A picture of the Queen in every home; and now this, recommended by the Government to be sung in primary schools:
‘One Nation’? No; Britain is four nations, as every Scottish and Welsh and Northern Irish person will tell you. ‘Great nation’? No; or at least, not particularly ‘great’, and much less so now by almost any criteria (not only military) than she used to be.
Actually, there are some admirable sentiments in that song – tolerance, diversity and so on – but most of them sitting rather uncomfortably with the reality of life in Britain today – at least, as I observe it from afar; the ‘hostile environment’, and so on. And the whole idea of making children sing ‘patriotic’ songs in their schools must strike most Britons as being quite fundamentally un-British. It’s the sort of thing the Americans do. And apart from them, authoritarian countries, uneasy about the loyalties of their citizens otherwise. It’s a very Borissy thing; a substitute for proper political thinking, and a diversion from the incompetence and sheer reactionary devilry of his government.
My forthcoming Patriot’s History of Modern Britain should put them right about all that ‘patriotic’ stuff. If it ever appears, that is; I’m still waiting to hear from my publisher.
But it’s Midsommarafton, and I have to leave off now to dance around a phallic symbol, while pretending to be a frog, with lots of other Swedes. Maybe Boris could introduce something like it to Britain. He would make a pretty good phallus himself. And Nigel Farage could be one of the frogs.
I assume that the choir for this stirring national song was drawn from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. I might be mistaken, but to my ear the result of this admixture is very similar to the sound of Australian children. A vivid demonstration perhaps of the source of the Australian accent.
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It could be the other way around! I noticed with my kids that ‘Neighbours’ – shown on UK TV – was influencing their accents, even before we went to Australia.