Friday, 27 July 2012

Time for an English Anthem or God Save The Queen across the Kingdom

No curveball from Becks. He'd have sung!
What did you think of the Welsh contingent not singing the National Anthem? There wasn't a squeak before kick-off. Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs remained purse-lipped as God Save The Queen came trumpeting from the PA system. It provided another headline to the one-all draw with Senegal at Old Trafford.  
Though irritating to the Unionists among us, it's easy to understand why they didn't join in. The over-aged big names were merely confirming the blur, nay fudge between what's English and British.

He's a miserable git anyway

While Flower of Scotland is Hampden's hymn and Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau's definitely Welsh, (Old Land of my Fathers to thee and me), God Save The Queen's the choice for both England and Northern Ireland games. But in reality, it's the UK's anthem.

The solution's simple: we either all sing God Save The Queen before each Home Nation game (distinctly unlikely in this age of devolution, other parliaments and all) - or England and Northern Ireland find regional solutions, so pokerfaced Bellamy would feel more compelled to have a Great British sing-song.

Goal! But no complaints over his commitment.
Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory, One Step Beyond: they've all been suggested for England while Londonderry Air would cause all sorts of new sectarian argument in Northern Ireland to make one think God Save The Queen was the best choice in the first place!

And there was nothing wrong with any of the player's commitment to the cause. Giggs, Bellamy and Joe Allen, the Welshman pictured above next to Bellamy, all played their part in a game that we should've really won. A couple of bars of our anthem wouldn't have hurt either of them, really.

But whatever the song, we've uncovered another fault-line in a football project that only a minority believes is meaningful. A Great Britain Olympic football team is at best a flash mob and at worst, a political pawn which FIFA can bully us with in the future.

God Save The Queen!