An Oath to support British values – A load of Tory Tosh


Sajid Javid – leading proponent of Tory Tosh

So in a desperate attempt to show some signs of life and action in a very difficult field the Tories are suggesting a “British Values Oath” for elected officials, civil servants and council workers.

Apparently the oath will include such things as:

  • tolerating the views of others even if you disagree with them;
  • Believing in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from abuse;
  • A belief in equality; democracy and the democratic process; and
  • Respect for the law, even if you think the law is an ass

As you might expect I actually agree with all these sentiments and they are indeed a basic part of our unwritten constitution and a key element of the democracy which has been built up in this country for centuries. So why do I think this idea is barking mad?

  1. They are not British values – they are the values of the vast, vast majority of people that I meet on a regular basis from around the world. A declaration based on these things would be best called a “Declaration of Basic Human Beliefs. They could be signed by 95 of people in every West European state; 80% of Africa; Most of Asia including South East Asia; all by 2 Countries out of the 53 in the Commonwealth of Nations et al:
  1. Large numbers of people in areas such as the Russian Federation; Moslem Countries and others dominated by theocrats or bureaucrats would also like to sign them. But of course they cannot.
  1. 5% of British Citizens don’t actually believe them. For example look at the number of Tory MPs who have foamed at the mouth over the High Court and the Supreme Court properly reviewing Brexit in the light of the referendum AND the legislation which put the referendum in place. What about the Loathsome Phillip Davies who regularly tries to block private member’s legislation on equality issues including gender equality only last Friday?
  1. Those who didn’t believe would simply have to cross their fingers and lie whilst taking the Oath
  1. There can be no sanctions for oath breaking. This isn’t Lord of the Rings’ where oathbreakers are confined to a foul underworld until they make good their oath and our allowed to die!.

No this is simply a load of half-baked oblox from a Party whose belief in fairness and equality and a decent society are very different from my own and indeed from the pledges they are asking us to take.

What we need here is education; education; education and equal opportunity; equal opportunity; equal opportunity! Some people are woefully ignorant of other faiths; creds; cultures and even other parts of the Country. Much of what causes tensions is ignorance not malice. Ignorance can always, slowly but thoroughly be dealt with.

The remainder of the tension is gross inequality which manifests itself across society and which may well become worse under the societal threat of automation. If you are a white person on a poor estate or a person of colour from Africa or the Caribbean almost anywhere the odds are stacked against you even if, as is the case in Liverpool, your family has been here for 6/7 generations and you are more Scouse than I am.

This Tory twaddle has just two motives:

  1. To help Colonel Mustard and his Ilk think that something is being done to return to the safe haven of the 50’s which they think that we should never have left; an
  1. To convince everyone else that the Tories do have answers without them having to take the big steps on equality, fairness and deprivation that are badly needed.

Dear Reader I am sure that you will not fall for it. I hope that you will challenge it and anyone who supports such lamentable nonsense which is designed to cover up incompetence rather than lead us rationally into a more caring and understanding world.

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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4 Responses to An Oath to support British values – A load of Tory Tosh

  1. Chris says:

    I can imagine many people might disagree with some of these things, depending what they are supposed to mean. Does “freedom from abuse” include the modern illiberal concept of “the right not to be offended”, for example? Conversely, does “freedom of speech” include “the right to incite racial hatred”? Presumably it’s not meant to, but as it stands, unless the phrase is qualified in some way, it does.

    Does “tolerating the views of others even if you disagree with them” extend to allowing them to be elected to public office or to work as public servants? Apparently not in Mr Javid’s view. So what sense can be made of it?

    The idea is certainly tosh, but I think liberals should be more questioning of whether all these “values” that Mr Javid wants to impose on people are benign.


    Every word correct but surely if it is tosh , you do not need this level of passionate language ?! You are of sufficient amounts of energy to perhaps be like it at all times, as a member of the party , of Italian , Irish and thespian tendencies , I understand and am sympathetic , but as with our dear leader , a measured response can work too but seems rare !

    The Grimond approach is my favoured one , even though I was born as he was saying goodbye , to the leadership. Strong but sometimes , merely sardonic !

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