Dib Dib Div - A Nation Flagging

At a time when the BBC has a series on 'Britishness' and the right-wing trash has continued apace with its scurrilous scaremongering on race, comes a suggestion (Jack Straw referred to it as a debate opener or some such) from Lord Goldsmith that school leavers should swear an allegiance to Queen and country. To be fair to Goldsmith he did indicate that the oath could be made to the country itself rather than the unelected old leech residing in Buck House.

The thought of American-style saluting the flag during morning assembly does grate but I cannot see this coming to pass. The saddening aspect is that there is a presumption that school-leavers have not reached this level of citizenship unless a few words are uttered. Many already carry out community works.

A lot of this is just meaningless posturing, but judging by the 100+ comments in the Daily Mail, it hits the right buttons. Some comments have a go at the Royal Family - some bordering on racism - while others take the opportunity to blame the Government.

Taking the biscuit for BNP spite must go to this bastard:

  • It might have benefits in as much that if children of immigrants do not wish to take the oath then perhaps we could use it as an excuse to send them back to their ancestral country along with their parents so relieving pressure on this country as a whole. Controversial yes but something has to be done to ease the population of Great Britain and give it back to the indigenous people.- Colin, Bedford, England

I'm tempted into hoping that this was just a wind-up comment, but the fact that the paper sought fit to print it, makes me want to vomit all the more. By all means let us have a debate on immigration, but this comment is completely vile and tantamount to incitement to racial hatred.

The rest of the proposals, without making exciting reading, do have some value, and are worthy of debate. Encouraging more people to carry out voluntary work (notwithstanding any ulterior motive Government may have for saving money) and rewarding with council tax reductions, may be beneficial.

However, the timing of the release of the recommendations is a bit suspicious. I'm willing to listen to coincidence theories but my scepticism sometimes takes precedence.

  • It's a good idea. The constitutional monarchy is our one protection against the likes of the Labour Party. It puts dwarves like Blair and Brown into firm perspective.- Ben Hall, Dubai UAE

Ah, Dubai, that mother of all parliaments and epitome of a fine democratic constitutional monarchy. Ben, or Knowsfuk to his friends.

Of course, judging by the story about school places maybe a different type of pledge will be required years before any leaving ceremony.