Saturday 6 February 2010

An English anthem for an England team

Good old Norman Tebbit never got around to applying a Rugby test. After all, extending sporting allegiance as a loyalty test of integration and citizenship to all Brits, not just those with new Commonwealth links, would have meant arguing for the break-up of the United Kingdom.

So might it be safe to admit, when it comes to the Six Nations, I have always had something of a soft spot for Wales? A sports teacher who made us all watch videos of JPR Williams when Next Left had a fledgling and not stellar career as a flanker, the Welsh colonisation of Jesus College in Oxford may have something to do with it. And perhaps the sense of just how much rugby matters in Wales too.

And that is captured in the anthems.

The pomp and circumstance of the Six Nations is one of the things that captures that great sense of sporting occasion.

We can remain committed to being British without all being the same, as John Redwood could no doubt attest.

But what about England? We hear a good deal about the English being left out.

And yet we go on using the British national anthem, without even seeming to think it is odd.

So let's repeat Next Left's annual plea for an English anthem for the England team.

Jerusalem, ideally, of course. Swing Low if you want. But an English anthem anyway.

Is anybody seriously against this?

They're almost on the field. So let the best team win.


Wyrdtimes said...

Yes to an English anthem but far more desperately England needs its parliament back.

And I hope I live to see an independent England.

Alfie said...

'Is anybody seriously against this?'...

Yep. Lots of people. For a start, all the Establishment, Brown, Cameron and Clegg are against it.

When David Lammy was in the (English) Culture Ministry, I wrote to him asking (as he was a Culture Minister for England) to endorse the call for an English National Anthem he wrote back to me and basically rubbished the whole idea in favour of keeping it Brit' focused and GStheQ. I have written to every single Minister for (English) Sport since 1997 asking whether they supported an English Parliament of not.... Needless to say, they were all against. Imagine, Ministers for English sport suppressing a perfectly legitimate expression of English national pride..

Similar rebuttals have come from the FA, RFU, RFL, English Commonwealth Council, etc, etc....

They are all under orders, never to promote any expression of national English pride. The English Commonwealth Team continue to use Land of Hope and Glory even though it is a song about British imperialism and expansion ('wider still and wider' refers to the taking of lands in Africa). How pathetic that they would rather sing an imperialistic Brit' song about conquest - and think that was preferable to an expressly English song of national celebration..

It's a total joke.