Charles Nevin: Lie back and think of Britain

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The Independent Online

Happy Monday. And today is in the news once again as controversy rages over whether we should all have a Monday off in May or a Monday off in October, May Day versus a new UK Day celebrating the best of Britain. This is clearly the time for bold action: I say let's have both.

Moreover, and as concerned as anyone else about being competitive, I note that Italy gets 16 bank holidays a year and the United States 13 to our eight. Again, the more days off bankers get, surely, the smaller their bonuses. Besides, one day is completely inadequate to celebrate what has made this country great. No, we need five new bank holidays for that, at least: 1. Queue Day (all the way to the coast). 2. Dunkirk Day (all the way back). 3. Obsolete Well-Designed Red Artefacts Day. 4. Famously Restrained Emotions Day. 5. Speaking English Slowly and Loudly Day (see David Cameron).

On the whole, I think you'll have a better week if you try to be judicious with your jollity, as the current count is Topgeargate (rude about Mexico), Frywrygate (rude about Japan), Cablegate (rude about bankers), Gervaisgate (rude about actors), and, of course, Keysgate.

So, you ask, who or what can I make a joke about? Well, it helps if it's funny, which, obviously, was the case in only one of the above. And if your name is Frankie Boyle. But you should be fairly safe with these targets: 1. Men too weakened by a savage attack of influenza (I'd be wary of attaching a specific country) to defend themselves. 2. Sally Bercow. After that, difficult. I see, too, that Simon Pegg's new film, Paul, which has its premiere tonight, is making fun of aliens, and wonder if this is entirely wise.

Bungling burglars, however, are not safe: Cody Wilkins, of Washington DC, has just been arrested after leaving his phone on charge in the house he had just ransacked. Other popular news areas: long-lasting electrical equipment, Gordon Russell, Cumbria: a 55-year-old fridge with original light bulb. It's A Remarkable World (formerly Odd Foreigner): Andreas Mueller, a German, has won a Mini in a radio show contest by having the word "Mini" tattooed on to his penis. And, in Irony, Matthew Nieveen (no relation) of Nebraska has tested positive on his way home from a fancy dress party dressed as a breathalyser. Happy Monday.