2001-2008
Home
Main
- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Media

Citizenship Tests: How New Labour Are You?

7 November 2005

This week finally saw the introduction of the long-planned UK citizenship tests. But what gives the whole thing away as yet another piece of tokenism is the fact that the test has no actual consequences. If a wannabe citizen fails the test, they're not going to be deported. And rightly so - it would be a Kafkaesque world in which you get sent back to Rwanda to get your arms macheted off because you thought Rowan Williams was the head of the Church of England. (It's the Queen. Or Christ or someone.)

The test has also been designed so that it's hard to fail: potential citizens must answer 75 per cent of the questions correctly to pass, but they are allowed to retake it until they do. In other words, it's going to be about as difficult as Bamboozle on Teletext. But the fundamental flaw of the test is that it doesn't test anything useful. Indeed, the qualities that make a good citizen can't be tested by a multiple choice test. What makes a good citizen? Is it knowing when St George's Day is, or doing voluntary work? Is it knowing what the Magna Carta is, or is it offering to look after your neighbour's kids in a crisis?

The whole exercise is basically utterly pointless, and actually rather offensive to new citizens, and as such sits happily in the pantheon of crap New Labour ideas. Above all it's sooooooooooo Blairite and New Labour we couldn't resist devising our own test...

...

TFT'S COOL BRITANNIA NEW LABOUR CITIZENSHIP TEST


1) The role of a Labour government is what?

A. To manage the country effectively and promote the wellbeing of its citizens with policies that promote progressive ideas such as increasing life opportunities and reducing poverty.

B. To spew out endless back-of-a-fag-packet 'initiatives' like citizenship tests.


2) The greatest threat our island nation has ever faced is what?

A. The Spanish Armada

B. Invasion by the Nazis

C. International terrorism

D. Gordon Brown


3) What is the greatest speech ever given by an Englishman?

A. Henry V's 'Once more into the breach....'

B. Winston Churchill's 'We will fight them on the beaches....'

C. Cherie Blair's 'My immediate instinct when faced with the questions from the Mail on Sunday ten days ago was to protect my family's privacy, and particularly my son in his first term at university, living away from home....'


4) Traditional British values include what?

A. Tolerance, hard work, fair play and a strong sense of right and wrong.

B. Demonising asylum seekers, detention without trial, scrounging free holidays from Italian media crooks, doing favours for your cronies, having affairs with married women, queue jumping and lying when it suits your purpose.


5) Complete the following expression. 'An Englishman's home is...'

A. His castle.

B. The result of a dodgy property deal set up by a convicted fraudster

C. Where his wife and family are while he's shagging his secretary or a government press officer in his MP's flat in London.


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

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free


 ABOUT THE FRIDAY THING
Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

READERS WRITE
"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved