Minister Backs Welsh Schools Singing "Wonderful" 'One Nation, One Britain' Song, Despite Major Backlash
A government minister is backing Welsh schools if they want pupils to sing the “One Britain, One Nation” song on Friday and said he fully supports its “wonderful” message.
The song, promoted by the Department for Education, is part of a campaign led by former policeman Kash Singh, who has said he wants people from all backgrounds to have pride in Britain.
The DfE tweeted that it is encouraging children across the UK to sing the song on Friday June 25 – on One Britain, One Nation (OBON) day – which will be preceded by a include a minute’s clap for Covid victims.
The Welsh government is reported to have slapped down the anthem and said education is “devolved” and it has not been part of the project.
But Welsh Office Minister David TC Davies is full of praise for the project. “This is a really well meaning gesture. It’s a song that celebrates multi-racial, diverse Britain, which is wonderful, something we all sign up to," he said this morning.
“It’s up to individual schools in Wales, but the principle of the song is absolutely wonderful. If you want to go out and sing it then great. We certainly support the values of that song.”
Despite its focus on the union, the fact many children in Scotland will have already broken up for their summer holidays, appears to have been overlooked by Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson’s department.
In DfE's Tweet they said that OBON day was “when children can learn about our shared values of tolerance, kindness, pride and respect”.
Lyrics include: “We are Britain and we have one dream, to unite all people in one great team” and “Strong Britain, Great Nation” repeated four times.
The government was criticised on social media last night for promoting the song, with comments that it’s a form of “indoctrination” and embarrassing.
It was also pointed out that singing in large groups is discouraged in schools at the moment due to Covid-19 rules, unless there is ventilation.
Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis, and former MPs David Steel, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Norman Tebbit and actress Joanna Lumley are all listed on the OBON website as backing the campaign.
The site says that schools should encourage children to clap for a minute to “pay tribute to all those people who helped during the Covid 19 pandemic crisis” and give a rendition of the OBON Day 2021 anthem at 10am on Friday.
Children are encouraged to dress in red, white and blue and make posters and flags. The anthem could also be played through a loud speaker system, a teaching pack suggests.
The song was written by school children in Bradford.
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