Good on you Jez C, your respectful silence spoke a thousand words
Good on you Jez C, your respectful silence spoke a thousand words, whilst also allowing you to fully absorb the ridiculous spectacle of dumb patriot Defence Secretary Michael Fallon standing with his mouth wide open in those stills from the Battle of Britain Commemoration as he sang his heart out.
We supposedly live in a democracy, with freedom of expression, freedom of choice; giving people choice, that’s what the Conservative government claims isn’t it?
Yet when a public figure…this time it was Jeremy Corbyn, but previously it’s been sportsmen and women or other public figures…fails to sing the National Anthem with sufficient gusto – or even at all, when they fail to sing what are overwhelmingly politicised lyrics that run contrary to their beliefs, they are admonished with loaded and emotional terminology by the Establishment’s cheerleaders.
So it turns out that we never did have a choice, and as so often, those who shout loudest about ‘British’ values such as tolerance, democracy and freedom of speech, are the first to traduce them when sentiments that they don’t like are expressed.
Where most countries’ anthems aim to instil pride and uplift the spirits, Britain has one intended to crush them.
There is no mention of our country’s greenness and pleasantness, nothing about its people and their collective values, their contribution to humankind, to science, to democracy. The lyrics exclude us, put us in our place, remind us who’s in charge, they are a mechanism to help prevent the levers of power from reaching the hands of ordinary people.
This is no Flower of Scotland, no Marseilles, the jauntiness of the national anthems of Brazil and Italy is wholly absent. And if you’re a republican and an atheist then Britain’s national anthem has nothing for you.
So much of Britain’s public life and customs need dragging from the19th Century, straight through the 20th without stopping, and into the modern world.
So here’s an idea come the glorious day (sometime in May 2020 hopefully); invite some of Britain’s leading young songwriters to compose an anthem less divisive and more fitting, and then hold a vote. And consign God Save The Queen to history.
Adapted from the article by Steve Beauchampé: http://thebirminghampress.com/2015/09/god-save-us/