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For Queen and Country

Oaths proposal causes much swearing

children waving Union Flags whilst waiting for the Queen to arrive at Christ Church, Oxford

Schoolchildren taking a pilot patriotism SAT

photo: Statto

Lord Goldsmith this week published proposals to increase social cohesion and foster a sense of national identity by infuriating teenagers with a pledge of allegiance to their country and monarch.

Compulsory citizenship ceremonies for school leavers were amongst the most ridiculous of a raft of proposals to the government to reinforce feelings of Britishness.

Goldsmith’s proposals include a national day to celebrate Britishness, planned for sometime in the late autumn in order to have an appropriate air of dreariness and damp. ‘It will probably be at the weekend so as not to put people out,’ explained the report, ‘and there won’t be any fireworks or shit like that.’

Cynical monetary mechanisms to shore up the faltering British national identity have also been suggested. Citizenship, currently a bargain at £655 for non-Brits, could be reduced in price with a slew of early bird discounts and two-for-one offers. Those already in possession of citizenship who participate in community volunteering projects could be paid a council tax rebate, reinforcing the British principle of noble self-sacrifice for personal financial gain.

The final resort, if oaths, a national day and cheaper citizenship fail to cultivate national pride, is to follow the example of patriotic nations like America and France and engender feelings of cultural belonging through uprising and bloody revolution. The Lib Dems spoke cautiously in favour of such a proposal, as long as the government following the coup used a system of proportional representation.

One of the more unusual proposals was for national identity cards. Civil servant Claire Timkins explained to KTAB: ‘People find national identity, a feeling of belonging to an abstract and anachronistic concept like a nation state, quite hard to relate to. The national identity cards would be released in tandem with the government’s national identity cards. The latter record your personal identity on a national register; the former record your national identity in easy-to-relate-to, friendly plastic card form. Patriotism means points—and points make it less likely you’ll get deported!’

 

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