Friday, October 19, 2007

Orwell on Tories

I've just returned from the library. As usual I came home home with an armload. Among the armload is a novel by Jo Walton called "Farthing".

The reason I mention this is because of a quote from Orwell she uses in her dedication. The quote is from one of the pieces he published in his column in The Tribune from 1943 until he retired to Jura and wrote "1984". The column was headlined "As I Please". This piece is from December 31, 1943. It appears in the column about halfway through in relation to a proposal made by George Bernard Shaw to rewrite the second verse of "God Save the King" or in our case "Queen".

I laughed out loud and immediately came to the keyboard.

"...All the brass instruments and big drums in the world cannot turn ‘God Save the King’ into a good tune, but on the very rare occasions when it is sung in full it does spring to life in the two lines:

Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks!

And, in fact, I had always imagined that the second verse is habitually left out because of a vague suspicion on the part of the Tories that these lines refer to themselves."

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