Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Testing of Britishness

The BBC is doing a have-your-say thing about the new testing of Britishness thing. My comments are too long for their dinky little box so here's the full version:

I'd like to feel that Britain had a set of values that were worth promoting. What concept of Britishness could we genuinely claim to be upholding though?

Freedom of speech? Not with the new religious hatred laws, no.

Personal freedom from persecution? Not with the prospect of being held without charge under the anti-terror laws. Nor with the random application of ASBOs meaning you can now go to prison for swearing or sitting about in a car park.

Equal rights for men and women? Not with the current pensions imbalance. Nor in a climate where 94% of pregnant women believe they are discriminated against. And where women receive 72% of the pay men do for the same work. And where one in four women is a victim of domestic violence. And where less than 2% of rapes lead to conviction.

Racial and religious integration? Not while we're increasing our quota of religious schools effectively ghetto-ising those who don't wish to have their children raised religiously.
Protection from torture? Not while we're accepting "evidence" from overseas which has been collected through torture.

Acceptance of gay and lesbian lifestyles? We still have people getting murdered for their sexuality.

The right to a good education? Not while there's a massive shortage of places at schools around the country. And the rise of "parent power" means only those kids whose parents kick up a stink can expect a decent education.

Healthcare? Not while we're continuing to cut funding across the board. Not while women are having to sell their own homes to pay for treatment for breast cancer. Not while waiting lists are growning.

Until our own house is in order we have no right to expect anybody else to live by our standards.


Andrew said...

Until our own house is in order we have no right to expect anybody else to live by our standards.

Surely you don't mean this? Just because we don't live in a perfect world, we can't criticise those who perpetuate oppression? Would you therefore not criticise Ken Livingstone's welcoming of Al-Qaradawi to London with open arms?

Cruella said...

You're totally missing the point. I think we can and should continue to criticise both domestic and foreign human rights situations and campaign for them to be improved.

My point is what standards do we actually have to impose on people coming in to the UK?

And actually I think Ken Livingston was absolutely right to invite Al-Qaradawi to the discussion table. That's the best way I know of of improving things -addressing them head on and negotiating.

Sour Duck said...

*applause* Great piece.

Cruella said...

Aww ta.

Cruella said...

do you have a shred of evidence to demonstrate that even, say, 1% of reported rapes are false? unless you have some i think you're guilty of gross misogyny and i'm not very impressed.

my data comes from my earlier article (you must be new to the cru-blog! welcome.)

here's the link: