It’s a bit glum here in blogland, with louring clouds and imminent rain – a downpour scheduled for 2 pm did not occur, so it’s only a matter of time before it happens. It may even begin before this post ends – watch this space…
But the main news is about Jezza and his failure to sing the National Anthem when asked. This has been portrayed as rude, disrespectful, a threat to national security, a means of destroying the planet and a serious threat to the viability of the known universe – the papers have all-but exhausted their hyperbole on the leadership election and have run out of things to say about Corbyn: it did, however, lead me to wonder what i thought about the whole Anthemgate issue.
On the one hand, he wasn’t being hypocritical. On the other, it could be considered rude: and I wonder what I would have done in his place? As I have mixed feelings about the monarchy, I’d probably have sung the anthem but in a quiet, plaintive sort of voice which said I didn’t really mean it – a typical Anglican sort of compromise, really…
Corbyn attended his first PMQ today, having asked voters to send in questions they wanted answered. A bit of a gimmick? Perhaps, but a good way to signal that he intends representing ordinary voters, whom he also named as he gave their questions. It’s so good to hear, finally, someone opposing the government, saying things we have longed to hear for years instead of wishy-washy comments saying the government were A Little Bit Wrong But Not Too Bad Really.
The anthem thing reminds me of John Redwood failing to sing the Welsh National Anthem:
also the Mr Bean sketch where he tries desperately to join in with a half-remembered hymn and finally gets an ‘Alleluia’ in the right place:
And today Chris Conway was reminded of this incident:
‘At a chums wedding in a Greek Orthodox Church we few English were called upon to recite the Lord’s Prayer in our language after a very full crowd had done so in Greek. A school chum I was stood with (the late and much missed Robin) and I looked at each other and we couldn’t recall it. So to make a sound we recited something that that we did know that sounded holy – “Space…The final frontier. These….” ‘
Very funny Chris.
And this in turn reminded me of a recent decision in the Church of England to allow everyone to recite the Lord’s Prayer in the version they prefer. This leads to many people doing the new liturgy but a substantial minority intoning the King James words – on a bad day it can sound like ‘Share and enjoy’ from the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
Nope. Still not raining.
2 thoughts on “Anthemgate?”
I’m neither a republican nor an atheist but as Corbyn is almost certainly both, I don’t see what else he could have done.
Aesthetically, GSTQ/K is a horrible, windy dirge and a very poor excuse for a national anthem. A lot of people (including me) would prefer Jerusalem but that song relates specifically to England.
You’re quite right, it is a dirge. Maybe she should get the poet laureate to write a new one?