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Playing the race card - Grin with cat attached
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Playing the race card Feb. 7th, 2002 12:45 pm
Blunkett's at it again.

Would you swear an oath of allegiance to this country?
Would you promise conformity to "British laws, values, and institutions"?

I assume we'll still accept asylum applicants without requiring them to take British nationality, but for how long?

Why is the entire planet swinging to the right?

From: furrylemming
Date: February 7th, 2002 - 05:23 am (Link)
No way. I wouldn't say anything of the sort and I was born in Britain. Can't imagine dad liking all that cr@p either.

Not sure the entire planet is swinging to the right, but then perhaps I'm just too much of an optimist (?!) and too full of enthusiasm for my own projects at the moment.
From: mrph
Date: February 7th, 2002 - 05:32 am (Link)
An oath of allegiance? No. If we had a constitution or something, maybe. But to "my country, right or wrong", whatever the flag stands for on any given day? No.

To "British laws, values, and institutions"? Does that exclude campaigning to have them changed/improved, then? Well, there go my views on partnership rights and decriminalising drugs.

The planet is shifting because we're heading for Bad Times again. War and recession are knocking on our door. And, of course, they can't be our fault - or our glorious government's fault.

So someone else must be to blame. Those dole scroungers who come here with their fifteen kids and six wives, living in B&Bs at our expense and speaking their own ghastly heathen languages.

If it wasn't for them we'd still be living in Last of The Summer Wine. We'd still be quaint and homogenous, respectable caucasian folks with woolly sweaters and home-grown food. Oh yes.

</bitter>
From: katyaa
Date: February 7th, 2002 - 08:39 am (Link)
Pardon an American for chiming in on this one (but you all know we Yanks can't keep our mouths shut about anything)...

I understand not wanting to swear an oath of allegiance to 'my country right or wrong', hell I still wouldn't do it and the USA's got a Constitution.

My allegiance to my country doesn't fade, but I have no such moral obligation to my government. When they're wrong, I won't be afraid to tell them so.

Perhaps its good to be devoted to one's country, and intently critical of one's government?
From: ciphergoth
Date: February 7th, 2002 - 10:47 am (Link)
I'd argue that allegience to any country is irrational. I'd rather people felt that their loyalty and allegiance is owed to all of humanity and generations yet unborn, rather than to any one legal institution.
From: katyaa
Date: February 7th, 2002 - 10:59 am (Link)
My allegiance to my country is only so far as the ideals of liberty and basic human rights that were, at least supposedly, the founding basis of my country.

However, that's not to say I wouldn't support or fight for liberty and human rights for anyone in the world who wants them.

'My country' is not a government or legal institution... it's a set of ideals that people, hopefully, are actually living. The 'legal institution' is covered by government, which I'm not inclined to blindly love, follow, or swear allegiance to.
From: ciphergoth
Date: February 7th, 2002 - 11:16 am (Link)
I think you've just drastically redefined the word "country". "country" means what you suggest the same way "bank" means "room with tables where people drink coffee" - ie not at all...
From: mrph
Date: February 7th, 2002 - 05:41 pm (Link)
Probably, yes. But when you've got a constitution which specifies a set of principles, then you've got a target defined. Pledging support for that, I can understand and justify... because the key points then are the values and the country's aim to uphold them, not the country name/flag/anthem/geography itself...
From: wechsler
Date: February 8th, 2002 - 01:59 am (Link)
Indeed... when speaking of "A country's constitution" or singing "I vow to thee, my country", how is the term "country" defined, if at all?
From: wechsler
Date: February 8th, 2002 - 02:26 am (Link)
Now this has attracted a few comments I should probably answer for myself. As you may have guessed, from the fact I actually posed the questions in the first place, I'd not swear allegiance to this country or any other. None are superior to the rest, and all of them are screwed up in some way. And this holds, in part at least, whether you consider a country to be the people, the government, the genius locii, or some abstract concept covering all of these.

"British values", on the other hand, can more clearly be taken as "the values held by the majority of the people of Britain". Of course it's perverted by Blunkett to mean "hereditary britons (or anglo-saxons or something)" with that definition being skewed in favour of caucasians with a first language of english. This defintion is pathetically culturalist and racist, and that alone would be enough for me to reject it, even if I could agree with many of the values. But quite frankly I think the value system is fouled up; violent sports are lauded while "violent" computer games are decried; speeding remains socially acceptable as road deaths are treated as natural wastage, hospitals are underfunded while footballers gain (I refuse to say "earn") millions a month. Screwing around is approved so long as it's with partners of the opposite sex, performed in a suitably underhand yet "studly" fashion, yet being bi or poly is condemned; religious tolerance (for the right religions at least) is paid lip-service while out human rights are violated by the enshrining of the concept of two-person heterosexual life-marriages in law. I could go on, but the fact is that this "nation" is by no means perfect enough to demand that others conform to its constraints. And it should not be forgotten than political asylum, escape from persecution, is a fundamental right, and not dependant on signing one's beliefs and culture away.