English National Anthem Private Members Bill 2016
Last week the English Cause took a useful step forward with a Private Member's Bill calling for the official establishment of an English National Anthem passing its First Reading to go onto the Second Reading and all to considerable media interest.
The effect of the Bill getting a Second Reading, which has been scheduled for the 4th March, does not mean that it will in fact become law. The text of the draft Bill can be found here >>> English National Anthem Bill 2015-16 — UK Parliament
Above there is a useful diagram of the legislative process for a Bill relating only to England as this Bill must implicitly do.
It was interesting to see the British National Mass Media reaction. Some of which was reasonable and at least gave us English nationalist activists a chance of making our point. For example here is a link to my interview on Radio Essex >>> https://youtu.be/Z2-GVqSJ6Uw.
Also here is the BBC Daily Politics discussing the issue with the sponsoring Labour MP for Chesterfield, Mr Toby Perkins.
Watch Melanie Phillips’ reaction which deviates from her usual good sense on a variety of topics including the rising threat of Islamism to European Jews like her and to Israel, here is the link >>> https://youtu.be/Z6X_Sf8pcl8.
Melanie Phillips also wrote this article which was perhaps the most vitriolic of the articles against there being official recognition of a specifically English National Anthem. Here is the article:-
“Encouraging each nation to sing to its own song will fuel the rise of divisive nationalism
The Labour MP Toby Perkins has proposed the introduction of an English national anthem for use at sporting events in place of God Save The Queen.
In the Commons on Wednesday, his private member’s bill was granted a second reading. With the exception of the Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, MPs nodded the idea through.
Although such bills have little hope of getting anywhere, this is surely how the UK gets dismembered — by MPs nodding along.
What is being urged upon us is a national anthem for England. But our nation is the UK.
Yes, its component countries have ancient histories and distinct cultural characteristics. But we are none of us citizens of England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. We are citizens of the United Kingdom.
Perkins says he is not hostile to God, the Queen or the UK. The Almighty and Her Majesty may be relieved to hear that. Nevertheless, this proposal will make the UK’s break-up more likely.
Perkins says the increase in devolved powers to Scotland means it’s time to establish that the UK is composed of four separate nations. (He implies that Northern Ireland is a separate nation, but let’s not step into that particular minefield.)
He doesn’t seem to realise this will help fragment the British national identity he says he wants to preserve.
The danger of Scottish independence is greatly enhanced by the risk that England will help push Scotland away. Increased powers for Scotland have fuelled the call for an English parliament and a rise in divisive English nationalism. Distinct anthems and flags help to swell that separate sense of identity.
Perkins says that Scotland and Wales have their own anthems in Flower of Scotland and Land of my Fathers. That’s because they have nationalist movements born from their desire to differentiate themselves from England.
England largely defines Britain. When people talk about British characteristics they admire, such as fairness, tolerance, emotional restraint, chivalry, team spirit or old maids cycling to church, they’re talking about England.
As Perkins himself said in the debate, Britain and England are often used synonymously. That’s why England causes such resentment in Scotland and Wales.
It’s because of that English dominance that Scottish or Welsh “national” songs can’t hurt the UK. But if England starts asserting its separate identity, that will be a powerful force for fragmentation.
Advocates of an English anthem say that now Scotland and Wales have abandoned God Save the Queen, England is out of step. Well to put it another way, if the England teams were no longer to sing the national anthem, who would?
The Union Jack, they note, has virtually disappeared from Wembley in favour of the cross of St George when the English football team is playing. But that is surely a matter for alarm and regret. It means the union is fading.
The national anthem is not a team song. It is a statement of allegiance to the Crown, a declaration of loyalty by teams or individual competitors to something bigger than the England they represent. It is an acknowledgment of the ties that bind us all.
Teams reflect the distinct national cultures that make up the UK. These cultures have important parts to play in making up Britain’s national story. The UK binds them together precisely because it sublimates their separate identities. More separateness will only disunite the kingdom.
Maybe, though, it’s just too late to stop this progressive fragmentation. Perkins’ bill is the third parliamentary attempt in recent years to introduce an English anthem.
Jerusalem, with words by William Blake and music by Hubert Parry, was the song chosen by the public for English athletes competing in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. And it’s the favoured candidate for the new anthem.
But this merely illustrates the incoherence of the proposal. For Jerusalem is as much misunderstood as it is (rightly) beloved. If anything, the poem was a satire on nationalism. To all the questions it asked about whether Jesus built Jerusalem in England the answer was emphatically “no”.
Blake, a visionary and prophetic genius, battled the church, the monarchy and the army, denigrated reason and expressed a revolutionary desire to transform England. In 1803 he was charged with having “uttered seditious and treasonable expressions”, although he was acquitted.
Nevertheless, his poem was set to Parry’s stirring music during the First World War at the request of the poet laureate, Robert Bridges, to “brace the spirit of the nation” because he was worried about collapsing morale due to the carnage in the trenches.
It is therefore an anthem claimed by both Corbynistas and conservatives. It is a source not of unity but of ambiguity, argument and division.
The proposal reflects the crisis over British national identity. People no longer know what that is. A national English song won’t tell us.
In his witty contribution to the debate, Jacob Rees-Mogg coyly alluded to the Flanders and Swann song, The English. Its words include these: “The rottenest bits of these islands of ours/ We’ve left in the hands of three unfriendly powers/ Examine the Irishman, Welshman or Scot/You’ll find he’s a stinker as likely as not/ The English the English the English are best/ I wouldn’t give tuppence for all of the rest.”
Here is a link to the original >>> Save our anthem from these knavish tricks | The Times