The new Tory-boy Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham has decided that full Council Meetings will now end with a rendition of the National Anthem. So at 10.10pm on Wednesday, 25th June he asked everyone to wait while a musical accompaniment was brought in to, hopefully, help with the singing.
It didn’t. The accompaniment was a tiny portable stereo. An official inserted a CD and a noise began. It sounded like a hard-to-hear performance from the last night of the Proms.
Then the singing started... Maybe “singing” is pushing the definition of that word a little too much. Many Conservatives seemed to think this was all a big joke. Some were giggling and nudging each other throughout, some tried to do their best to sing the two verses amongst all the pandemonium and some seemed not to know the words and mouthed away John Redwood style. Key members of the Tory front bench seemed to find the whole thing hilarious.
No wonder the Conservatives had, only moments earlier, voted against having the full Council Meetings videoed and put onto H&F Council's website. I suspect they believed that they would lose a lot of public support once people could see for themselves how they actually behave.