by Anura Guruge
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I knew nothing of him, not even his name, until he was elected the new Labor Leader replacing the Indian-looking Ed Miliband. But over the last few days I have watched a few ‘clips’ about him on “Sky News” and done a bit of reading. He seems like decent, genuine bloke — that I can relate to. We are of the same generation.
However, this claim that he refused to sing the National Anthem at a memorial service to remember the heroes of the Battle of Britain bothers me greatly. What I do NOT know is whether this was specific to the occasion or whether he, known to have been a vehement anti-monarchist, refuses to sing the National Anthem, point-blank. Either way this is a PROBLEM. I can sympathize with his pacifist agenda. But HONORING the HEROES of the GLORIOUS Battle of Britain transcends pacifism. We are talking straight PATRIOTISM. IF not for all those that sacrificed all they had to fight WW II the World would be a very different place. So please let us NOT confuse pacifism with the sacrifices and bravery of those that gave their all in WW I and WW II.
It is also ‘OK’ to be an anti-monarchist. I was one a long, long time ago, before the Queen won me over, head-over-heels.
My problem is that YOU cannot be Her Majesty’s Leader of the Opposition and refuse to sing OUR Glorious National Anthem (and yes, I do have issues with its theme and words, especially now that Britain is very much multireligious and multicultural). The National Anthem is symbolic. It, like the flag, parliament, and the monarchy, HAVE to be RESPECTED for what it is. That is not negotiable. This is a problem.
I do not give a monkey’s about his dress. That is up to him and yet again I appreciate. But the National Anthem is a whole different matter. I am NOT amused. I will keep an eye, and ear, open on this.