Citizen Pain

Is the government’s new citizenship test – ostensibly aimed at immigrants seeking UK citizenship – actually part of a sinister right-wing scheme to disenfranchise the poor? According to top conspiracy theorist Jim Chunks – writing in Practical Conspiracy magazine – the new version of the test, with its focus on British history and achievements, isn’t just aimed at immigrants and will soon be rolled out as part of a new educational curriculum. “The idea of it being a test for new citizens is just a Trojan horse,” he insists in an article in the magazine’s latest edition. “Insisting that immigrants have to pass it in order to gain citizenship is just a way of legitimising the very concept of citizenship being dependent upon demonstrating a knowledge of UK-related trivia. Once that is accepted by the public, the government will start insisting upon everyone having to sit it at age eighteen.” Whilst the idea of compulsory citizenship tests might not, on the face of it, seem controversial, let alone sinister – many countries have citizenship ceremonies, not just for immigrants, but also school leavers, and ‘Citizenship’ is already a GCSE and AS level subject in UK schools and colleges – Chunks suspects that the consequences of failing such a test could be serious. “Your status as a UK citizen, including entitlement to health care and benefits, could be called into question,” he asserts. “Failing the test could relegate you to being a stateless individual!”

Chunks claims to have proof to back up his allegations. “Before they introduced this new test, the government had it thoroughly trialled, using existing UK citizens as a control,” he reveals. “Obviously, in order to establish a benchmark, they had to come up with a test which UK citizens could pass with flying colours. Or at least, the kind of UK residents they’d ideally like to have as citizens.” Amongst the control groups used were unemployed people from several large Northern cities. “They found that a surprisingly large proportion of these groups failed the test,” Chunks says. “Which isn’t surprising – the questions have such a middle class bias: how many unemployed steel workers from Sheffield, for instance, are going to know the correct form of address for a Duchess, or what Prince Charles’ middle name is?” However, failing the test wasn’t the end of the issue for many of this control group. “They suddenly found themselves the subject of background checks by the Home Office and immigration services,” the conspiracy theorist claims. “Those who were the recent descendants of immigrants found themselves facing deportation to their parents’, grandparents’ or even great-grandparents’ countries of origin.”

Bizarre though these allegations seem, Chunks has the testimony of several of the individuals unfortunate enough to have been deported to their supposed ‘countries of origin’, also published in the latest Practical Conspiracy. “It’s utterly ridiculous. My grandfather came here from Poland during the war, fought against the bloody Nazis – according to the government this now means that I’m not British,” bemoans Walter Lumper, an unemployed Bradford machinist, from the damp-ridden Warsaw flat he and his family now find themselves exiled to. “According to them, failing that bloody test proves that I can’t really be British, as it shows that, as a family, we failed to integrate properly into UK society!” Chunks believes that the government’s motivation for these deportations is clear. “How else do you think that they’ve managed all those reductions in the unemployment rate despite the economy stagnating?” he points out. “It also has the potential to save millions, possibly billions, in benefit payments, not to mention pensions and healthcare costs, by effectively exporting Britain’s poor!” Not all of the deportations, however, have been entirely successful, with the ‘country of origin’ refusing to accept the deportees, leaving them effectively stateless. “Some of these poor buggers have been left as refugees – wandering around airport terminals they can never leave or shuttling backwards and forwards on ferries,” says Chunks, who suspects the government already has a plan to address this problem. “My sources in Whitehall reckon that Number Ten is plotting to give some form of devolution to offshore communities like the Isle of Wight and Anglesey, so that can suspend normal employment laws. The idea is that they could accept these non-citizens and use them as cheap labour in sweat shops – they envisage it as a way of competing with the new economies of the Far East.”

Although Chunks’ theories have been dismissed by both mainstream media and the government as ‘ludicrous hysteria’, Trevor Pustule, Political Correspondent of the New Democrat magazine, suspects that it might have some basis in fact. “If nothing else, it explains bonkers Education Secretary Michael Gove’s so-called reforms of the state education system,” the journalist muses. “It seems clear that his intention is to completely undermine educational standards for children from ordinary working class families, whilst giving an advantage to those from better-off middle class families.” With the new citizenship test favouring those with a broad-based middle class education, the intent is obvious, Pustule contends. “It is clear that Jim Chunks is quite correct – the next move will be to make this test compulsory for school leavers,” he asserts. “The majority of the poorer students will fail, will be forced into the off shore sweat shops – which will probably all be owned by wealthy Tory MPs. If it wasn’t so evil, I’d say that it was brilliant! It eliminates youth unemployment at a stroke, saves money on benefits and undermines working class unity!”

Whilst agreeing with Pustule’s analysis, Chunks suspects that the citizenship conspiracy is part of an even bigger picture. “Ultimately, it is part of a social engineering project being attempted on a massive scale,” he recently told a meeting of the Wolverhampton Conspiracy Society. “The Tory government is trying to ‘improve’ the citizenship of the UK, to ensure that only the ‘right’ people, people more like their privileged selves, more likely to vote Tory, are citizens. By making large swathes of the poor and disadvantaged ’non-citizens’, they are hoping to undermine the Labour vote and destroy any chance that working class mass political movement could be created. Trust me, this whole campaign to demonise the poor as ‘shirkers’ which Ian Duncan Smith has led is intended to make voters more accepting of the idea that the disadvantaged can be stripped of their citizenship and deported into economic slavery!” Neither Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith nor bonkers Education Secretary Michael Gove were prepared to comment on Chunks’ allegations.