Iain Dale 7pm - 10pm
One Britain One Nation founder responds to criticism over patriotic song
24 June 2021, 11:32 | Updated: 24 June 2021, 14:38
Nick Ferrari has quizzed former West Yorkshire Police inspector Kash Singh over what he is 'trying to achieve' with his One Britain One Nation campaign, as the "patriotic" anthem attached to it is branded "creepy."
The conversation comes as social media users have ridiculed a bid for schoolchildren to celebrate "One Britain One Nation" (OBON) tomorrow, calling its anthem "creepy" and prompting comparisons to North Korea.
The campaign, which has been backed by the Department for Education, has published a song that ends with children repeatedly singing "Strong Britain, great nation".
Nick Ferrari began by asking Mr Singh: "What are you trying to achieve with it Mr Singh?"
He replied: "What we're trying to do is create a sense of unity and pride. Schools have got to champion certain values now, and it's a question of championing those values which make our kids wonderful citizens of our nation: respect, love, kindness, understanding."
Nick then asked: "What is it you love about Britain?"
Mr Singh replied: "I came here as a six year-old boy, couldn't speak a word of English. My father was a foundry worker. I joined the West Yorkshire Police at the age of 20.
"This country's welcomed people from all parts of the world who have made this country their home. And sometimes what we don't get to hear in this country is the success stories of all those people.
"Because we don't have your world cups, olympics, diamond jubilees every year. We need something! We've got everything to shout out about.
"When I saw these kids sing this song at school - I've seen so much in my life as a police officer - but I had a lump in my throat. I thought - this is fantastic."
Nick then mentioned that the Education Secretary Gavin Willamson has suggested that all children should sing the One Britain One Nation song tomorrow, asking: "People are saying: it's like Hitler youth, 'where does the motherland begin?', and it's out of North Korea. How do you respond to that?"
"It's all nonsense," said Mr Singh.
"As a former inspector, I would never engage in anything like this, but more importantly, it's an insult to the teaching profession.
"If anybody approached them with a concept like the one that's been described on social media, people wouldn't get past the front gates of the school, because the teachers are so passionate about getting the best out of the kids."
On Monday, the Department for Education (DfE) tweeted: "We're encouraging schools across the UK to celebrate One Britain One Nation Day on 25 June, when children can learn about our shared values of tolerance, kindness, pride and respect."