Bill Carmichael: Cherish and defend our British values

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JUDGING by the reaction in some quarters this week, you might have thought Education Secretary Michael Gove had called for the slaughter of the first born, rather than mildly suggesting that British schools should teach British values.

Self-loathing lefties went into full meltdown mode, shrieking that there is no such thing as “British values” and even if there were they are no better than the values of other people around the world.

Twitter was awash with sneering complaints that British values amounted to little more than binge drinking, racism and obesity.

They really hate this country, don’t they? It makes you wonder how they can bear to go on living here. But of course, unfortunately, the whingers remain – which just goes to demonstrate that such moral relativism is little more than empty posturing.

British values – democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs – do matter and we should not be afraid to state that they are quite simply superior to the values that are espoused in many other parts of the world.

That’s why millions from around the world want to come and live here – and if left-wingers ever get tired of running their country down there are plenty of people more than willing to swap places.

Strictly speaking, they aren’t so much British values as the values of the Anglosphere – Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Beyond these blessed nations, these values are vanishingly rare. Elsewhere it is a depressing story of tyranny and oppression, where children are casually sold into slavery and women are treated worst than cattle.

Anyone who thinks that all values are the same should ask themselves a simple question – where would you rather live? The UK and Canada? Or Syria and Iran? If values are all the same that would be a difficult question to answer, but of course it isn’t.

Even in mainland Europe they were quite happily packing their neighbours off to the gas chambers just seventy years ago. It took the Anglosphere to restore civilised values to the continent by defeating Fascism and keeping the communist aggressors at bay.

But we shouldn’t take these values for granted, for they are both precious and very fragile. Even in Europe we are seeing the rapid rise of extremist parties of both left and right. Sadly, our European neighbours may just be reverting to type.

Our values should be cherished and robustly defended. That’s why Mr Gove is absolutely right to insist that schools should teach these values. The real shock is that some schools have got away with preaching intolerance and racism for so long.

If you have antediluvian bigots brainwashing young Muslims that all white women are prostitutes, is it any wonder that we end up with Asian street gangs grooming pre-pubescent white girls for sex?

What binds us together as a nation – people of different races, faiths and political beliefs – are our fundamental values. They are what make us an open, tolerant country, welcoming to outsiders who respect our traditions and who want to contribute to society. Our values, in short, are what make Britain great.

The nasty Nats

Author JK Rowling has been subjected to a wave of obscene online abuse after revealing she had donated £1m to the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK in September’s referendum.

The Harry Potter writer was called “a Union cow bag”, a “disgrace” and other vile insults unfit for repetition in a family newspaper.

Those responsible are the “cybernats” – an army of online trolls who heap abuse on anyone who dares question Alex Salmond’s nationalist propaganda. What lovely people!

This is not the first such incident. The mother of a disabled child was recently left in tears after being branded a “Quisling” and a “collaborator” for voicing pro-Union views.

It makes you wonder what kind of country Scotland will become if it votes Yes later this year.

If these postings are anything to go by it will be a sour, inward-looking, intolerant, and unwelcome place to live and work.