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Home > Culture and Society

I pledge allegiance to David Beckham

This week we found out that Government wants to introduce a swearing-in ceremony for new citizens, in the style of Canada or America. You get the feelng that Blair & Co. don't come to rational policy decisions, they're more like impulse shoppers: "A swearing in ceremony? Thatís cool. Weíll have one of those..."

29 July 2003

A few objections to this stupid stupid policy:

  • A swearing in ceremony doesn't automatically turn people into loyal subjects. The Americans swear allegiance to the flag in every waking moment, but it didn't stop the Oklahoma City bomber or John Q. Taliban.

  • When people have fled oppressive regimes to avoid being raped, murdered, starved, mutilated or all four, do we really need them to prove they're glad to be in the UK? Surely a simple "Thank you for not hanging me from a lamp post" will suffice.

  • Swearing loyalty in no way deters undesirable elements. If you're a Russian mafiosa who wants to come to Britain to develop your interest in pimping, what are you most likely to do:

      A) earnestly swear your allegiance while plotting to murder a rival pimp.

      B) break down in tears with remorse at planning to abuse the hospitality of another nation and book a flight back to Moscow?

  • Who exactly are the hapless immigrants swearing loyalty to? The Queen and the Crown. Which includes Sophie Wessex. Surely itís against some clause of the Human Rights act to be forced to swear loyalty to that idiot?

  • Itís almost certainly going to be racist. Will ex-pat Americans, Australians and Kiwis be expected to pledge their loyalty? We suspect not.

  • Swearing in seems to be just another example of the strange nationalism-lite and tokenism the Blair Government loves. We may as well swear allegiance to the traditional British cuppa or the England World cup squad.
    • Hang on, let's not give them any ideas...

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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