Tag Archives: Henry VIII

British Citizenship – a Few Suggestions

I just did British Citizenship Test Number 4. Fortunately I passed. I did, however, get two of the 24 questions wrong. I thought you had to be 21 to become an MP. I should have known as, as soon as I pressed the button, I remembered getting it wrong before. It’s 18. A good age for it, as teenagers know everything there is to know. Much better than getting an old person to do it. Personally I’d just roll dice, as I expect it would be just as successful as a way of running the country.

What interest rate should we have? Roll the dice. Budget for health, defence, education? Roll the dice. Prime Minister this week? Toss a coin.

Then I was told I had got the question about Scottish banknotes wrong. I hadn’t. The citizenship Test needs to rephrase the question, or alter the answer. If you define “valid” as “legal tender” (and what other sort of validity could they mean?) Scottish banknotes aren’t valid in England, but most people accept them. It’s a matter of courtesy rather than a matter of law. Scottish banknotes aren’t actually valid in Scotland either, if you check. Nor are Bank of England notes – they just don’t haveĀ  a law on it, but they seem to get by without it.

The rest of it was OK, but I followed up with doing more questions and am quite surprised by how important it is that people applying for British Citizenship know about the Tudor and Stuart monarchs, including the difference between Mary I and Mary Queen of Scots, whereas most people who are born in the UK think they were the same person.

I’d say that if you want to become a British Citizen it’s more important that you know about queuing, driving on the correct side of the road andĀ  the right way to talk about the weather. All the history stuff can be picked up from watching quiz programmes.

The medallion is the one I mentioned a few days ago. It set me thinking about the Citizenship tests. Time flies – I just realised that “a few days ago” wa actually ten days ago.

harrow Council Citizenship medallion.


A Meeting with History

I thought I’d managed to sort out the “featured page” problem, but it was still there when I switched on tonight. I think I’ve fixed it now.

I’ve also fixed the small font problem. I must have adjusted it to 50% at some point when I was jabbing viciously and swearing at the slow-loading netbook. It’s now back to full size and I can read it.

This does not, of course, mean that it is worth reading.

Today I put a jital up for sale – a coin I’d never even heard of before.

It’s a small billon coin of Genghis Khan, minted shortly after 1200. Billon is an alloy of copper and silver. The Romans used it. Henry VII also used it, but he used it so that he could use some of the silver for financing his extravagant existence. His tampering with the coinage was so bad that it became known as the Great Debasement.

Meanwhile, I’m still slightly suspicious about the identification of the design as an elephant, It appears to have pointy ears, for one thing…