Government of all the Gimmicks

Posted on Tue 11 March 2008 in misc

Today's latest big idea to get pupils to swear allegiance to the country every morning US style is yet another example of political gimmickry that I'm starting to increasingly associate with this government. It works in the US because of the strong association people have with their shared (relatively new) history and the founding of the country. The UK however has a much longer and more diverse history both as a union and it's constituent nation states. I have no idea how you could come up with an oath that would encapsulate the diverse views of republicans and monarchists, Scots and English (and Welsh!), pre and post commonwealth nationals, without being reduced to meaningless platitudes and drivel. On top of all that the idea of standing hand on heart to proclaim this loyalty for all to see seems a very un-British act to me. For me the strength of the UK is it's wide diversity, it's blend of cosmopolitan melting pots and old traditions. The best way to bind the country together better is to teach the history of the UK both in schools and to the adults so everyone knows where we have come from and why things are the way they currently are. Knowing our shared history isn't an impediment to changing society as we grow and evolve but it increases understanding and that can be no bad thing.