I told you this would be fun.
The solutions will be the entertaining bit. Having knocked down Britishness over 40 years, they're arrogant enough to believe they can rebuild it with a few citizenship lessons, a rebuild of the history curriculum and some media pressure. They'll find destruction is much easier than construction.
As promoted in the Guardian, on the BBC, on the Today programme :
Britain should have a day to celebrate its national identity, Gordon Brown will propose in a speech portraying Labour as a modern patriotic party.
The chancellor is to use his first major speech of 2006 to urge Labour supporters to "embrace the Union flag".
"The Union flag should be a British symbol of unity around our values. All the United Kingdom should honour it". says this noted Briton.
And what exactly are the values around which we should unite ?
"We should assert that the Union flag is a flag for tolerance and inclusion."
That's a good selling proposition which will unite us all.
"The Union Flag - it means whatever you want it to mean."
or how about
"The Union Flag - unite around - whatever ..."
Bwah-hah-hah-ha-ha! Gordon, stop ! You're a Jelly-bellied Flag-flapper !
Jennie Bristow wrote about this in spiked a year or more back.
"Britain's core national values consist of the unwillingness to promote core national values - a sense of national pride in non-judgementalism, provided the line is drawn on certain key law-and-order issues ('[P]eople should not be allowed to smoke dope on the street because it is part of their culture', says Phillips. 'That is nonsense. It is against the law.').
Phillips sees this apparent dumping of multiculturalism in favour of a core of multicultural Britishness as recipe for an 'integrated society'. It looks more like a re-statement of every New Labour pronouncement on citizenship, every left-leaning tract on the problem of social fragmentation, every desperate attempt to address the problems within Western culture, while still praising the virtues of diversity and the important contribution of the politics of difference."
This Josie Appleton piece on citzenship tests is also worth revisiting.
"Rather than face up to our inability to give 'content and meaning' to British citizenship, the issue becomes one of their inability to understand our ways.
This explains the immense difficulty the government has with drawing up guidelines for immigrants. The exercise of trying to tell immigrants how to be British is becoming an embarrassing demonstration of the fact that the elite doesn't know itself."
I can see the future British identity, as the Native Brit percentage of the population continues to decline. The Fabians should be studying the recent history of Fiji, where the population is split 50-50 between native Fijians and the descendants of immigrants from the Indian subcontinent.
Haddad Preaching Jihad at Queen Mary University
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