UK government roasted for encouraging schoolchildren to celebrate ‘One Britain One Nation’ day

UK government roasted for encouraging schoolchildren to celebrate ‘One Britain One Nation’ day
Luke MacGregor / POOL/EPA/Twitter

This Friday, the UK government wants every schoolchild to sing a song called “Strong Britain” as part of celebrations for ‘One Britain One Nation’ (OBON) day.

According to a tweet from the Department of Education, the day is for children to learn about “shared values of tolerance, kindness, pride and respect.”

The campaign, led by former policeman Kash Singh, says on its webpage that it needs the support of schools to “celebrate the day in the spirit it is intended”.

To push the message, some schoolchildren wrote a song, and politicians want kids to sing it on that day to mark the occasion.

The department said schools should encourage children to clap for a minute to “pay tribute to all those people who helped during the Covid 19 pandemic crisis” and sing the OBON Day 2021 anthem.

Frankly, it’s all a bit bizarre. Here’s a taster of the tune:

It led some people to ask how long it took to come up with the song, given it’s pretty lyrically limited.

We don’t want to knock it too much, as it was written by schoolchildren in Bradford. But, presumably, it was all approved by real adults in Whitehall.

Some people pointed out that a song about unity appeared to slightly neglect some of the countries that make up Great Britain: “The fact that you aren’t even aware that most schools in Scotland will have started their summer holidays by then speaks volumes about what this govt actually thinks about the nations of the UK,” one person said.

Others said that many other countries have similar values of “unity”, and were puzzled why the UK government found the idea so remarkable that it deserved its own song.

Meanwhile, there were some who said that the values pushed weren’t reflected by some members of the UK government: “You might like to run that whole tolerance, kindness, respect thing past Patel , and the rest of them as they seem to have missed the email… FYI We are not North Korea,” someone said.

And to be honest, the North Korea comparison was a bit of a running theme in responses:

Others disagreed, saying those who objected to the song were haters:

Some did feel that the stronger comparisons to North Korea and the Hitler Youth were a little overboard and insensitive:

The full lyrics can be found here, so make up your own mind.

However, the overwhelming consensus was the song and the entire idea was bad, even from people who usually support the government.

Even Tory MP Caroline Nokes admitted that she wished she could unhear the song.

It remains to be seen whether any schools in the UK will actually adopt this and force it upon their pupils but the campaign does have some notable backers, including Joanna Lumley and secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis.

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