STRAIGHT TALK­ING

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

THE sight of thou­sands of Liverpool sup­port­ers walk­ing out early at An­field in protest at new ticket prices was a sad one – but also one to ad­mire.

The idea that some­one should have to pay £77 to watch a 90-minute foot­ball match in one of the coun­try’s most de­prived ar­eas is ob­scene.

Reds boss Jur­gen Klopp – who faced a sim­i­lar protest while man­ag­ing pre­vi­ous Ger­man club Borus­sia Dort­mund – seems to get it, even if his bosses at Fen­way Sports Group ini­tially did not.

I know the idea is to boost rev­enue and so pre­sum­ably do bet­ter in the Premier League.

But Liverpool fans are a savvy lot. And this is no way to treat them. SIX Na­tions rugby al­ways sparks an­other, non-sport­ing de­bate away from the field of play.

Much has al­ready been talked about the idea of Eng­land hav­ing its own na­tional an­them.

It’s been sug­gested that God Save the Queen, the na­tional an­them for the whole of the United King­dom, be dropped for Eng­land sport­ing events.

Sug­ges­tions for a re­place­ment in­clude songs like Jerusalem, or Land of Hope and Glory.

Wales has Land of My Fa­thers, while north of the bor­der there is Flower of Scot­land.

It seems only fair and log­i­cal, then, that Eng­land should maybe have one of its own too.

But if that an­them is to be an ex­pres­sion of “English­ness”, why aren’t politi­cians de­bat­ing some­thing of greater im­por­tance and of far more rel­e­vance – an English par­lia­ment? vote on mat­ters that only re­late to Eng­land.

UKIP went one fur­ther and ac­tu­ally posted let­ters to all 59 Scot­tish MPs ask­ing them to ab­stain vol­un­tar­ily from de­bates and votes in the House of Com­mons that only con­cern the English.

It all sounded per­fectly fair. I can­not see why Scot­tish MPs have the right to vote on is­sues such as education and health in Eng­land, when English MPs can’t vote on those same is­sues in Scot­land be­cause they’re de­cided by the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment.

Now, I never wanted de­vo­lu­tion in the first place. I thought the United King­dom was get­ting along just fine and didn’t need a Scot­tish Par­lia­ment, a Welsh As­sem­bly or in­deed a North­ern Ir­ish As­sem­bly.

And where would this new English par­lia­ment re­side? Lon­don, Birm­ing­ham, Manch­ester, Liverpool, New­cas­tle?

Which is prob­a­bly why Cameron has pretty much said noth­ing about it ever since.

It’s all very well de­bat­ing what song to sing at a sportiung event, but when it comes to the big­ger pic­ture Cameron and the rest of West­min­ster have gone miss­ing.

Oh, and me per­son­ally for an English an­them? It has to be Jerusalem, doesn’t it?

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