Allegiance oath for British school leavers pooh-poohed

March 11th, 2008 - 7:04 pm ICT by admin  

London, March 11 (IANS) All school leavers in Britain should swear allegiance to the Queen and the country, a former British attorney general proposed Tuesday. “There has been a diminution of national pride”, and Britain is a “less homogenous society”, said Lord Peter Goldsmith, who made his recommendations in a report to the government.

He said a citizenship ceremony for schoolchildren would help “promote a sense of shared belonging”.

However, critics ridiculed the idea, with Baroness Kennedy of the ruling Labour Party saying: “I think it’s rather silly.”

John Dunford from the Association of School and College leaders said it was “a half-baked idea”.

Goldsmith has been a controversial public figure in Britain.

He resigned just days before Brown was to take over as British premier in June last year after six years in the job.

Goldsmith was criticised over his advice to the government of Tony Blair on whether the war on Iraq was lawful and for halting a corruption inquiry into a deal involving Saudi Arabia and British Aerospace Systems.

In February last year, the 57-year-old Goldsmith admitted to having an extra-marital affair with Britain’s first Asian QC, Kim Hollis.

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