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Dean Whitbread 2013

Dean Whitbread 2020

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Written on September 12, 2007, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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I went to Islington Town Hall on Monday, where GGF was enrolled into The Remains Of The Glorious British Empire, ot TROTGBE as it shall henceforth be known. The UK citizenship ceremony is a strange affair incorporating oaths of allegiance to the Queen, which most of the attendees took fairly seriously, in the officially encouraged manner.

The New Brits were from Africa, south, central and north, Australia – yes, they also come the other way, lured no doubt by Coronation Street and East Enders – and some indefinable east European and Asian nations. The Mayor showed up and photographs of her with new citizen and certificate were sold at a tenner a time, though she was gracious and allowed people to flash and snap armed with their own brands of photo technology for no pounds.

Couple of GGF’s friends showed up – an American and an Australian – and they giggled so much at the back that several people gave them dark looks. I too had a faint sense of the ridiculous, but steadily grew offended by their lack of sensitivity. Who were they to mock the conservative, aspirational people who pledged to uphold British values and sang the national anthem? I found their attitude condescending, and like a frowning schoolteacher, did my best to shut them up without adding to the noise. They didn’t thank me for it, so I made a quick exit to avoid the typical British argument-leading-to-fisticuffs after the event, which was a shame, as I had dressed in my best jacket, a Palestinian football shirt and Union Jack socks, to celebrate.

I was unable to shake off the feeling that the girls had patronised these people with just another form of prejudice. I’m no patriot, but if people want the day they become heirs to the madness of Britannia to be honoured, then let it be so. I simmered in the sun all day, feeling bad for the display of faithlessness and lack of consideration I had witnessed.

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