Chris’ post about the recently introduced British-ness test is damned astute, and pretty damn funny.

Its something I’ve thought about for a while: I am technically eligible for the ol’ pork pie and bowler hat passport, but haven’t as yet done anything about it. This whole test shenanigan kind of grates on me…

Makes me think vaguely about a TV programme I was on, years ago… “England my England”, a show that sadly screened before the full heyday of the Internet made it linkable to…. In any case, Peregrine Worsthorne and Darcus Howe came to my school (amongst others) and interviewed a bunch of us about Britishness, and what it meant to be who we were.

I don’t remember the detail of the conversation but I do remember thinking of it more as an exercise in PR for my school, and so pretty much missed the point. As the royal suck-up that I was, I wedged a couple of silver spoons in my mouth and came out with the catchphrase they used in the final cut — a (bearded) Malaysian Oxbridge candidate surrounded by an atypically International selection of students — claiming that “it’s more about who you are, than what you are.”


Well. Right. Apparently the British government agrees: at least, as long as you can get 80% on a test like this.