Home Office urged to correct false slavery information in citizenship test

Citizenship guides are tricky matters to navigate.

Despite promising a revised guide in 2016, the Canadian government has yet to release what I understand to be a largely complete revision to Discover Canada (which despite some flaws, is a vast improvement of the fluffy A Look at Canada):

More than 175 historians have called on the Home Office to remove the history element of the UK citizenship test because of its “misleading and false” representation of slavery and empire.

The signatories say the official handbook, which the Life in the UK test is based on, creates a distorted version of history, which directly counters the values of tolerance and fairness it purports to promote.

In an open letter, the signatories, including 13 fellows of the British Academy, two past presidents of the Royal Historical Society and the director of the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre, write: “The official handbook published by the Home Office is fundamentally misleading and in places demonstrably false … People in the colonies and people of colour in the UK are nowhere actors in this official history. The handbook promotes the misleading view that the empire came to an end simply because the British decided it was the right thing to do. Similarly, the abolition of slavery is treated as a British achievement, in which enslaved people themselves played no part. The book is equally silent about colonial protests, uprisings and independence movements.”

Source: Home Office urged to correct false slavery information in citizenship test

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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