Friday, 10 November 2017

Alternative UK Citizens Test -

People from abroad who want to seek British Citizenship have to sit a test of 24 questions, drawn from a booklet chockfull of factual errors. The chapters of the booklet cover the following:

"Values and Principles of the UK" -  a task any indigenous Briton would find hard to define and politicians certainly struggle with, particularly when trying to define and legislate against extremism opposed to British values.

"A Long And Illustrious History", which a) is a rather Whiggish view of British history and b) presumably stops at around 1948 or the late 1960s at best, cos there ain't been all that much illustrious since.

"A Modern Thriving Society", our infrastructure is largely still Victorian rather than modern and as for thriving...? I bet you spat your tea when you read that right, given austerity and the complete amputation of our social services.

But fair's fair and we British love a sense of fair play (allegedly). If people from outside the UK have to demonstrate their love and knowledge of our nation as proof of Britishness, then so should our indigenous natives. Especially since they have loudly asserted it in the recent Brexit referendum, proclaiming we want our sovereignty back.

So here is a test for autochthonous (look it up) citizens to take, in order to prove they merit living in our beloved country. Answers at the end.

Q1 Where was the Patron Saint of England born?

Q2 Which of the Home Countries' flags is not contained in the Union Jack?

Q3 To the nearest full year, how many of his ten year reign did King Richard The Lionheart spend in England?

Q4 Which writer is known as "The Father Of English History"?

Q5 Who were Gog and Magog and which legendary founder of England battled them?

Q6 After which post-Roman occupation tribe is England named and which part of England still bears their original name?

Q7 Name 3 Imperial Weights and Measure units which are double entendres

Q8  When did slavery cease in Britain?

Q9 What percentage of the globe's landmass was covered in the pink of the British Empire at its height?

Q10 What language does the word Blighty derive from?

Q11 King Henry VIII's notion of empire was a Britain independent of continental Europe and the Papacy in particular. His daughter Queen Elizabeth I was persuaded to expand the concept into what we understand today by the term 'empire'. Which mathematician, magician, wife-swapper and alchemist persuaded her to this expanded concept of empire?

Q12 Who was the first Englishman to translate and publish the Bible from Latin into English?

Q13 Which of these authors didn't write a version of the Arthurian Grail legend?
a) Thomas Malory
b) Alfred Lord Tennyson
c) Edmund Spenser
d) John Milton

Q14 Before the introduction of all-seater stadia, several grounds had a 'Kop' open-aired terrace. After which colonial battle in which colonial war were such ends named after?

Q15 The great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Christian names were patronymic (Isambard) and matronymic (Kingdom).  What country did his father come from?

Q16 Who was Joseph Chamberlain and what was his proposed "Triple Alliance" based on?

Q17 Which languages have contributed the most words to modern English vocabulary - put the top 5 in order of contribution:

Norse/ Danelaw Danish
Norman/ French
Jamaican Patois
Ancient Greek

Q18 Of the 67 "Distinguished Flying" Medals awarded, how many were won by Poles and other non-British and Commonwealth airmen? 

Q19 Which Briton was Washington Irvine describing here?
"(A) plain, downright, matter-of-fact fellow, with much less of poetry about him than rich prose. There is little of romance in his nature, but a vast deal of a strong natural feeling. He excels in humour more than in wit; is jolly rather than gay; melancholy rather than morose; can easily be moved to a sudden tear or surprised into a broad laugh; but he loathes sentiment and has no turn for light pleasantry. He is a boon companion, if you allow him to have his humour and to talk about himself".

Q20 The image of Britannia (shown on an old penny below) as the female personification of Britain, comes from a goddess from which culture? (Clue, the Union Jack on the shield is a much latter addition).


A1 The man who would become St George was a Roman soldier born in a Roman governed province of Turkey. He had absolutely no interaction with the Britain of the time, but we patronised him for our saint because of that whole slaying a dragon mythology. The Cross of Saint George was established in the 15th Century, somewhat retrospectively from his lifetime.

A2 The Welsh. Wales has been united with England the longest of all the four home countries, which meant when the Union flag was formed in 1606, it wasn't a separate kingdom but a mere principality, hence its exclusion.

A3 A big fat zero. At best it's estimated he spent 6 months in England, too busy fighting the Crusades, escaping from captivity and shoring up his French royal responsibilities.

A4 The Venerable Bede. A partial history to be sure, but then what history isn't?

A5 Gog and Magog were giants with associations to the Old Testament and were slain by Brutus; no, me neither... Effigies of Gog and Magog are paraded annually in the Lord Mayor of London's parade.

A6 The Angles and we still call it East Anglia even today. They were a Germanic tribe from
Denmark / Northern Germany (The Angles that is, not East Anglians).

A7 Take your pick: rod; perch: pole: peck

A8 As reported last week, slavery still goes on in Britain to this day. Legislatively, it was supposedly abolished in 1833.

A9 24% of the world's inhabited landmass, with 23% of the world's population of the time were under British rule.

A10 Hindi, from the word 'bilayati' meaning 'the country', as in the home country.

A11 John Dee was an official advisor to Queen Elizabeth. Alchemist, occult philosopher et al, you can read about him here.

A12 William Tyndale. The first copies were ceremoniously burned in St Paul's Cathedral as heretical texts. Tyndale was forced to flee to the continent and never set foot in Britain again. He was eventually captured and executed by the Pope's forces. On the plus side, he was front and central in John Foxe's "Book Of Martyrs" an equally crucial propagandist piece of work establishing English as the language of formal record instead of Latin, paving the way for its standardisation of form.

A13 d) John Milton, he went route one on the redeemer/saviour/hero front, in portraying Jesus rather than Arthur or Gawain or Lancelot.

A14 The 1900 Battle of Spion Kop from the Boer War. So named because of the steep slope upwards resembled the hill at the centre of the battle.

A15 Marc Isambard Brunel was French. He preferred to be called by his middle name. A fine engineer in his own right. Isambard derives from Norman French for "Iron Bright", so a bit of nominative determinism for an engineer working in iron and steel.

A16 Joseph Chamberlain was an MP and Cabinet Minister who crossed the floor of Parliament (changed party allegiances, as did Oswald Mosley). He was the father of Neville.
The Triple Alliance was a proposed alliance between the UK, America and Germany based on race - saying

a new Triple Alliance between the Teutonic race and the two great trans-Atlantic branches of the Anglo-Saxon race which would become a potent influence on the future of the world."

A17 Latin & Norman French both come in at about 29%, followed by Anglo-Saxon at 26%, Greek at 6% and then you can't split Dutch, Norse/Danelaw Danish, though the latter are mainly made up of place names in Britain.

A18 There were 8 of the 67 "Distinguished Flying Medals" awarded to non British and Commonwealth airmen: 5 Poles, a Norwegian, an Icelander and a Czech, all of whom took on the Luftwaffe. As Churchill said, "Never was so much owed to by many to so few".

A19 John Bull. He was replaced as an "Everyman" figure by Tommy Atkins from the trenches of World War One. In the social media age, hard to maintain the concept of an everyman speaking and representing us all.

A20 Britannia was what the Romans called the four parts of their colony below Hadrian's Wall and Britannia became embodied as a Roman goddess. The Corinthian helmet she sports is the clue.

1-5 correct answer - You know more about your country than the average UKIP member
6-10 correct answer - Call yourself a patriot?
11-15 correct answers - Call yourself a nationalist?
16-20 correct answers - Call yourself a racist?

1 comment:

Katherine Hajer said...

I got in the 1-5 range! Do I get citizenship now? I always wanted to have an EU passpo-- oh wait. Never mind.