Further debate needed on Britishness

1/26/2007 02:53:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich /

Apparently it might be a good idea if we started to teach our kids how to be British. British kids feel they don’t know anything about their own culture and only learn about other people’s cultures. This is bad apparently. No, it isn’t. It's total nonsense as it happens. You don’t learn about your own culture little Billy, because you live here you silly boy and it’s all around you. If you turned your f*cking Game Boy off for five minutes you’d realise this.

A child born in this country is British. Therefore their values however they may be displayed, equate to Britishness. Regardless of how they compare to the Education Secretary’s Utopian definition, British children are already displaying Britishness, so by definition, you can’t teach it to them. Teaching immigrants our values such as they are is one thing, but British children cannot be taught something they display by default. And can children even have their own set of values? Are they intelligent enough to adopt their own moral code independent from their parents? I don’t think so. But anyway…

I’m pretty sure, when they talk about Britishness they aren’t referring to our Imperialistic history, which is really what Britishness means to everyone around the world. Do we want our children to adopt the idea that it’s ok to wander around the planet stealing countries off people, enslaving the native population and using them to win Gold medals in the Olympics?

I’d rather not have our children taught that it’s ok to shoot a dirty faced man if he drops a plate or steals an apple from you. And the oppressive class system and religious centuries long crusades are probably best left in the past too. That’s a history lesson and lessons we ought to be learning from, not repeating.

When they say Britishness, I assume they mean respect, tolerance, open-mindedness and wherever possible exceptionally poor sporting ability. These things are not unique to Britain. These things are just characteristics every decent human being ought to embrace regardless of their nationality, creed and culture (except the lack of athleticism which does seem to be unique to the British Isles).

If we’re at a stage where we actually have to teach these things to children, then something has gone hideously wrong somewhere and more than likely the blame for that something rests with the parents. If kids have no appreciation of “Britishness” it’s because…and I’ll just throw this supposition out there, the parents in many many cases, are still children themselves. And the ones that do have grown adults for parents have the mental age and academic proficiency of children.

Alan Johnson seems to believe all this will encourage a healthy debate. A debate about what exactly? Isn’t that an admission that we have a problem? We only have debates to draw a conclusion to solve a problem. But the Education Secretary doesn’t seem too concerned with the drawing conclusions and solving the problem part as long as we have a healthy debate. The debates are an end rather than a means to an end.

Our Government is obsessed with having debates and not actually solving the problems they were debating. Essentially they are the Peoples front of Judea from the Life of Brian and as a consequence, we have debates, enquiries, and think tanks all of which conclude that there is definitely a need for further discussion. This is dangerous and alarming.

If a man and his wife both agree that they are hungry and have a healthy debate about which restaurant to go to and the debate is constructive, sequential and respectful and both accept each others points of view, but no conclusion about which restaurant to go to is reached, they will starve to death. They won’t have the energy for further discussion.

And all of this is bollocks anyway, I’ve said it once, well more than once, and I’ll say it again. Children should not be taught what to think, they should be taught HOW to think. Then they can figure out for themselves what values are (and what religion is, which is what this is really all about) and which ones to adopt and the result, however terrifying and disastrous it may be, will be Britishness.

I know…I’m scared too.


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