At a time when the boom in commodity prices signals that the world's resources are getting scarcer, we should note that there's one commodity that's still in super-abundance - the sheer jaw-dropping imbecility of our rulers:
Lord Goldsmith suggested that schoolchildren should swear oaths of allegiance in a bid to tackle a "diminution in national pride".
There's one thing to be said for this. It's a great university entrance test. Any student who, when asked to swear such an oath, fails to use the words "shove" and "arse" should be declared unfit for higher education.
What Goldsmith fails to see is that this would be counter-productive. One reason why some of us still have vestigial pride in our country is precisely that we don't go in for such posturing.
And if you force a youngster to choose allegiance between the UK and - let's be honest - Pakistan, you'll only risk a backlash; has this idiot never heard of the power of counter-suggestion?
Insofar as a diminution in national pride is a problem, why doesn't Goldsmith consider Edmund Burke's solution?:
There ought to be a system of manners in every nation, which a well-formed mind would be disposed to relish. To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.
But then, as this government has done so much to make our country unlovely, this would be asking too much.