Thursday 13th October 2011
‘GRIT in the Tory oyster’, ‘pint-sized Rasputin’ and ‘shaven-headed policy guru’. There’s something a bit sinister about David Cameron’s close friend and ally, Steve Hilton. His very name suggests he’s trying to be both pub regular and posh hotelier.
I suspect he is behind the latest codswallop coming from Downing Street about the Life in the United Kingdom Official Citizenship Test.
The whole thing is an embarrassment. To pass, you must score 75%, answering correctly eighteen of the two dozen questions, which range from the brutally difficult…
6. TRUE or FALSE? Ulster Scots is a dialect which is spoken in Northern Ireland.
…to the frankly ludicrous:
11. The number of children and young people up to the age of 19 in the UK is a) 13 million b) 14 million c) 15 million d) 16 million.
Ten times now have I tried the online practice test, always failing, comfortably. My Venezuelan son-in-law passed first time with ease, having bought and read the official study guide.
I must conclude, therefore, that the test has been devised to reflect typical UK values: prove you can rattle off a few facts from memory and you’ll be one of us. Our education, legal, political and economic systems are based on the same solidly British principles.
The afore-mentioned Hilton, a keen cyclist, is said to want the government to be more ‘green’, despite his support for another London airport, wanting to use cloud-bursting technology to provide more sunshine, and commuting to work once a month from his luxury home in California.
Being an ‘outlandish maverick’ known for ‘thinking outside the box’, he would no doubt like to make the Citizenship Test compulsory for all UK residents.
Those who failed would be arrested, have their DNA tested and family histories checked. Anyone unable to prove themselves 100% pure Anglo-Saxon could then be deported. This would reduce unemployment and decrease the demands on the NHS.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have put that last bit. Steve Hilton’s wife works for Google.