Tuesday, 2 September 2008

As some of you might be aware my wife is an American citizen and therefore regarded as suspicious and ‘foreign’ by the U.K’s bureaucratic establishment. As penance for this we have had to undergo many hardships, including queuing up with the asylum seekers at UK Customs and immigration in Croydon and having to shell out vast sums of money to get permission from the state to marry, live in the same country and, most ignominiously of all, to take the UK Citizenship test. This vile assessment contains such questions as ‘How much does a colour TV licence cost?’ and ‘What percentage of the UK’s population are Catholics?’. I find it hard to see why knowing the extent of the UK’s Catholic community is in any way a useful requirement for being a fine upstanding citizen. The only scenario I can envisage is if I happened to be reincarnated as Oliver Cromwell and charged myself with exterminating the ‘ungodly papist religion’. One wouldn’t mention this in the citizenship test of course because it would almost certainly fall foul of the new laws governing incitement to religious hatred; especially ironic given that our constitution and national identity were mainly founded by inciting religious hatred. All one had to do in the 16th century to be a good citizen was to own a well-thumbed copy of ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’. In the 21st century the only things you really need to be able to call yourself British are an unquenchable sense of self-loathing and a hatred of ones entire history and culture.

The most infuriating part of the test is having to shell out for ‘Life in the United Kingdom, a Journey to Citizenship’, the official government booklet which has all the questions and answers. On the first page The Home Secretary, John Reid’s ugly bald head stares back at you with a short forward written underneath. I regard the first paragraph as a personal insult. It reads

‘The first edition of this handbook became a best seller when it came out towards the end of 2004. Some people will have bought it out of interest, or a wish to know more about the United Kingdom’s history or institutions. And many more will have obtained it as a study guide for the new tests for knowledge about life in the United Kingdom, which we brought in during 2005 for people who want to become British citizens’.

Well yes, it is a best seller, in the same way that Chairman Mao’s little red book sold between 5.5 and 6 billion copies, partly because if you failed to produce it you were liable to be belaboured around the head and genitalia by Red Guards and sentenced to years of hard-labour. It’s certainly no cause for self congratulation.

To me the citizenship test is oddly reminiscent of some of the first IQ tests, which the United States brought in at the height of the worldwide Eugenics movement during the 1920s. These were drawn up in order to allay fears that the "American" gene pool was being polluted by a rising tide of immigrants from eastern and southern Europe, who were thought to be ‘imbeciles’, ‘feeble minded cretins’ and ‘moral defectives’. Upon the ‘discovery’ by H. H. Goddard that all immigrants, except those from Northern Europe, were of ‘surprisingly low intelligence;’ tight immigration laws and IQ testing were enacted in the 1920s. These tests were also influential in some states for legitimising forced sterilization of ‘defective’ individuals who had scored badly. The tests themselves that were introduced were very crude and culturally specific; immigrants tended to do very badly indeed. Sample questions included ‘who won the baseball batting title in 1925?’ and ‘Which one of these is a stop sign?’. As a result 87% of Russian immigrants and similar numbers from other nations were found to be feeble-minded, a result so ludicrous even H. H Goddard couldn't believe it. Eventually the same test was introduced to estimate the intelligence of the armed forces and so many of the people serving were found to be imbeciles and idiots worthy of sterilisation – a lot of them war veterans - that the test was immediately ditched.

I move that the present day UK citizenship test be similarly scrapped, and in this particular incidence the only person that should be sterilised is the Home secretary.

8 comments:

oakleyses said...

tory burch outlet, tiffany and co jewelry, coach outlet store online, polo ralph lauren outlet, chanel handbags, true religion outlet, ray ban outlet, red bottom shoes, burberry outlet online, prada outlet, kate spade outlet online, nike free, polo ralph lauren, christian louboutin shoes, nike air max, christian louboutin outlet, coach outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, burberry outlet online, true religion, nike shoes, longchamp handbags, coach purses, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, oakley vault, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet, nike air max, prada handbags, coach outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, gucci handbags, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, longchamp outlet, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet store, kate spade handbags, louis vuitton handbags, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin, longchamp outlet online, michael kors outlet online

oakleyses said...

chaussure louboutin, ralph lauren pas cher, nike free pas cher, burberry pas cher, guess pas cher, ray ban pas cher, converse pas cher, barbour, true religion outlet, tn pas cher, air max pas cher, sac louis vuitton, longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, vans pas cher, nike roshe, nike air max, abercrombie and fitch, air jordan, nike free, louis vuitton uk, scarpe hogan, michael kors uk, mulberry, true religion jeans, nike air force, sac vanessa bruno, oakley pas cher, air max, nike roshe run, new balance pas cher, longchamp, north face, ralph lauren, lacoste pas cher, nike air max, hollister, ray ban uk, hermes pas cher, hollister, lululemon, michael kors canada, timberland, sac michael kors, louis vuitton, north face pas cher

oakleyses said...

