but I do not think making school leavers swear allegiance is a good idea. We live in a free country, in which the only responsibility of people should be to obey the law. I am a believer in the benefits of a Constitutional Monarchy, but I accept there are those who are republicans and they should not feel an oath contradicts their freedom of conscience.
Neither should we swear on the British state or anything else. As a citizen of the UK (it’s not just Britain!) I accept the rule of law under the current constitutional set up. I also believe that set up should change with a free independent England (and the rest). However I will campaign for that change through the democratic process. I do not need to offer my allegiance to the state, only my acceptance. The same courtesy can be extended to republicans.
This is, of course, part of Britishness Brown’s Brainwashing Bull. Yet another idea amongst many to unite the country of Britain around Brown’s ideas of British values, normally tolerance, umm tolerance, loving the Queen and loving paying taxes. This idea will be ridiculed and thrown out, to show how Gordo can listen to the people, except on the EU. Come to think of it, will this oath of allegiance be extended to President Blair of Europe?
The idea is to unite different communities around ‘shared values’. Which means stopping Muslims blowing things up, if I interpret it correctly. And also to persuade the English that they, and they alone, are British and to tolerate the better treatment of those in Scotland and Wales to preserve the Union.
It won’t work Gordon. Nations evolve naturally. Sure sharing political institutions for 300 years has had some binding effect, as we have had a common interest. But if the existence for 300 years of Britain can only produce the Britishness you see now, why do you think your many campaigns will have a better effect in the short term?
PS God Save the Queen.