51st State Of The Union?

If there’s one thing they say Americans are jealous of, it’s the British Royal Family. They’d love to have one of their own. All the glitz and glamor of Hollywood fails to make up for a lack of true-blue Royalty, and the dynasties of Bush and Clinton – well, could anyone really consider George Bush Jnr as ‘regal’?

Americans make up for the deficiency with great shows of patriotism and much flaunting of the flag, with bumper stickers demanding, “Love America or Leave America” and similar, often not terribly refined, demands.

Consequently, it comes as something of a shock to discover a plot designed to turn Britain more like America; possibly, even into the 51st State of the Union.

The conspirators are likely the British Ministry of Defence, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and possibly the CIA or US Pentagon.

It all began with an apparently innocent suggestion to insert another public holiday into the calendar somewhere around Britain’s Armistice Day. Now, most Brits would be wholeheartedly in favor of that. After all, though Americans must think the British have a life of Reilly with eight national public holidays a year, compared to the rest of Europe they don’t do at all well.

(NOTE: For Europeans considering a move to America, you don’t get Good Friday or Easter Monday, only one day at Christmas, no Spring bank holiday, Summer bank holiday or early May bank holiday. Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day are about it; unless, you’re fortunate enough to work for the Federal government. Then you get a plethora of holidays throughout the year, while everyone else is still slogging their guts out.)

The suggestion for a new public holiday was well received, until the British government decided to name it “National Day”.

At this point American readers may well be wondering what all the fuss is about, but unlike your nation’s obsession with self, Britain has moved on from such insular narcissism and in general its populace is concerned more with the wider world-view, rather than maintaining a rigid, nationalistic, fervor.

Notwithstanding, the government may well have got away with it were it to end there, but unbeknown to anyone – even the Monarch, herself – Gordon Brown had taken it upon himself to instigate a report on ‘citizenship in the United Kingdom’.

Leader of the committee was none other than British Establishment figure, and Attorney General under Tony Blair’s government, Lord Goldsmith. That’s the same Lord Goldsmith who succumbed to political pressure and decreed the invasion of Iraq was lawful, after previously expressing severe doubts, causing Elizabeth Wilmshurst, deputy legal adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to resign because she did not agree with the official opinion that the use of force in Iraq was legal. She also accused Lord Goldsmith of changing his view on the matter.[1]

Not content with gifting Tony Blair the excuse he needed to pitch the nation into an illegal war, Lord Goldsmith has now managed to infuriate the Queen by recommending that all British schoolchildren be forced to take a pledge of allegiance, not to the Monarch, but to the government and the country.[2]

(NOTE: British schoolchildren have never taken any pledge of allegiance to anything, forced or otherwise, except perhaps the Boy Scouts or Girl Guides.)

Yet another of his suggestions was for a “major overhaul of ‘archaic’ treason laws”. Following Her Majesty’s serious displeasure, I imagine that can’t come quickly enough for him.

While many Brits are now thinking perhaps Lord Goldsmith belongs more in Washington than Windsor, it seems Gordon Brown and a number of other “parliamentary republicans” are working even more intently to bring Washington to Windsor.

It may all have appeared as nothing more than a storm in the great British teacup, were it not for a recent “lesson plan” sent to school teachers by the British Ministry of Defence. (NOTE: the MOD does not make a habit of involving itself in the tutoring of British schoolchildren!) The plan contained instructions on how to “educate” children on the Iraq War.[3]

A “Student’s Worksheet”, contained within the “Lesson Plan”, emphasizes reconstruction in Iraq, but makes no mention of civilian casualties. It also states “The invasion was also necessary to allow the opportunity to remove Saddam, an oppressive dictator, from power, and bring democracy to Iraq”, but fails to reveal that action alone was illegal under international law.

Teacher’s unions have taken up the issue, which they consider is unlawful under the 1996 Education Act. The Act aims to ensure all political issues are presented to pupils in a fair and balanced way.

The MOD is huffing and puffing over the issue, claiming it was only trying to ‘stimulate classroom debate about the Iraq war’.

What it has failed to explain to date, is why the British word “programme”, used on occasion within the documents, is spelled throughout in the American manner, i.e. “program”.

Could it be that these “lesson plans” are simply copies of indoctrinal documents already in use throughout American schools?

All-in-all, by its actions and intents, the British government appears hellbent on turning the United Kingdom into the 51st State of the Union.

[1] “Lord Goldsmith’s legal advice and the Iraq war”, Guardian, April 27th, 2005

[2] “Queen furious with Gordon Brown….”, Daily Mail, March 16th, 2008

[3] “Iraq: teachers told to rewrite history” Independent, March 14th, 2008

My thanks to “This Old Brit” for the information on the MOD “lesson plans” and the link to the Independent’s report.

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4 Replies to “51st State Of The Union?”

  1. Of course, some of the Americans are emigrating here to get a taste of royalty, RJA. Record incoming numbers for 2006 (the last published stat) but it is a long slow process as preference is given to refugees. And military escapees. H’mmmm.
    We added another Civic Holiday this year. In February where it is most needed. Called it “Family Day”. That gives us 9 now.
    We don’t swear allegiance to anything so that might disappoint our new U.S. immigrants, expecting a curtsy to a portrait of the Queen or at least a hat-tip to the maple leaf.
    Scary proposed changes in the U.K., though I understand the U.S. desperate for any kind of pal in the world. And perhaps the U.K. too. Needy bed-fellows.

  2. Lord Goldsmith also just happens to be the old ‘university days’ room mate of the man who very kindly appointed him Attorney General – much to the extreme surprise of so many in the legal profession, I might add. And the old room mate?

    Tony Blair.

  3. I feel lucky that in my schooldays lesson plans such as the one you mention must have been unknown, except perhaps for reading lists for national exams etc.

    I well remember our history teacher at the Bridlington High School for Girls, her nickname was “Smokey Joe”, (she smoked a lot) she often wore a bright red coverall, and was politically well left of old Labour thinking. I bet if anyone had told her of a lesson plan they’d have been told where to go in no uncertain terms. 🙂

  4. WWW – thank God George W only has a few months to go, otherwise you might find more Americans in Canada than Canadians. “Family Day” is a good name; better than “National Day” – ugh!

    TOB – ah, surprise, surprise! I didn’t know that.

    Twilight – weren’t those old school days wonderful? Mine weren’t. I hated every minute of Grammar School. In fact, I’m compiling a few reminiscences of those heady days of short pants and long canes. Watch out for them in the “Bits & Bobs” section.

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