Get them early

Today is the last Friday in June, and today is OBON Day. Don’t worry if you have never heard of it, no-one on this island really has. And it would have stayed this way, if the UK Department for Education hadn’t gotten involved.

OBON stands for “One Britain One Nation,” and started out in 2005 in Yorkshire as a non-profit. Its first aim is

to provide an organisation / body through which all citizens of Great Britain can openly declare, demonstrate and celebrate their passion, pride and allegiance towards our Nation.

Right. Never mind that most recently during the pandemic, we favoured a “four-nations approach” across the UK to deal with it, because this country consists of four nations, not just one. But why should realpolitik stand in the way of a little hyperbole.

The part where it becomes scary is the official endorsement of the “OBON Day” by the Department for Education. Someone there got their hands on the official Twitter account and published this:

But it goes further. In addition, parents received letters informing them of the day and its purpose and asking them to have their kids wear red, white, and blue instead of their usual school uniform. The purpose of this day, by the way, is to

celebrate the 4 main principles of Britain – Respect, Rule of Law, Democracy, and Liberty.

Someone should have told the shitgibbons in Westminster about these “Principles of Britain,” I guess, because somehow they don’t seem to register there: Calling human rights lawyers “lefty” (Home Secretary Priti Patel), openly admitting to breaking international law (Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis), unlawfully proroguing Parliament (Prime Minister Boris Johnson), deporting Windrush victims (again, Patel) – that is the reality of Britain, and that’s only in the last two years. “Principles,” my arse. And who decided what these “British” values are anyway, and when?

Schools also received letters from both OBON and the government, with a strong encouragement to promote British values and teach the kids the OBON Day Anthem 2021; an educational video was included. And the “anthem” would be hilarious, if it wasn’t so damn close to “1984.” (For anyone old enough to remember East German parades on October 7 (Day of the Republic) or May 8 (Day of Liberation), brace yourselves. Those were child’s play compared to what Little Englanders have put together here. Hell, the flag-waving alone would give China and North Korea a run for their money.)

For the lyrics, go here.

But as we all know, the devil is in the detail. One, Northern Ireland is de facto not British. The official name of this country for now is “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” Going on about “One Britain” is leaving N’Ireland nowhere, and given the problems Ulster has at the moment, Westminster not giving a damn being one of them, do you really need to poke that bear by ignoring N’Irish realities? Two, today is also the first day of the big summer break for Scottish schools. Absolutely no-one will be there wearing red-white-and-blue or anything else, let alone singing such hogwash. And three, education is devolved. It is up to the four nations’ parliaments and assemblies themselves to decide what happens in their schools. So, once again, what is sold as “British” is nothing more than Little England propaganda.

This is part of two general patterns that have become prevalent in UK politics, and not just since Brexit. A handful of items of actual national importance are still regulated in Westminster for the whole of the UK, like defence, energy, immigration. The rest is devolved to varying degrees to the N’Irish and Welsh assemblies and the Scottish parliament. England, as the fourth nation, however, doesn’t have its own assembly or parliament. So everything that is basically just English and irrelevant to the others is still touted as “British.” Little England is taking over the brand “Great Britain,” bit by bit. Talk about inflated ego. The other pattern is that of distraction. The manure is piling sky-high under this Tory government, but instead of dealing with Covid, racism, corruption, Brexit, poverty, you name it, they throw fire-crackers like this one. Something for the “lefties” to get enraged about so they won’t pay attention to the real manure piling high. Or so they seem to think.

But the really creepy part is that they are serious about this. There is even an all-party OBON group in the Westminster Parliament. And they are realling doing it to the kids. First they try and starve them, now they try and indoctrinate them.

What’s next?