In his old-fashioned jacket given to him by his mother back in 1977, wearing disheveled hair and a tie from Primark, he didn’t sing the National Anthem. There was great confusion. There was anger. There was panic. He just stood there in silence, not once moving his lips. It was surreal, it was insane. What was he thinking? And what was he thinking about? Didn’t he know the words? Wasn’t he supposed to be the future leader of the nation? What effrontery.
Next day the country’s newspapers were filled with righteous rage. Every small inch of the footage was carefully dissected by journalists and experts, all wondering if a man could fall any lower than that. ‘Lack of Respect’. ‘Shameful’. ‘Disgrace’. And all those soldiers who died in the name of the whole nation. Suddenly the few moments in the grand old building overshadowed what came before and what would come after. They even managed to overshadow his mother’s old-fashioned jacket, his unwieldy hair and the tie made in Bangladesh.
In the midst of all that, one political analyst suggested that the man didn’t sing because he was tone-deaf. However, I didn’t buy that. I don’t think anyone did.