Monday, November 26, 2007

James Purnell says 'No' to an English anthem...

James Purnell, the Culture Secretary for England was interviewed last Friday by Simon Mayo on BBC radio's FiveLive afternoon show, The Daily Mayo. I sent in an email, which Simon duly read out in toto (including the 'disenfranchised Englishman' bit). Below is the transcript - first the email, then the bumbling, inexcusably pathetic answer from James Purnell and the interjections from Simon Mayo.

Simon -

'Can you ask Mr Purnell when England is going to be allowed her own National Anthem?
God Save the Queen is not the English Anthem, it is the British one - England doesn't have one and it's about time we did. I suggest 'Jerusalem'.

Scotland and Wales have their own anthems - and it is plainly bizarre to hear the Welsh and the Scots booing 'God Save the Queen' as the anthems are played prior to England playing them in the 6 nations tournament.

Mr Purnell is the culture secretary for England - he should start to champion our country by promoting our culture. Our own unique national anthem would be a start'.
Alfie the OK,
disenfranchised Englishman.

PURNELL: "I'm proud of being English, and I'm proud to be British....... And I think you can be both at the same time.... And I think ... if we start to go down this sort of seperatist route, we'd really regret it in 10 or 20 years time...... You know, this is a fantastic country and I think trying to set ourselves one against the other would only make us weaker"....

MAYO: "Yes but, it's not nessecarily seperatist, just to say England could have its own song the way the Scots and the Welsh have"....

PURNELL: "Well, we've got Baddiel and Skinner haven't we?...... And, ermmm, got fantastic songs that err... errrr... err... err.... at err, rugby.... at err football - but I.... I.... I just think, you know... that there is a sort of mood about, which is that, errr..... somehow England is missing out......
England is a fantastic country, we're doing brilliantly well, when I talk to Euro"....

MAYO: "Brilliantly well at what?"

PURNELL: "Just generally. When I talk to European colleagues or talk to people, you know, talk to Democrats in America and they..... You know, are extremely impressed by what we've done.... So I think we should be proud of our country, I think we should be clear that we can be English, British, Scottish, Welsh, errrrr, Northern Irish at the same time and there's a multiple, you know, you can be Northern Irish and British and be proud of both at the same time and that's something we should all be able to feel."

MAYO: "And European, chuck it all in"..........


So there you have it. Pathetic Purnell, the Culture Secretary for England says that to give England our own national anthem will endanger the union by going down some 'seperatist route'. But apparently, the Scots and Welsh having their own anthems does not endanger anything. So presumably, in Purnell-world, the very act of Scots and Welsh fans booing 'God Save the Queen' to the hilt at Murrayfield and the Millennium Stadium, must mean the union is being strengthened with every gob-glottal vented.

Not for us a national song that defines our identity. Not for us a stirring theme to bind our country with common goals and collective purpose. No, Purnell says we have Baddiel & Skinner, and footy & rugby songs to fall back on - as a sort of 'Anthem-Lite'....

And so, just to get things straight in my mind - Purnell rules out 'Jerusalem' because it's the work of the Devil - but Baddiel & Skinner doing a 'Derek and Clive' pastiche or footy fans singing 'Posh Spice takes it up the arse', and 'The Referee's a bastard' is perfectly fine for our national singy-songy........

Purnell says it's OK to be proud of being English - just as long as you keep quiet about it...... And this from the man tasked to promote English Culture. Pathetic.

If you want to hear it yourself, go here and wind onto 1:20:03 for the question and blathering answer from a national disgrace.


Stephen Gash said...

Swing low
Cheat Gordon Brown
take your
with yoooooo!

Please go to hell
You can stuff your
Britishness tooooo!

That's a decent 'anthem lite'

Except it gives Minister 'lite' Purnell too much kudos

tonydj said...

You sure you spoke to Purnell? Could have been a computer Graphic!

Old Labour said...

Absolutely we should have "Jerusalem" as the English national anthem, I have nothing whatsoever against "Flower of Scotland", "Land of My Fathers" or "Danny Boy", I just want one of my own.

But the best thing about it is that it was written by a good socialist (even though the term hadn't been coined in Blake's day).

Though we'd better not mention the "S" word near any "New" Labour guys (BTW, do they still sing "The Red Flag" at party conference)?