A bunch of schools in Birmingham and Bradford have been accused of failing to teach students ‘British values’. The upshot has been every Tom, Dick and Harry (definitely British) loftily expounding what exactly they each perceive as passing muster as a “British value”.
As the rhetoric rolls out, it has become clear that what constitutes such a value depends entirely on who’s talking.
Learning, for example, that Call-me-Dave favours celebrating the Magna Carta, Charlie Brooker sets the tone of contention: “No wonder Cameron wants to celebrate the Magna Carta – back then plebs had the same human rights as a parsnip“. According to Brooker, Dave has responded to this crisis by declaring that we need to celebrate “Britishness” with more enthusiasm. “More enthusiasm? More?“, demands Charlie, “We’ve been celebrating Britishness with the strained determination of a man desperately trying to shit a cricket ball for the past five years.” Half a decade of drenched Diamond Jubilee flotillas, Olympic/Paralympic flag waving and First World War/D-Day commemorations have clearly taken their toll on poor Charlie.
And so we shift seamlessly into the shouty cut and thrust of the tub-thumping, mouth-frothing, lip-snarling style of pugilistic debate so beloved of Prime Minister’s Question Time (definitely British). Continue reading