One of Chelmsford’s Black Lives Matter protest organisers has called the One Britain One Nation song “ironic and ridiculous”.
The government announced its support earlier this week for a campaign asking school children to sing the song on Friday (June 25) to celebrate One Britain One Nation Day.
The song, written by children at a school in Bradford, is part of the campaign to help create a “strong, fair, harmonious and a proud British Nation”, according to its founder Kash Singh, the BBC reported.
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Its announcement however sparked huge criticism from social media platforms, with many slating the song as “creepy” and even attracting comparisons of Britain with North Korea and the Nazis.
The Department of Education’s tweet sharing their support for the song attracted a whopping 11,500 responses.
For Malaika Gangooly, a 20-year-old student from Chelmsford who also organised the BLM protest last summer, her instant reaction was disbelief.
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“I saw it on Twitter and saw the words One Britain One Nation and just that itself I knew I wasn’t going to like it,” she said.
“Then I found out ten-year-olds wrote it and I thought what sort of views do they have where they think this is the sort of thing that is correct?
“Looking at the lyrics and it just really annoyed me in comparison with how Britain actually is – especially with the government right now.
“It didn’t sit well with me that children will be forced to sing it.”
In the first verse of the song, the lyrics read: “Our nation survived through many storms and many wars/ We’ve opened our doors, and widened our island’s shores/ We celebrate our differences with love in our hearts/ United forever, never apart.”
Verse two reads: “So many different races, standing in the same place/ So many different faces, moving at the same pace/ We all stand together with pride in our hearts/ United forever, never apart.”
The song ends with a repeated chant of: “Strong Britain, Great Nation” four times over.
Malaika said she felt uneasy hearing the lyrics.
She said: “They are talking about races standing in the same place and I was thinking there’s so much racism that people don’t do anything about but they are supposed to sing a song, with children of colour singing a song about different races standing in the same place when they are probably getting bullied for the same thing.
“I think it’s ironic and ridiculous.”
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In many ways, Malaika said she felt like the song was a step back in terms of education and changing attitudes.
“It’s very strange, it’s a vey big step back,” she added.
“I was just in shock when I saw it, it is something you would have expected years ago not in this current climate and to be more in tune.
“I was taking to my old geography teacher and she’s trying to decolonise the geography curriculum and teach about what actually went on and yet this song, where has it come from?”
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