Culture

Let’s take this chance to scrap God Save the Queen altogether

Is it rude to scrap God Save the Queen? Photo:Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

A vote in parliament which has opened up the door for English sports teams to claim a new anthem, is the perfect opportunity for Britain to scrap God Save the Queen completely.

MP’s have voted to introduce a Bill, to decide if England should adopt a new national anthem for all sporting events, instead of God Save the Queen, which is currently used.

After being proposed by MP Toby Perkins, the Bill will now go to a public consultation, meaning that the public will get an opportunity to have a say on what anthem they’d like to use for English national sporting events.

Both Wales and Scotland currently sing their own national anthems Land of our Fathers and Flower of Scotland before international sporting events, while England and Northern Ireland sing God Save the Queen.

While this means that the current national anthem would potentially be replaced when the nations of the UK compete separately, the anthem will still be used when competing in events like the Olympics as Great Britain.

But while the issue is live, isn’t this the perfect time to go the whole hog and scrap God Save the Queen altogether?

NatCen’s British Social Attitude survey showed that an estimated 49% of the British population belonged to no religion and while many recent polls show a sizeable majority support the monarchy, there’s still a significant portion of the population, about 30% who don’t. The point being, that we currently have a national anthem asking an entity half of us don’t believe in, to protect a figurehead a third of us don’t support.

Graham Smith, the CEO of campaign group Republic argues: “A national anthem should be about the country, not the Queen and God.  For republicans, atheists and anyone with good taste God Save the Queen is an awful song set to a funereal dirge.”

Referring to the decision in the Commons, Smith says the decision to open up the debate is a positive one, but Bill should go further, he says: “let’s have a national competition to find a new, exciting and uplifting national anthem for the whole country – one we can all sing.”

Unsurprisingly the Queen and her allies are against the move, with her cousin, The Honourable Margaret Rhodes saying: “We have been happily singing God Save the Queen for ever – I don’t see the need to change it.” She went on to add: “As far as I’m concerned it’s a silly idea.”

What do you think? Would it be bad manners to get rid of God Save the Queen? Or do we need to

replace it with something more uplifting and representative?

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