John of Gaunt’s famous speech in Shakespeare’s play is one of the most famous eulogies to England. Its tearful ending refers to the damage done to England by the civil wars. Today the troubling issue is England’s relationship with the EU.

“This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear’d by their breed and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
For Christian service and true chivalry,
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s Son,
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death! “

Mark Reckless is asking Rochester and Strood residents ‘Should St George’s Day be a public holiday?’

Mark commented:

“I was delighted that, soon after the Conservatives took over from Labour and LibDems in running the Council, I succeeded in my campaign for us to fly the union flag over Rochester Castle. Why is it though that we in England are the only one of the British nations not to have a bank holiday to celebrate our national day? We should celebrate being English as well as being British.”

Have your say by voting in the online poll below, or leave a comment.

Back in Westminster today catching up on casework and letters, and preparing for the return of parliament on Monday. I also have a couple of speeches to write on
- Better Funding for Northumberland Schools as part of the F40 Fairer Funding Campaign
- Support and humanitarian aid for Syrian Refugees.
I will be giving both speeches next Tuesday and welcome all constituents writing in with suggestions and comments on both.

YOUR MP WRITES: Newport West MP Paul Flynn

4:04pm Monday 21st April 2014 in News

First the good Newport jobs news.

Great that A.I.C. selected Newport for their first British investment on the Rowecord site. 250 new jobs will also be created here at the Intellectual Property Office. Newport’s unemployment rate is better than the Wales and UK averages.

Worrying is the threat to our shared services jobs that the Government want to export overseas. The Avana jobs loss is a calamity. Vulture capitalism by this one company has destroyed 2,400 jobs in the UK and devastated the lives of loyal diligent workers.