A Nation is an area of land where the people pray, send their children to school, meet in their towns and houses, work, share resources and create and enjoy local services and benefits. A Nation needs a vision for its future. Without a vision the unity needed to construct the nation will be defeated by the easy alternative of disenchantment and destruction.
England has been a fortunate Nation compared with many. Its nature, people and agriculture have created a landscape of immense beauty. It has an unbroken history of independence since 1066. Independence has allowed it to develop a Parliamentary System of government and a Common Law that has brought those who govern closer to the people than in most other countries.
British values are important. The Common Law with its jury trials has instilled in us an idea of fairness. The Glorious Revolution permitted the idea of freedom to grow decade by decade. The religious disagreements of the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries developed the idea of tolerance. Laissez faire economics developed the idea of personal independence. The Church of England developed kindness. The love of nature evident in our landscape and love of history evident in our towns is the source of our impulse to conservation. Freedom, tolerance, fairness, independence, kindness and conservation are our values.
Some of these values can conflict with others and this demands that we have a hierarchy of values. At the summit is individual freedom of speech. Actions that implement the other values are endangered if it is not possible to freely put the case for these values. Free speech is primary. Although freedom of speech between individuals must be sacrosanct, the corporate freedom to transmit such speech will always need some limitations. Where freedom of speech results in actual physical or unreasonable, economic harm or threat those who propagate it should suffer the legal consequences. Free speech might always be construed as causing mental harm to those who disagree with it, this is the price of free speech without which actions that are free, fair, tolerant, independent, kind and conservative are threatened.
Tolerance is essential for democratic government. Our Parliamentary democracy is built on the idea that we will submit for a set period to majority government by those with whom we disagree.
Our tolerance permits others to be free and their tolerance permits us to be free. The British are born free and our freedom is our most precious possession. The law often defends individual freedom by limiting the freedom of the powerful who, without such limitations would deprive us of freedom. Each individual can decide to be tolerant, fair and kind and so accept laws that are for the common good. Where they disagree with laws they should work through the Parliamentary process to change them. In Britain our Common Law limits the powerful from stealing our natural liberty. In other countries the rulers deign to give their citizens Rights.
Fairness and kindness are also linked. They express our basic empathy for other people. They are the values underlying the Christian injunction of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Fairness is essential in the management of groups of people. A workforce or team is only happy if its management is fair. A country is only happy if its laws are fair.
Kindness is the desire for others to be relieved of suffering. It is the motivation behind free healthcare and state benefits. Those who have adequate means can deliver kindness, those without adequate means tend to receive it. Kindness implies working for the means to deliver it.
Freedom and tolerance creates independence. In that “Stone walls do not a prison make” we are all capable of being independent in the most oppressive of circumstances but in Britain our freedom and tolerance allows those who desire independence to walk free. Independence is not only the source of self respect, it is also the source of the creativity and new ideas that produce a dynamic and satisfying life and society.
Public administration, education and corporate media sources are ill equipped to defend independence. The creation of a software company, retail enterprise, manufacturing works etc. is a more valuable social activity than being a senior civil servant, corporate journalist or teacher because it provides the resources for kindness. The greatest divide in modern liberal democracies is between the corporate or public sector worker who has a communitarian outlook and the independent person who has a libertarian outlook. The love of independence does not impel people into corporate or public sector areas of employment which means that the elected government has a special role in fostering independent enterprise and so balancing communitarian and libertarian interests.
All of these values should lead to a successful society for the people of Britain. However, Britain is experiencing changes that occur only once in a millennium. The rise of the Internet is rapidly changing society. The rise of China represents a change in global power relations that only happen once in a couple of centuries or more. The growth in the British population is threatening our landscape and ecology and the growth in the global population is threatening the whole world with ecological collapse.
The BBC and Academia have lost faith in the UK and seem to have invented their own public sector world. This must be corrected. In particular the history curriculum and coverage of UK history should be returned to a treatment that is relevant to the UK. See The History Curriculum for Schools.
Now that we have left the EU the government can invest in growing medium sized companies and preserve the investment for the UK using a “Golden Share”. It should create three investment bodies that compete with each other, extra funds being given to the most successful.
The Internet has become a primary marketplace. Other markets are regulated for the good of traders and consumers alike but the Internet is still largely unregulated compared with the High Street. The Internet of Things is underway and poses security problems that demand regulation and internet fraud is costing c.£11bn pa. Satellites will soon be passing overhead that beam propaganda and dump goods and services on our country. The answer to these problems is a National Firewall which will include satellite jamming. Setting up a firewall is a difficult decision but it must be tackled.
A National Firewall will allow the National Internet to provide an emporium for sales and services for British companies and allow the Internet to serve local traders.
Local authorities should have Enterprise Councillors who would be elected on the basis of enhancing civic pride and expediting enterprise projects and have statutory responsibility for overseeing the provision of localised Internet Services, local business rates, communications, car parking etc. At the County level the Bank of England should work alongside County Enterprise Councillors to provide local banking that actually lends to small and medium sized business.
In the twentieth century the United Kingdom suffered immensely. Two world wars drained our enthusiasm for independence because the price in grief and material was so high. Many of the children of those who suffered were raised with the idea that independence and freedom were secondary to security and safety. The task of a modern government is to achieve both independence and freedom and security and safety. In foreign affairs it should obtain a position of strength from which the Nation can develop friendly relations with other states, international processes for the avoidance of war and a robust security from the financial, military and ecological storms that periodically afflict the world. The desire for the United Kingdom to have its own, unique culture should be equalled by its respect for the independence and culture of others.
The opposite of these values is the racist idea that the economy and society should become homogenised globally and inevitably stratified by class. If Nations do not intervene actively to stop this happening the people within them will lose control of their economy and their communities will be perpetually broken by the turnover of workers across the world. The chief beneficiaries of such a disaster will be global corporations and the future world superpower.
This post was originally published by the author on his personal blog: https://pol-check.blogspot.com/2020/10/values-for-future.html