Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick or Treat Citizenship

Guy Fawkes should have been part of the new British citizenship test, after all it would be a fun way to demonstrate that the fight against terror is an age-old British occupation – not to mention the crusades, of course.

I don’t know if any questions about cricket have been included, but if so it is a relief that people settling in Britain from Germany, France, Italy, or Poland won’t have to sit the test: they know nothing about the intricacies of this game which separates the civilised from the savages. Pakistanis, on the other hand, would do quite well in that department, but would nonetheless fail Norman Tebbit’s cricket test.

The odds are also weighted against other Muslim arrivals from the Commonwealth, where you’d think they know a lot more about Britishness than the continentals, because the citizenship test confirms that however anti-racist our politicians claim to be, Britain remains culturally prejudiced. If you answer the question on the age limit for buying a lottery ticket with “irrelevant” because Islam prohibits gambling, you’re likely to fail and will have to re-sit the test. This will teach you that it is very British to give a dishonest answer in order to pass.

And what about the question on the right etiquette should you accidentally spill a pint of beer on your neighbour in a traditional British pub? Aha, gotcha, if you’re not prepared to buy him a pint because your religion prohibits alcohol then you shouldn’t be in a pub in the first place. And if you don’t like going to a pub then you shouldn’t even bother applying for British citizenship. Binge drinking is part and parcel of it. As is contradicting yourself like by passing legislations for 24 hour pub openings at the same time as wanting to control the outcome with anti-social behaviour orders.

One thing, however, the designers of the British citizenship have missed altogether: The British are NOT citizens but subjects of Her Majesty the Queen. Shame on you for turning the UK into a republic by the back door!

1 Comments:

At 1 November 2005 at 15:17, Anonymous Chris Applegate said...

Actually the British are citizens. The British Nationality Act 1981 makes a clear distinction between British citizens (those born here or having some other connection which grants them a right of abode), and British subjects, of which there are only a few remaining - it refers to former subjects of the Empire from before 1948, who have never taken citizenship of the UK, the Republic of Ireland or a Commonwealth country.

 

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