and letters on this issue so far, and as news of the scrapping of the traditional festival gets more widely publicised, you can guarantee that there will be many more!