canada goose outlet, asics shoes, giuseppe zanotti, soccer jerseys, soccer shoes, birkin bag, uggs outlet, bottega veneta, wedding dresses, reebok shoes, north face jackets, mcm handbags, ugg boots, babyliss pro, marc jacobs outlet, vans outlet, lululemon outlet, mac cosmetics, canada goose, herve leger, nike trainers, north face outlet, roshe run, beats headphones, longchamp, instyler ionic styler, valentino shoes, ugg soldes, insanity workout, p90x workout, ugg, jimmy choo shoes, canada goose outlet, abercrombie and fitch, nike huarache, ferragamo shoes, nfl jerseys, ghd, new balance outlet, chi flat iron, rolex watches, celine handbags, mont blanc pens, ugg outlet, hollister, uggs on sale

oakleyses said...

moncler, canada goose, links of london uk, air max, hollister canada, uggs canada, oakley, canada goose pas cher, swarovski jewelry, lancel, parajumpers outlet, juicy couture outlet, toms outlet, canada goose, montre femme, ray ban, replica watches, moncler, canada goose uk, coach outlet, swarovski uk, gucci, supra shoes, louboutin, baseball bats, pandora uk, moncler outlet, converse, nike air max, vans, louis vuitton canada, ralph lauren, moncler, pandora charms, pandora jewelry, thomas sabo uk, ugg, iphone 6 case, canada goose outlet, karen millen, hollister clothing, timberland shoes, moncler, juicy couture outlet, hollister, wedding dress, moncler, moncler, converse shoes

oakleyses said...

louis vuitton, nike outlet, nike free run, nike air max, polo outlet, longchamp outlet, nike free, replica watches, nike roshe, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, prada outlet, ray ban sunglasses, tory burch outlet, ugg boots, tiffany jewelry, sac longchamp pas cher, christian louboutin, tiffany and co, louis vuitton, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin uk, polo ralph lauren outlet online, ugg boots, michael kors pas cher, louboutin pas cher, polo ralph lauren, longchamp pas cher, burberry pas cher, jordan shoes, gucci handbags, nike air max, air max, longchamp outlet, jordan pas cher, prada handbags, oakley sunglasses wholesale, kate spade outlet, christian louboutin outlet, christian louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses

oakleyses said...

michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, replica handbags, nike tn, nike free uk, coach purses, burberry outlet, michael kors, polo lacoste, nike blazer pas cher, nike air max, hollister pas cher, ray ban uk, guess pas cher, michael kors, true religion outlet, hogan outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike air max uk, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet, new balance, michael kors outlet online, uggs outlet, mulberry uk, nike air force, abercrombie and fitch uk, lululemon canada, north face uk, ray ban pas cher, burberry handbags, michael kors outlet online, kate spade, true religion outlet, ralph lauren uk, sac hermes, nike air max uk, vans pas cher, converse pas cher, hollister uk, nike roshe run uk, true religion jeans, north face, michael kors outlet, sac vanessa bruno, true religion outlet, oakley pas cher

oakleyses said...

new balance shoes, chi flat iron, nike trainers uk, vans outlet, ghd hair, ipad cases, iphone cases, mont blanc pens, bottega veneta, ferragamo shoes, mac cosmetics, herve leger, timberland boots, s6 case, wedding dresses, nike air max, iphone 6 cases, ralph lauren, soccer jerseys, valentino shoes, oakley, longchamp uk, baseball bats, soccer shoes, nike roshe run, babyliss, beats by dre, north face outlet, iphone 6s cases, nike huaraches, north face outlet, hermes belt, iphone 6s plus cases, celine handbags, lululemon, hollister clothing, mcm handbags, asics running shoes, nfl jerseys, abercrombie and fitch, insanity workout, jimmy choo outlet, iphone 5s cases, iphone 6 plus cases, hollister, instyler, giuseppe zanotti outlet, p90x workout, reebok outlet, louboutin

oakleyses said...

juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, ugg, pandora jewelry, moncler, replica watches, moncler outlet, pandora uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, gucci, canada goose uk, swarovski crystal, converse, marc jacobs, canada goose outlet, moncler, supra shoes, ugg pas cher, hollister, swarovski, thomas sabo, pandora jewelry, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, moncler uk, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, canada goose jackets, canada goose, canada goose, links of london, toms shoes, montre pas cher, pandora charms, doudoune moncler, moncler, barbour uk, louis vuitton, ugg uk, karen millen uk, moncler, ray ban, coach outlet, barbour, lancel, louis vuitton, hollister, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, wedding dresses, nike air max