I watched the programme on BBC 4 last night. The history, the anatomy, the rock and roll that is Blake and Parry’s ‘Jerusalem’ ….
Some of the great and not so great were rolled out to give their views.
Billy Bragg was on saying how proud it made him feel to be English when he hears it. Thanks Billy mate, I don’t feel such a perv now that you have ‘come out’.
However, there was some real ugly porn on. We had the disgusting and unnecessary spectacle of Mr and Mrs Neil Kinnock round vowelling dark satanic mills for all they were worth. We got a completely unobstructed view of Kinnock’s wobbling epiglottis. It was horrible, it had straggly, wispy ginger hair growing on the sides and loads of freckles on its throbbling, wobbly top.
Pretty soon Billy Bee was back, telling us that being English was OK. "Hey, being English is OK" he said.
Some other people from a gospel choir were on. They said they liked singing ‘Jerusalem’ as they were proud of being British. Then some other people piped up and agreed that Jerusalem was great and meaningful and it reinforced their proud feeling of Britishness.
It pissed me off. I shouted at the telly. "For God’s sake you saddos – rejoice in being English for once in your life. Billy Boy – tell them it’s OK to be proud of being English, mate! Tell them that Neil Kinnock wishes he was an Englishman, so it must be OK"
Some nudists were on – they apparently sing Jerusalem a lot – at carefully choreographed barbecues and the like. They were all fairly oldie, saggy, bulky people sitting buck-naked on those cheap, white plastic garden chairs. They were going on about how great Jerusalem was. I didn’t take much notice of what they were saying. I was too busy looking at what they were sitting on. Would they ever be able to get off those seats? I mean, what’s the suction coefficient between crinkly cellulite and plastic? And what kind of pattern would they have imprinted on their bums?
The W.I. waded in without their cake stalls. Best bit of the programme was the film of them slow hand clapping our glorious leader, Tony Blair for foisting Party Political Bollocks onto them. Years ago, when I saw it for the very first time, it had a profound effect on me. It was the very first time I had ever seen Tone’s sickly, non sincere toothy ‘why don’t they love me’ smirk.
The BNP made an appearance. A bit obvious really. Maybe the BBC were worried they were fermenting a bit too much nationalism….. So a dollop of fascism was chucked in just to make the repressed guilt of the average Englander whole again.
But wait, English Billy’s back – and it’s OK. Proud and English is the new rock and roll. Tony’s mate, Billy Bragg says so. What’s the betting Tony Blair suddenly discovers he wasn’t born into a posh family in Edinburgh at all, but actually in Ealing, just behind a Jerusalem Artichoke stall……