The pussification of the UK's national life continues... gasps of surprise all round! And their legal excuse? Not on principle, morals, legality but on the tenuous link that it might offend Muslims, Catholics, Martians, gays, whoever.
Anti-Monarchists in Parliament have whined for years that they have to swear an oath to "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors" in order to take up their positions, snouts-down in front of the abundant trough that is Westminster, but now they're apparently mounting a legal challenge too. The BBC reports that 22 MPs have signed a Commons motion by Norman Baker, MP for Lewes, calling for the scrapping of the oath of allegiance.
Not surprisingly, Baker is a Lib-Dem. His voting record can be discerned pretty much by my telling you that he's a "whining anti-", except for his record on gay rights, which is apparenly only mildly pro- (perhaps it had been a rough few months - again - for Lib-Dem cruising scandals?). His expenses record for 2006/2007 was only [hem hem] £142,504 which only puts him at 225th highest in the House of Commons. Hmmm...
And who is taking up their mantle in this fight? It would, of course, have to be Louise Christian. Perhaps embarassed by the apparent partisanship of her surname, she's devoted her career to giving unpleasant people big legal hugs: if there's a penny to be made from a Legal Aid challenge to any authorities who might have looked the wrong way at the Human Rights Act, there she is, writing the invoice.
Now Ms Christian is, by all accounts, an excellent solicitor so I would expect a decent challenge to the oath. So what learned opinion have we so far? Er, "that it discriminated against Catholics, Muslims, other religions and atheists by requiring them to swear allegiance to the head of the Church of England". Perhaps it also offends young people by swearing to an old lady, huh Louise, huh? Shall we trot that one out too whilst we're putting together lazy arguments?
So there we have it: the tired old yah-boo-sucks argument of the lazy modern mind. She could object on legal principle or precedent, on grounds of poor governmentality, on constitutional grounds, or a host of other aguably legitimate reasons. However, the one that she's on the radio plugging is that is might offend people.
This is what we've come to in the UK. We should apparently dismantle all our traditions, all our values, all our history, just in case somebody might be offended, as decided by some rich, white, straight liberals who seek to impose their hegemony on everyone, trampling blithely over the views of other white, straight UK citizens (and a good few non-white, non-straight UK citizens who recognise some of the good things about UK traditions) so as not to offend their chosen cause celebre minority group.
Has anyone actually asked the Catholics, Muslims, atheists, Martians etc if they are offended by the oath of allegience? You can bet not. Let's just dismantle now and ask questions later.
It makes me ashamed to be a non-Brit, left-wing, left-handed, ginger lesbian copper. It really does.