Har­mo­nious ap­proach to monar­chy in the UK

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

ITHOUGHT it was a shame that our new Labour leader didn’t sing the Na­tional An­them at the ser­vice to re­mem­ber the Bat­tle of Bri­tain. Un­like the com­par­a­tively triv­ial mat­ter of whether he wears ties, Co-op vests or one­sies (though in all fair­ness I don’t think he’s con­sid­ered the lat­ter) – singing ‘our song’ to­gether is a feel­ing of stick­ing to­gether, not against the world, but ac­knowl­edg­ing that we share our own lit­tle cor­ner of it.

Of course the words are way out of date and maybe a bit war­like for Mr Cor­byn. But Alex Salmond said on Ques­tion Time that even he sings it, in spite of once in­clud­ing a line about crush­ing the Scots. He knows on this sub­ject the devil is not in the de­tail.

For most peo­ple belt­ing out the na­tional an­them re­leases happy en­dor­phins, a sense of be­long­ing. We’re not sure what’s hap­pen­ing in our coun­try or the world, but by singing a na­tional song en masse we feel that we’re all in this to­gether.

You don’t have to like the mu­sic or even sing in tune – Si­mon Cow­ell is not go­ing to judge your per­for­mance. You just have to live here and love this coun­try, and surely Mr Cor­byn qual­i­fies for both?

It’s not about sup­port­ing rich peo­ple, bankers or war mon­gers. It’s a way for but­toned-up Brits to wave flags at the proms, dis­play pride in our sport­ing he­roes and show re­spect at of­fi­cial oc­ca­sions.

And yes, sup­port for the monar­chy; a rather un­fash­ion­able no­tion and maybe the stick­ing point for Mr C. But the Queen has been a steady­ing force in some trou­bled times and inspires a fierce loy­alty – in­clud­ing from many Labour vot­ers.

Last week Mr F and I went to the theatre to see King Charles III, which scooped an Olivier award for best new play 2015.

It stars Robert Pow­ell as Prince Charles who is just about to take the throne af­ter his mother’s death.

Mix­ing hu­mour, poignancy and some star­tling ques­tions about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween gov­ern­ment and monar­chy, it is be­ing en­joyed by repub­li­cans and monar­chists alike. Even Mr Cor­byn might like it. The Labour leader serves his party loy­ally but he is also a mem­ber of this coun­try and the peo­ple’s flag is not only red – it’s red, white and blue.

And, like the Queen, if he be­comes PM he will have to rep­re­sent us all.

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