The UK government has this wonderful fantasy that they can define Britishness. As I argued in my posting on Identity and Equality, it is almost certainy a self-defeating enterprise. However, if they are looking for something decidedly British, let me suggest that no one should be considered for citizenship who doesn’t find utter delight in any and all of the following:
- Flanders and Swan’s Hippopotamus Song (especially the version sung with a live audience on At the Drop of a Hat)
- Eddie Izzard’s ‘Cake or death’ sketch
- Monty Python’s Batley Townswomens’ Guild presents the Battle of Pearl Harbour
It won’t work, of course. I can believe that some of the Cabinet have a sense of humour, but somehow not the po-faced Blair. Besides, I would feel quite ill if I thought I shared a sense of humour with him.
A final thought. How about depriving existing citizens of their citizenship if they don’t have a suitably British sense of humour. Starting at the very top, perhaps…