Letter: Jerusalem has the real glory

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The Independent Online
Sir: I welcome the referendum being conducted by the (English) RFU about the possible replacement of the British national anthem by an English anthem for the England rugby team at future internationals.

A change is long overdue. It is no longer fitting (if it ever was) for the English to insult the Welsh at Cardiff or the Scots at Murrayfield (and even the Irish in Dublin) by appropriating to themselves the British anthem.

I support the claim of William Blake's Jerusalem with its evocation of "England's green and pleasant land" as against Land Of Hope And Glory with its evocation of imperial grandeur.

Something like a million Englishmen went to their deaths to the strains of Land Of Hope And Glory, led for the most part by politicians and generals, who were not equal to their selfless heroism. William Blake is a great poet and visionary, who holds out for us the true hope of social justice.


Trinity College