From the BBC
School-leavers should be encouraged to swear an oath of allegiance to Queen and country, says a report commissioned by Gordon Brown on British citizenship.
Do Not Want. Why? Well, three reasons:
1) the Queen. I’m a staunch British republican[note]. I think telling teenagers that they should be encouraged to “swear allegiance” to the Queen is innately abhorrent. It’s high time that the archaic system of heredity monarchy – and that abortion of democracy that is the house of Lords – be abolished as the figure head of state, and it’s position in propping up the church of England as the official religion of the UK.
2) the Country. What does that mean in the UK? Should Scottish teenagers swear allegiance to Scotland, or Britain? What about Welsh? English? Irish? The naivety being demonstrated by suggesting that teenagers should “be encouraged” to pledge allegiance to something that even it’s adult citizen’s can’t agree is a good thing is astonishing.
3) Allegiance to the state. The very principle of pledging allegiance to a state strikes me as an insane idea. That one should consider oneself to be obligated to be loyal to anything other than oneself, and one’s personal moral integrity, is the antithesis of freedom. One should never consider oneself to be obligated to be loyal to the state, for down that road is nothing but trouble.
So it’s a bad idea – a ridiculously ill-thought and ill-conceived idea from a person who one would hope should know better, but consistently shows that he doesn’t. Incidentally, in writing this, in particular in expressing my republican sentiments, it would appear I have committed treason.
(Note to American readers: republican here is used strictly in the British sense of the belief that an elected citizen should be the head of state as opposed to the hereditary monarch, and that the British people should be citizens of the state, as opposed to subjects of the monarch.)[back]