Saturday, 7 November 2015

What Are 'British Values'? (1)


Dear Reader,

This week (and for a while after), I'm going to lay off David Cameron. It must have seemed that I have been simply mounting a political campaign over the last couple of weeks, against Cameron and his cohorts, but it's not been quite as  it seems. I really want to get to the root of it all.

That I was expressing opposition to his policies and methods is certainly true, but there is an underlying matter that I really want to get to ... that the way this government is behaving reflects on us, the citizens of this country. 

We have been made (by a combination of indoctrination, self-delusion and apathy) to allow this government to behave as it is. The opposition parties (Labour, Liberals and Greens in particular) do have much greater aspirations, but we (the voter) have come to believe that the Tory promise of self-determination through work and management of the economy are the chief issues. They certainly have their place, but they are not the only issues, and they do not - surely! - work independently from our values system, whatever those values may be.

The Tories in fact delude us in believing that they are the champions in the matter of handling the economy, and then - regularly - show us that their idea of that means to run down the wonderful services that we have got used to over the last 70 years and more. In truth, we have probably taken much of those services for granted, and the 1997-2010 Labour governments did not entirely help in respect of their vision.

So the situation today is that we have the teaching, medical, elderly care, policing and legal services approaching meltdown. And that is no exaggerated statement. On top of that, lip service is being paid to the need for 'green' policies, whilst fossil fuel exploration is heavily backed. I could go on: we could talk about local government cutbacks and the impact on local libraries, and a whole raft of associated issues. We could talk about HS2.

And yet it was only a little while ago that the Prime Minister was asking us to promote "British Values". We are waiting for a definition of what those are, and if the government is supposed to lead by example, they are not - in my view - setting a valid standard.

It can be demonstrated that individual action results from the processes of Thought, Speech and Deed (Action) - and that series of processes is clearly applicable to groups as well, including parliamentary parties. So what can be said about where we are as a result of parliamentary deliberation seems to have evolved from a good deal of wrong thinking (the Thought process).

Since voting for a party based on purely materialistic policies has clearly proved not to be the answer, we surely need to determine what sort of values we should be basing our vote on. "British Values" if you will. We - you and me - need to apply some Thought to this, I suggest. ...

[To be continued]