Thursday, August 18, 2005

The British Are a Testy Bunch

From The Boston (Mass.) Globe:

Effort ties citizenship to 'Britishness'

Standards raised for immigrants

By Farah Stockman, Globe Staff | August 18, 2005

LONDON -- Ali Kasim, a PhD student from Iraq, hardly remembers the letter that came in the mail three years ago, informing him that he had become a British citizen.

But his wife will remember the moment she became British: At 3:25 p.m. on Friday, she stood at the town hall, swore allegiance in halting English to the Queen and all her heirs, and received a commemorative medal.


In November, the government will require all new citizens to pass a "Britishness test" demonstrating a minimum standard of English and knowledge of government practices, a move that officials say is also unprecedented in British history.


[Read the whole story]
Other requirements of the Britishness test:
1. Expressing nostalgia for British colonial rule of one's native country.
2. Deriding the French while secretly coveting their food.
3. Viewing a photograph of Camilla Parker Bowles without wincing.
4. Singing "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" in full wardrobe.

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