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What ARE are our shared values, Webdiarists?
G'day. Who amongst us is unAustralian and why? Are there ANY common values we can agree on in these tipping point days? And if there are, how can citizens help ensure that laws, policies and practice adhere to these values at a time when Money is God and our political system is captured by those with lots of it? George Monbiot got me thinking about this again in his Guardian piece The new chauvinism:
Here is the Telegraph's list:
I. The rule of law. Our society is based on the idea that we all abide by the same rules, whatever our wealth or status. No one is above the law - not even the government.
II. The sovereignty of the Crown in Parliament. The Lords, the Commons and the monarch constitute the supreme authority in the land. There is no appeal to any higher jurisdiction, spiritual or temporal.
III. The pluralist state. Equality before the law implies that no one should be treated differently on the basis of belonging to a particular group. Conversely, all parties, sects, faiths and ideologies must tolerate the existence of their rivals.
IV. Personal freedom. There should be a presumption, always and everywhere, against state coercion. We should tolerate eccentricity in others, almost to the point of lunacy, provided no one else is harmed.
V. Private property. Freedom must include the freedom to buy and sell without fear of confiscation, to transfer ownership, to sign contracts and have them enforced. Britain was quicker than most countries to recognise this and became, in consequence, one of the happiest and most prosperous nations on Earth.
VI. Institutions. British freedom and British character are immanent in British institutions. These are not, mostly, statutory bodies, but spring from the way free individuals regulate each other's conduct, and provide for their needs, without recourse to coercion.
VII. The family. Civic society depends on values being passed from generation to generation. Stable families are the essential ingredient of a stable society.
VIII. History. British children inherit a political culture, a set of specific legal rights and obligations, and a stupendous series of national achievements. They should be taught about these things.
IX. The English-speaking world. The atrocities of September 11, 2001, were not simply an attack on a foreign nation; they were an attack on the anglosphere - on all of us who believe in freedom, justice and the rule of law.
X. The British character. Shaped by and in turn shaping our national institutions is our character as a people: stubborn, stoical, indignant at injustice. "The Saxon," wrote Kipling, "never means anything seriously till he talks about justice and right".
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