Tuesday, 11 March 2008

what it means

... to be British.

The BBC reports government proposals to get school students to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen. Amusingly, that is part of their "citizenship" plan - rather than that subject-hood plan.
Anyway, what is this? Since when was that necessary? Britain isn't the US; it doesn't need overt patriotism to survive, and certainly not rubbish like swearing an oath of allegiance to the Queen.

Swearing at the Queen, perhaps..

All of this hand wringing about Britishness and Englishness is toss, frankly. It's middle England getting scared by change, and frothed up by the idiot Daily Mail, Express and Telegraph. I am convinced that most social problems (which most middle-englanders will never see) would disappear, if we worked on increasing real material equality. Ha! As if.

At the moment though, the debate seems to be framed by this kind of nonsense, and the laughable BBC "white" season, which is addressing the terrible problems white people have in Britain today. Did I say terrible problems white people have? Sorry, I must have become temporarily stupid. Like BBC2, I imagine.

It's achingly clear there's a big political problem in Britain: there is no progressive party. And don't say "the Lib Dems"; they have shown themselves to be a bunch of jobsworths just as much as Labour. Screw them.

Still, why should I care or anyone listen? I live in Spain, where we have a genuinely progressive, positive, forward looking leader, who's just won an election where the main issue was immigration. Immigration here makes UK immigration look like a joke, by the way, and Zapatero just won the election saying immigration was a good thing. Incredible. Faced with the usual right-wing scaremongering about immigration, he attacked back, instead of making awful concessions to dimwitted little-englanders and racists, like the Labour party seem to do in Britain.

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