David Lepper (Labour, Brighton Pavillion) writes:
Thank you for your letter of 21st and 31st October about Daniel Kawczynski’s Early Day Motion on the adoption of ‘Jerusalem’ as the National Anthem of England. I did not support this Early Day Motion.
Personally, I see no reason for there to be a National Anthem for England when there is a National Anthem for the United Kingdom.
However, it does seem to me that any decision on this matter needs a far fuller debate than simply taking sides over a Parliamentary Early Day Motion.
Personally, while I quite like the Poetry of William Blake and find ‘Jerusalem’ a stirring poem, I suspect that there might well be other supporters of the notion of an English National Anthem who might not be happy with that role being taken by a Poem which when it appeared as part of Blake’s longer work Milton, was an attack on the Church, Academic and Literary establishment of his day by a mystic Christian who, it has been argued, subscribed to the Manichean Heresy.
I note that seven days after Mr Kawczynski put down his Early Day Motion another Conservative MP Peter Luff put forward an amendment to replace ‘Jerusalem’ with ‘I Vow to Thee My Country’.
Clearly, both the principle of whether we need an English National Anthem and the details of what that Anthem should be are matters which need more debate by those who feel this is an important issue.
David Lepper MP