British Values, what are they and how to get them?

Posted 14 Jun 2014 by Walaa Idris

Can British Values be taught in schools as a subject, or are they something children absorb from the environment they live in and from their communities?

When I heard the Education Secretary, Michael Gove say schools should promote British Values, I wondered if everyone 1) knew what they were and 2) how to acquire them?

To me British Values are democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs to mine.

All of which can be promoted and debated in schools up and down the country, but what about their practice? When and how can that be tested? How do we know those who grow up in isolation from British communities, under the banner of multiculturalism, accept our values beside their own?

For example, how do you convince a child homosexuality is legal and acceptable by our society when his own community (at home) says the opposite? Which teaching is more compelling, the one in the nucleus community, where parents, relatives and those who look and sound like you promote what they deem right or the larger community who in some cases might look and sound different to you?

In my opinion, British Values are soaked and absorbed from the inside out. By that I mean they can only be acquired by immersion and cohesion and by having an open mind. They are realised by being ready and willing to become a part of the British experience and a member of the British family.

Unlike in the USA, where many different cultures are united as One Nation under God – where that ‘God’ can be anyone or thing under the First Amendment – here in the UK multiculturalism tend to ghettoise and isolate none indigenous groups. It is that isolation that is dangerous to our values and needs addressing.

Instead of welcoming newcomers into their own mini-countries inside the UK, Britain needs to promote integration into the British way of life and celebrate it. We (assimilated none indigenous Brits) embrace our cultures at home, speak our tongue with each other and even eat our own food when we want to. But once outside the main door, we are proud to be one with our chosen country.

And the operative word here is CHOSEN!

It should be very clear from the start that those who decide to come here they are only welcome if they respect and accept the British lifestyle. They can choose not to celebrate it with us, but they cannot choose to conspire to change or work against it. They should understand that freedom does not mean they can disrespect our way of life, and tolerance does not mean we will allow them to.

Immigrants need to understand that with choice come responsibility and the duty to protect these values that made Britain a great nation. They need to appreciate that damaging the British Values will ultimately destroy what attracted them to Britain in the first place.

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