Guy Fawkes bonfire banned in his home town
Guy Fawkes night has become tradition; part of what it means to be English. Now, however, petty laws are beginning to impinge upon such cultural expressions. A bonfire celebration in York, the home town of Mr Fawkes, has been banned on ‘health and safety grounds’. After years of unfettered burning of the guy, York City Football Club has been told that their ground is now ‘too small to ensure spectator safety’.
The problem is exacerbated because the football club was proposing to hold a firework display in a certified sports ground, and this meant they had to apply to York's ‘Safety at Sports Advisory Group’ for a ‘Special Safety Certificate’. One begins to understand how the volume of paperwork and the labyrinth of special permissions from a plethora of committees becomes an insurmountable hurdle to holding such events.
Having just witnessed sundry ad hoc Eid fireworks, and imminently to witness sundry ad hoc Diwali fireworks, one wonders why it is only November 5th that is singled out for ‘health and safety’ concerns. Indeed, some councils are replacing Guy Fawkes with more ‘culturally relevant’ alternatives, obscuring completely the date’s enormous significance in British history. There is, however, no question at all of councils interfering with Eid and Diwali events, since to do so would be considered ‘racist’.
According to the Coronation Oath Act, 1953, section IV, the Queen swore ‘to govern the peoples of the United Kingdom according to their laws and customs’ and ‘to maintain the Protestant Reformed religion established by law. Since it is custom to celebrate the burning of this Papist traitor, it has become part of Protestant cultural expression. Yet the annual occasion is considered an ‘anti-Catholic ritual’ at least as offensive as the Act of Settlement, and therefore quite obviously has to go.