The Labour leader has called on Theresa May to declare a national holiday if the Three Lions triumph
The nation has officially caught World Cup fever and the symptoms are only getting stronger.
As England overcame their 22 year-long hoodoo and triumphed in a penalty shoot-out against Colombia, people up-and-down the country completely lost control of their emotions, sparking wild scenes of celebrations.
Naturally, there were a few sore heads on Wednesday as people got the beers in to toast England’s triumph and it seems that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is already thinking ahead to the possible state of the nation if the unthinkable happens and the Three Lions go all the way.
Speaking after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Corbyn revealed that he had watched the shoot-out and was in support of the party’s calls for a bank holiday if England win the tournament.
The idea was originally floated by Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry by it seems that Corbs is fully behind the idea.
The spokesperson said:
“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but I think it is the case that Jeremy believes that if England were to win the World Cup there should be a public bank holiday in celebration. The World Cup is a very special international competition.
“It’s something that brings people together on a very large scale and we need recognition of that and recognition of the importance of football in the country.”
It’s a canny political move by Corbyn to back the World Cup bank holiday: it further entrenches his position as a ‘man of the people’; he’s got in first with the promise before Theresa May had chance to do anything similar (even if she is trying to get in on the World Cup act, below); and - putting aside World Cup fever for just a second - it’s still an outside bet that England will actually win the thing.
May is also in a difficult position, with Russia re-extending the invite for British officials to come out to the country to watch the remaining games, however, Downing Street has so far said the boycott by British ministers and members of the royal family, in the wake of the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, still stands.
Perhaps, though, Corbyn is simply being realistic.
Because, if England do win the World Cup, there’s not a chance in hell that anyone will be going in to work the next day - or even after that, as this viral tweet made perfectly clear:
Imagine England actually won the World Cup man. We'd all be jobless. The country would descend into utter chaos. Sinking pints for 30 days straight listening to nothing but Three Lions and World In Motion. They'd have to set up hammocks in the pubs.— David O'Neill (@DavieONeill) June 13, 2018
Of course, there can be no doubt that Corbyn would be celebrating right alongside everyone else - after all, he’s no stranger to the ways of the sesh:
This isn’t the first time that Corbyn has suggested extra days off - in the run up to the 2017 General Election, the Labour leader suggested that, if elected, they would create four new bank holidays, to mark each nation’s patron saint day: St David’s Day on 1 March, St Patrick’s Day on 17 March, St George’s Day on 23 April and St Andrew’s Day on 30 November.
The plan was dismissed by the Conservative Party as simply a cheap way to attract the youth vote, but Corbyn was correct when he pointed out that the UK has fewer bank holidays than other G20 countries - normally, England and Wales have eight bank holidays a year, Scotland nine, and Northern Ireland 10, with the G20 average being 12.
Officially or not, though, bosses of the UK: if England bring home the trophy on 15th July, don’t expect anyone to be turning up for work on Monday.