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'I can't unhear this': Plan to have UK schoolchildren sing on national day of patriotism branded a 'spoof'

One Britain One Nation Day is due to be celebrated in schools on Friday.

File photo
File photo
Image: PA

PLANS FOR BRITISH schoolchildren to engage in a mass sing-a-long event this Friday have been criticised by politicians and on social media as a “spoof”. 

The UK government has supported the campaign by a former police officer which aims to instil pride in Britain through a celebratory day this week.

One Britain One Nation (OBON) Day is due to be celebrated in schools on Friday through the singing of a patriotic song, after the campaign was founded by retired police inspector Kash Singh.

The Department for Education is encouraging schools across the UK to celebrate OBON Day on Friday, so “children can learn about our shared values of kindness, pride and respect”.

Singh told Times Radio: “It was something that was born from my dream as a police officer, in terms of what I’d see, in terms of my passion, pride and frustration, and something that I feel needed to be done in this country.

“This country is a brilliant country. I came to this country as a six-year-old kid who couldn’t speak a word of English. My parents were labourers, they worked in a factory and foundry, and there are fantastic people in this country.

However, the idea has been derided widely online, including by one of the Conservative Party’s own MPs, Caroline Nokes.

She retweeted a preview of the OBON song saying: “I can’t unhear this (however fervently I wish I could).”

The OBON website describes its vision as to “create a strong, fair, harmonious and a proud British Nation, celebrating patriotism and respect for all our people”.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she first assumed the UK Government’s backing for the idea was a “spoof” when she saw it on social media.

Speaking after meeting with EU citizens living in Scotland and organisations supporting people to apply for settled status to remain in the UK, she said: “I’m trying to imagine the outrage there would be if the Scottish Government was insisting or even encouraging Scottish school kids to sing some song about how great Scotland is.

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embedded260523804 Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the idea is ‘ludicrous’ Source: Andrew Milligan/PA

“People would be – and rightly so – up in arms about it.

“It’s ludicrous and it perhaps says everything about the disinterest the UK Government has in Scotland that they’re asking this to happen on the day Scottish schools go off on their holiday.

“Every aspect of it is ludicrous and I think it says sadly so much that we know about the misguided priorities, the hypocrisy and just the ridiculous nature of a lot of what this UK Government is doing.

“Meanwhile, EU citizens that have been here for most of the lives and are working so hard to help make the country what it is are having to jump through hoops to stay here.”

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