by RAY FLEMING
CAN Britain's Home Office get anything right? For instance, a definition of the term “Great Britain”? Apparently not, because a new publication put out by the Home Office to help immigrants prepare for the tests they must now take before being granted British citizenship actually manages to get that basic fact wrong. It says that “Great Britain” includes Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. In fact, of course, Great Britain is limited to England, Scotland and Wales while the larger grouping makes up the United Kingdom. It also gets the creation of the United Kingdom wrong by 100 years. The booklet, Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship, was prepared for the Home Office by Professor Sir Bernard Crick who says that the criticisms of his work are “sheer quibbles”. The Historical Association begs to differ, describing the text as “beyond redemption with sweeping generalisations and gross misrepresentations”. Many of the errors concern events long past but it is surprising that the booklet gets the dates of Harold Wilson's premiership wrong and, even worse, misquotes the most famous of Winston Churchill's wartime speeches, suggesting that he said “Never in the course of human conflict have so many owed so much to so few”, whereas he actually said, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” An unforgivable error in an official publication. Charles Clarke should resign!