Friday, 20 July 2007

English values please, not British values

Gordon Brown, that dreary son of the Manse, has clearly given his first standing instruction to his cabinet - to incorporate the promulgation of his view of 'Britishness' and 'British values' into every aspect of policy. The politicisation of the history curriculum is one area in which this features markedly. Let's be clear; the idea of 'British values' is an artificial political construct. There are really no such things. There are English values, and then there are Scots values and Welsh values.

English values were bought with blood during our civil war. Individual freedom, the right to free speech, the right to equality before the law, a system of common law, the right of habeas corpus, property and land rights, the independence of the judiciary are all foundation stones on which the very notion of 'Englishness' is built.

Scotland is a very different place. Scots law is based on Roman Law - dating from the Corpus Juris Civilis, and has much more in common with European legal systems than with the English legal system.

The over-representation of Scots in UK politics has led to a fundamental erosion of English values of freedom and fairness, has corroded the primacy of Common Law, has seen the domination of an alien and restrictive legal culture that holds at arm's length the place of the 'community conscience' in legal affairs and court decisions.

The Scots only make up 8% of our population. If Brown really wants to foster British integration, the whole Scots legal system should be abolished and English law adopted north of the border. This will never happen, of course. The reverse will.

4 comments:

Ed said...

Sorry to be a pedant but common law particularly is much older than the civil war!

Parliament will never cease legislating and codifying - there is no check on it to prevent it. One English value I would change is the way the executive interacts with the legislature.

Newmania said...

Great Britain is reallly Greater England R , the name itself was dug up from some Roman history a bit like Mercia today

Ed said...

Greater England controlled by less Scots!

Now they've got a Parliament I think it's time they stopped sending more than their share of representatives South.

Ed said...

lessER I meant.