A Stonkingly Good Idea
Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for [English] Education, had 'England' erased from the departmental lexicon. Michael Rosindell wants the compulsory teaching of British history in England's schools, while Ian Lucas favours the teaching of Regional History in England's schools.
Given that backdrop I'm thrilled that the UKYP is suggesting a campaign to recognise and increase understanding of the individual national identities that make up the UK. Gove, Rosindell and Lucas should take note.
Devolved Nation awareness training in all schools across the UK
This is a necessary UK wide campaign which is relevant to all young people across the UK. There is no doubt that the current generation of young people in the UK are very active and are keen to impact on a wide variety of issues. There are many examples of success stories where young people are already affecting positive changes, both in terms of Members of the Youth Parliament and also the youth population more generally.
However, we feel that if the youth population is to become as effective as possible, we must unite to tackle the issues that are relevant to all. A crucial element of this that is missing right now is the ability for young people from all four countries in the UK to work together. This is because of the fact that there is limited mutual understanding of the history, culture and youth issues of the four nations among young people from neighboring parts of the UK. Our campaign has the potential to bring about this understanding, which will have benefits for all young people.
This campaign would challenge the severe lack of knowledge, understanding and perhaps even tolerance of all four nations that make up the UK. It could be argued that, at present, most young people receive more education about the history of Germany than they do about the history of the devolved nations and England; this should not be the case.
We feel that such lack of understanding weakens our ability to collectively campaign to improve life for all young people across the UK. Educating young people in schools will create more cohesion and tolerance, and will enable our generation to work to our full potential in all future campaigns, and more generally in everyday life.
It may sound counterintuitive to say so but perhaps learning about the history of Britain as a multi-national state, as opposed to a nation-state, would be more conducive to an inclusive and more plural feeling of Britishness.
I wonder if it was the absence of the Scots that urged this initiative.