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Today is St George's Day, the English national day and possibly (probably not) Shakespeare's birthday. Englishmen today think of Henry V's speech at Agincourt, imagined by Shakespeare and played by Lord Olivier. 
‘Cry God for Harry, England and St. George!’
I wonder what Shakespeare, staunch Tory that he was, would think of modern England. I doubt if he would have cared for large-scale immigration. He had a very low view of Welshmen and Frenchmen and probably would not have liked Pakistanis.

When I was an undergraduate at Cambridge in the early 1980s, when no-one was aware of St George’s Day and no-one kept up this custom, I always wore a red rose in my buttonhole. I’d have been much happier at Oxford. Now I confess to be becoming unsure about St George's Day. In the 1980s patriots waved the union flag (patriots were extremely few in the UK in those days, as now, and students' unions banned the flag on the grounds of it being racist and making ethnic minority students feel uncomfortable, then as now). Now our football supporters have decided that they are English, not British, and have taken up the English flag, thereby passing up a wonderful means of infuriating the Scotch and Welsh by waving the Union flag when supporting England. What fools people are. 






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