Harmonious approach to monarchy in the UK
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Of course the words are way out of date and maybe a bit warlike for Mr Corbyn.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.