Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Oath of obedience

I see British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's latest hair-brained scheme is to encourage children in the UK to swear an oath of allegiance to their queen and country.

I must say I think it is both a dangerous and highly stupid suggestion.

Report author, ex-attorney general Lord Goldsmith, says it would give teenagers a sense of belonging and would help improve their sense of what it means to be a British citizen.

What about people who don't support the system of monarchy though? This point was raised by Graham Smith of the group Republic, which campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy:

"It's offensive to people who do actually cherish democracy and who actually cherish the sorts of liberties we've fought for centuries."

If children refuse to take part, he added, "are they then going to be told or taught that they are somehow less British or less loyal or less patriotic?"

Good question. Obviously this idea is designed to work similar to the oath of allegiance that they have in America, but the major difference is that Americans aren't pledging allegiance to an INDIVIDUAL but rather to their COUNTRY.

Personally I don't think oaths of allegiance are necessary whatsoever. I don't need anyone telling me to show allegiance towards my nation.

On another note, I'd really love to see how they plan on introducing this into the north of Ireland! How would an Irish republican family in Belfast feel about their little child being made to swear allegiance to someone they regard as a foreigner and who leads an establishment that they find repulsive? How are people in Catholic areas of Glasgow going to feel about having to declare allegiance to a monarchy that currently still forbids a royal from marrying a Catholic? It's ridiculous really. From reading comments by British people on the BBC, the overwhelming majority are against the idea. Here's a selection of their views:

"Allegiance to the queen!!??!! - I would not allow my 4
children to do this. In this modern world there is no need for a monarchy. She/they parasites and hangers on do nothing. She & her inbred family are only there to draw tourists to the UK. I look forward to the day when Scotland is an independent Republic. England can keep her."

John McMillan, Edinburgh

"Swearing allegiance to the head of a morally bankrupt family of foreign parasites, suggested by a man from a privileged position in an institution that should have been closed down long, long ago! Is it April the first?"

Terry Reynolds, Bridport, United Kingdom

"Swearing allegiance to Queen and/or Country? What's next, letting blood under british oaks in the shine of burning torches? To me this sounds like hopelessly outdated nationalism. Worryingly reminiscent of Germany around 1933, anybody refusing the oath to the austrian painter was sidelined first, and shot few years later.To prevent alienation of the UK youth make sure that they are properly supported, and socially integrated. Distribute wealth rather than praising the fortune of the rich!"

Finn Werner, London

"What is the point of this? You either feel British or you do not & making an oath to Britain smacks of the old empire days of long ago & will serve no purpose whatsoever. You are going to alienate people, not everyone feels British, personally speaking to me Britain is the Island & not the countries. You also have to deal with all the arguments of people who feel Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English & not British what will the point of them swearing to something they don't believe in?"

Garry Fraser, Glasgow, United Kingdom

And my personal favourite:

"I would rather cut of my testicles and dip my bleeding scrotum in a bucket of lemon juice, that swear allegiance to that fat, useless, clapped out old leech in Buckingham palace. This has to be the stupidest most pointless idea Gordon Brown has ever had. Jesus wept."


I definitely think this idea is a non-starter. The monarchy is an archaic institution. A remnant of a bygone age. The idea that people are superior to certain others due to their background is a philosophy best left in the dark ages. We might as well bring back the Pharaohs.

What would the Sex Pistols have thought if a teacher made them swear allegiance to the queen, I wonder? As they once so infamously put it...

God save the queen
She ain't no human being
There is no future
In England's dreaming

Don't be told what you want
Don't be told what you need
There's no future, no future,
No future for you

I couldn't have put it better myself.


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