Thursday, June 12, 2014


The fatwa-like pronouncements of the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, are provocative and very conrovrsial. When he announced that schools will be required to promote 'fundamental British values' in the classroom there was much to reflect upon.

Not only did the cartoonist of The Guardian make his trenchant comment shown at the left, the paper also gave its readers a chance to have their 'Britishness' tested.

"Tea-drinker? Anglican? Find out if you share the 'British values' that Michael Gove wants to see taught in schools. Take this British values questionnaire to find out if you fit in or, with all due respect, if you should be on the next flight to Loserville."

Okay, I completed the  hilarious questionnaire and chuckled at the result returned.

"Excellent. Thanks to your comprehensive obliviousness
and disregard for others, you're very British."
 At about the same time as I indulged in this silliness I had listened to an interesting edition of the Radio 4 'Point of View' program. What would happen if England started to break up into its seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, a 'heptarchy' obviating any need for thoughts of Britishness? Tom Shakespeare, reflecting of course on the possibility of Scotland leaving the union, let his imagination run riot and it's worth a quarter of an hour to listen to it.

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