British Values- What Are They?
In an interview I was watching on YouTube earlier, award-winning rapper Akala stated that British values have come to be seen as those promoted by the greats in our society, such as Shakespeare. But with an ever-expanding, increasingly multicultural nation, are these values beginning to change?
Along with the recent rise in immigration to the UK, the protection of quintessentially British values seems to have become a prominent topic of concern for both the government and society in general. UKIP are winning seats in Parliament, Michael Gove wants to stop teaching American literature in schools and David Cameron wants ‘British values’ to be a fundamental part of education.
But what exactly are these ‘British values’, and is it even possible to formulate them into an extensive list?
As George Orwell wrote, archetypal Britain is “a nation of flower lovers, stamp collectors, pigeon fanciers and amateur carpenters”. Of course, the binge-drinking, struggling-to-find-a-job, “misunderstood” British youth of today would no doubt disagree. Not to mention the second, third and even fourth generation immigrants who would fancy themselves more as freedom fighters than flower lovers.
The problem with wanting to teach ‘British values’ is the implication that Britain is not open to change. In the 21st century, change is the only constant and without adapting to it, Britain cannot move forward with the times. It’s not clear what these ‘British values’ actually are, but it is clear that they don’t seem to be doing Britain any favours.
What do you think of ‘British values’? Let us know in the comments below!