Swearing

In which we try to be upstanding and British


“Now, children, it’s time for you all to swear to Her Majesty The Queen. All together now:”

“FUCK OFF, HER MAJESTY!”

Seriously, now, this plan to make school-leavers swear allegiance to the monarch, if they can be bothered to, is a ridiculous one. It’s supposedly meant to instill British standards in people – that’s, an imported American ceremony, to make you feel more British. I hope schools don’t take it up, although it’s a depressing thought that they probably will, given the fervour with which they’ve started holding American-style Proms in the last ten years. That’s another horrible American import which we’re best off without.*

It’s strange, though, that the “British standards” the government is keen on instilling are never the British standards that Britain is actually famous for, and that Britons have been famous for for hundreds of years. They’re more interested in realising some mythical moral standard where everyone doffs their cap to their betters and helps old ladies across the street.** Such a world never actually existed, but that never stops people claiming it did.

* I don’t know many American teenagers, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the ones who don’t bother going to their prom, or hold an alternative one, are the only ones I would get along with.

** Whether they want to cross the street or not. “It’s for your own good, dear, now come over here with me.”

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