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Government mocked for urging children to sing ‘Strong Britain, Great Nation’

Children will be asked to sing ‘Strong Britain, Great Nation’ on Friday in what has been described as ’embarrassing nonsense’ on social media

The government has drawn derision and criticism for encouraging school children to sing a song celebrating “strong Britain, great nation”.

Pupils across the country are being asked to take part in the “One Britain One Nation Day” on June 25, although some Scottish schools will have broken up for summer by then.

The “One Britain One Nation” Day campaign, backed by public figures including Joanna Lumley and Lord Patel of Bradford, is “devoted to galvanising the efforts of people from all backgrounds to rejoice in their pride in Great Britain”, according to its website.

To celebrate OBON Day 2021, schools are asked “as a MUST” to encourage children to clap for a minute to “pay tribute to all those people who helped during the Covid 19 pandemic crisis” and sing the OBON Day 2021 anthem.

In a promotional video for the event, flag-wearing children sing: “We are Britain and we have one dream, to unite all people in one great team. Our nation survived through many storms and many wars.

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It continues: “We celebrate our differences with love in our hearts, united forever, never apart. We all stand together with pride in our hearts.”

The song ends with the children repeating the words “strong Britain, great nation” four times.

In a tweet, the Department of Education said: “We’re encouraging schools across the UK to celebrate One Britain One Nation Day on 25 June, when children can learn about our shared values of tolerance, kindness, pride and respect.”

The campaign has been roasted on social media, where some Twitter users have pointed out that one way to promote pride and togetherness would be to address rising child poverty rather than having children sing patriotic songs.

“Making kids sing ‘Strong Britain, One Nation,’ is enforced patriotism and has no place in a schools system that is meant to promote critical thinking,” said one user. “If the Tories want kids to feel nationalistic pride perhaps they could start with the basics, such as tackling child poverty.”

Others drew parallels with the nationalistic rallies of history, with broadcaster Andrea Catherwood saying it is “reminiscent of 1930s Germany”.

Others saw the lighter side, making comparisons with films. The Wicker Man, about a murderous rural cult, and The Midwich Cuckoos, about disturbing children who use mind control, both featured heavily.

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