Could an English national anthem help save the UK?

Philip Davies has seconded an Early Day Motion (like a Parliamentary Petition for MPs) by Greg Mulholland, calling for an English National Anthem to be sung at events where it is England, as opposed to Great Britain, who is playing.

Although my instinct would be to be very wary of anything Davies supports – a useful habit –  I can see the logic of it, though not from the same threatened and defensive mindset Davies seems to approach it from but rather from a supportive stance to the wider UK.

Wales and Scotland both have their own anthems while it wasn’t too long ago that there was a row in Northern Ireland over their using the UK national anthem as England does. It therefore seems something of an anachronism for England to play the UK national anthem when other member countries do not and it does seem to play into stereotypes about England being an overmighty force in the UK that gives succour to those who would break up the UK as we know it.

As long as England sings the UK national anthem it lends weight to the idea that it is our national anthem and not the anthem for the whole of the UK. When Scots or the Welsh are part of Team GB and they sing the anthem, is there ever any awkwardness over singing a song that doubles as the English national anthem?

If England had its own anthem, would it ‘free up’ God Save the Queen to be a more truly ‘national’ anthem for the whole of the UK?

Would it help cement a more ‘English’ identity that could answer some of the growing concerns about the lack of ‘Englishness’ that have been discussed by some politicians?

In no way am I suggesting it would be a panacea for any of this and done in isolation could even be seen as something of a sop. Likewise any decision to split up the UK will be taken on far more weightier issues than the national anthem.

Nonetheless it might help change the terms of the debate and acknowledge the concerns on both sides of the border about notions of national identity in an era of devolution and globalisation. If it kickstarted some deeper thinking on national identity by our politicians then that could only be a good thing.

If it did happen, arguably you might want to consider retiring God Save the Queen altogether and coming up with something more inclusive.

Ironically the people promoting an English national anthem would probably be the same people who would be mortified at the thought of replacing the UK national anthem with something else!

The Sun says German football rules are better than UK’s, but can’t bring itself to mention fan ownership. I wonder why…?

There was an interesting article in The Sun the other day comparing German football to British football.

It followed the usual theme of saying that everyone else has it better than us poor old Brits, but – leaving aside a petty sleight of hand by comparing the most expensive Arsenal season ticket to the cheapest Bayern Munich one – it did make some good points about fan culture and attitudes in general.

Of course, it’s easy to point the finger and say the endless jingoism when it comes to national football that The Sun peddles won’t help so it’s a bit hypocritical to complain about how tribal British football is.

The thing that really caught my eye though, was more noticeable through it’s absence, which was namely fan ownership of football clubs.

I was intrigued to see what The Sun, a right-wing newspaper (albeit one that backed Labour in 1997, 2001 and 2005!), would say about the different ownership culture in German football, given the ownership of The Sun.

I have to admit I was disappointed, amused but not entirely surprised to see they had left out all reference to fan ownership as a possible explanation of the state and culture of German football.

For instance, what does The Sun, and by extension it’s editorial team and by further extension it’s owner, think of fan ownership, where clubs are required to be at least 51% owned by the fans?

Perhaps more to the point, what does The Sun think about the lack of overseas owners in the German league!

It’s obvious why they’re not going to mention this, and in fairness to the poor writer even if he wanted to I don’t think he’d have a chance of writing about it given the ownership of The Sun, it’s political stance and everything else that goes with it.

The only sad thing, gentle mocking aside, is that for a paper that so proudly trumpets that it’s on the side of its readers it feels unable to provide them with the truth about something many of them would feel instinctive sympathy with.

I do wonder whether the writer was sympathetically discussing German football in the hope of guiding some readers to looking into it with more depth than he could provide in writing the piece.

Football is all about passion in Germany, not money. England can learn from us | The Sun |Features.

UKIP Councillor slams focus on numbers of candidates and not quality #missedtheironytrain

A UKIP Councillor has written a quality letter in the latest edition of the Local Government Association’s First magazine, which is just one example of the thrilling stuff I read in the bath on a nightly basis.

The Councillor, who shall remain nameless, lambasts political parties who ‘give little weight to the creditability or work ethics of a candidate.’

Quite.

Indeed, he goes on to say, ‘they are far more interested in the number of candidates they can field rather than quality.’

I couldn’t agree more.

On a completely unrelated topic, did you read the scandalous story of the council candidate who took a picture doing a Nazi salute but then claimed he was just impersonating a potted plant?

What about the council candidate from the same party who posted vile anti-semitic conspiracy theories and rants on Facebook over the course of several months and then claimed her account was hacked?

Clearly, this must surely be the party the UKIP councillor had in mind when he criticised parties for focusing on the quantity of candidates and not their quality.