I'm watching the telly. I've got me beer, I'm nice and cumfy and Becks is leading the boys out to play the Welsh at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on a sunny Saturday afternoon. I'm feeling proud and confident, "Come on England!"..... and then I'm not. The ‘cushion point’ had arrived. "What the hell is 'the cushion point", I hear you ask. In case you don’t know, it's when you’re watching the telly – and you see something so embarrassing that a quickly grasped cushion held right in front of your face is the only remedy. A quick rendition of ‘tum-te-dum, te-dum, can’t hear, can’t hear’ also helps.
Cushion points happen regularly while watching ‘The X-Factor’, Dale Winton telling a joke, Tony Blair trying to tell the truth – and every time the England football team start to sing the ‘national anthem’.
I hate it, I really do. I hate the fact that David Beckham doesn’t know the words. I hate the way that all the England players puff out their chests in response to this flawed and irrelevant diatribe. I hate the fact that it isn’t the English national anthem – but is the UK model, so why the hell are we singing it?….
Maybe everyone thinks we’re the UK in disguise?
Anyway, something happened that was a bit different this time – the durge that is ‘God Save the Queen’ droned up, Becks puffed out and started to mumble God knows what. It was the cue for 70,000 Welsh people to start booing, hissing and catawalling for all they were worth. Deafening, really deafening. It lasted from the first 'God' to the last monotonous note.
I awaited in vain for some tut-tutting from ‘Boyo’ Barry Cliché, ace Sky-Sports commentator. Predictably, none came. Maybe he was a closet Welshman with a hearing problem?…. More likely it was seen by the media as a bit of 'good humoured' friendly fan-baiting from a fellow home country – a country that we must rejoice in its unique, proud and historic nationhood.
The only time booing a national anthem is a serious insult and verges on racism – is when the England fans do it, obviously.
I initially thought ‘How appalling, how awful, these loyal Welsh subjects actually booing their own UK national anthem…. And then I thought again. I like it, I really do, more divisiveness in the Union. More English people getting the message, no matter how hard the smoke and mirrors men try to hide a country of 50 million souls by sleight of hand. I hope the architects of the great devolution experiment at New Labour Think-Tank Inc. and the blazer brigade at the FA were watching. Who knows, maybe David Davies and co will actually develop spines…. and send David Beckham and the boys the words and music for ‘Jerusalem’.