Tuesday, November 1

Britishness Test


As this blog has exposed recently, the British Labour Government's so-called "Britishness" test, for immigrants wanting to become citizens has been exposed in the press as a farce.
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Sample questions include: You spill someone's pint in a pub. What is the polite thing to do? and It is legal to possess crack cocaine - true or false?
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As The Times thunders in it's second leader today:
'' Britons have long prided themselves on pragmatism and common sense. The British way of life, an accretion of centuries of experience in these islands has largely been based on what works: the social structures economic relationships and the framework of justice. There was never a need for a formal constitution, the law, evolving in response to changing circumstances was based on shared values, general tolerance and common understanding of rights and duties.''
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Now foreign applicants for British citzenship will have to produce a certificate showing that they have passed the ''Life in the UK test''.
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The test has caused some deliberation in two very British Palaces - Buckingham and Lambeth. Question 8 of the ridiculous test asks: Who is the head of the Church of England?
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Both are agreed that Christ is the head, whilst Buckingham Palace confirms that the Queen is Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor. The Archbishop of Canterbury whose official residence is Lambeth Palace is: ''The spiritual head of the Church of England''.
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As Ben Macintyre commented in The Times today: '' It is about so much more than queueing and cricket. Indeed it is; Britishness is ( to a large exent) about our history and humour. Both of which have confused foreigners for many a millennium.
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Indeed!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Gosh, well I guess it is lucky that here in the US that we do not have such a test. IF you wish to become a citizen of the US, you must pass a citizenship test, but that is based on knowing history and how our politics work than anything else. If we had to establish a cultural identity, I am not sure that we could. Would we adopt the one that was given to us by the UK settlers? OR maybe one of the tribal ones? Since we do not have an official recognized language, even that might be difficult to establish. HMMMM maybe we are just a confused lot who muddle through but then our US history is only about just over 200 years old, we can be given a little leeway for being young but gee the UK history and culture has been around a lot longer, and they are condensed down to a question of behavior if you slip and spill a pint? I wish my history courses were that easy!