2012 set for key role in patriotic renewal
THE LONDON Olympics is set to be the launch-pad for the government's new "Britishness" drive.
Appointed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to look at ways to increase people's sense loyalty to this country, Lord Goldsmith and his review commission have suggested that 2012 would be a handy year in which to introduce the new measures: it is the year of both the London Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
One idea is to have the first celebratory British National Day, which would be a bit like Australia Day, in 2012 to capitalise on the likely outpouring of patriotic fervour expected for the Olympics and in honour of the monarch's 60 years on the throne.
Other ideas include a controversial proposal to get people to swear loyalty to the Queen, aping the American Pledge of Allegiance. It seems the British pledge would have financial incentives, with those who get down on their knees promised lower council tax or tuition fees.