i Editor's Letter: Two subjects of interest


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The Independent Online


Thanks to those of you who have written in asking to be in i’s next TV commercial, but please note that we did ask that you write a paragraph, together with your photograph, explaining why we should choose you above all other i fans. No paragraph, no fame. Deadline: Friday 25 November.

Two subjects got you exercised this week: public sector pensions, or Christina Patterson’s views thereof, and – surprisingly – our national anthem. There is a 50-50 split among your views (p16) on Christina. But you are damning of Tube drivers.

As someone who will be here at i on Christmas and Boxing Days this year for nothing more than days off in lieu, it is probably not too hard to work out where my sympathies lie. As for the national anthem? It’s a bit of a dirge, but at least it’s over quickly, as we usually only get to hear the first verse. I never think too hard about the words because I never actually sing them. That might suggest a subliminal dislike of their meaning. For the above reason, I don’t think I ever learnt the lyrics beyond the first verse.

As I type I realise I prefer most national anthems unencumbered by words, even my favourites like the French and American. But it is true, a spontaneous God Save the Queen at Wembley is stirring – if not as much as Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of My Fathers to the rest of us) anywhere. My own best anthem moment was the Marseillaise in Paris’s Stade de France before the 1998 World Cup Final. It was nearly as good as in Casablanca.

In short, we should be grateful that ours doesn’t bang on for over six minutes, like Uruguay’s, and, bluntly, we have more important things to worry about – like if we will ever actually hear it played at London 2012. See you tomorrow!