it is a nonsense of course that these values, however defined, are exclusive to Britain. They are what are, or should be, observed by decent people in all civilised societies.
On my younger days "honour" was an important one. We were taught in Sunday School to "honour" our fathers and mothers (with the incentive that if we did our days would be long in the land which the Lord had given us.) When I was 11 and enrolled into the Scouts I promised "On my honour" to "do my duty to God and the King." (then George VI.)
At school it was drilled into us that the honour oft school was in our hands, and we absorbed , from our avid reading of "Smith of the lower third" (Wizard, on Tuesdays) and Red Circle (Hotspur, on Thursdays) that pupils in establishment far superior to ours held this value in great esteem, even to the "honour of the House." (See Lindsay Anderson's film “If .) Those who were drafted into the army heard a lot, I understand, about the honour of the regiment.
The definition of honour in my dictionary is quite long, but includes "reputation, good name, nobleness of mind."
These characteristics have not been all that evident in the conduct of the Tory leadership so far, or in the character of the front runner.
In the conduct of of the election we understand "beyond reasonable doubt" that Michael Gove was pushed out of the final round because votes were "loaned" to Jeremy Hunt " from the Johnson team. Not that I feel much sympathy for Gove, given the damage he did to the education service.
I do however feel sorry for Rory Stewart,who polled 19 votes in the first round (just enough), shot up to 37 in the second, and then fell back to 27 in the third. We understand that his "surge" in the second round was through "loaned "votes in order to eliminate Dominic Raab, which they did.
On the radio this morning political correspondents of both the Sun and the Guardian were asked if such chicanery were likely and acceptable and both said yes: "They are playing for high sakes."
So both extremes of our political spectrum agree that decent behaviour is for the Plebs and needn't apply to those vying for the top.
In an article in the Guardian earlier this week an occasional columnist, George Pitcher, wrote:
"[Johnson] is a serial liar, philander and shirker . He was fired from the Times for making up quotes as a reporter, and as an opposition spokesman for lying to his leader about an affair; a spendthrift mayor of London, who relied on is deputies while he played to the gallery with vanity projects ; incompetent beyond belief as foreign secretary; said to have deliberately misled the people on the post-Brexit economy; and a provocateur of racism and hate crime through his casual insults of our ethnic minorities."
Strong stuff. You'd think it would be actionable, but the Guardian must be prepared to defend it, probably on the grounds that it is a) true and b) in the public interest, which I believe is one of the defences for libel.
Certainly there's not much sign of "reputation, good name, nobleness of mind." I wonder what "hidden curriculum" they aim for at Eton?
Higher standards are, however, prescribed for those in authority lower down the pile. A friend of mine Emailed this to all we enthusiastic Remainers in this part of Yorkshire:
I was reading through some of the Town Councillors handbook references this morning and came across this interesting piece of information:
Councillors’ conduct and interests
The seven Nolan principles apply to the conduct of people in public life – they are:
Selflessness – you should act in the public interest
Integrity – you should not put yourself under the obligations to others, allow them to improperly influence you or seek benefit for yourself, family, friends or close associates
Objectivity – you should act impartially, fairly and on merit
Accountability – you should be prepared to submit to public scrutiny necessary to ensure accountability
Openness – you should be open and transparent in your actions and decisions unless there are clear and lawful reasons for non-disclosure
Honesty – you should always be truthfulLeadership – you should promote, support and exhibit high standards of conduct and be willing to challenge poor behaviour.
It would be good to circulate this to all those 160 000 Tory members who are entitled to decide between Johnson and Hunt..
But the really sad thing to me is that, knowing all of the above, 160 Conservative MPs, over half the parliamentary partly, are prepared propose a character almost as far away from traditional British values as it is possible, to be our future prime Minister.
PS (added Monday 24th June)
According to a graphic in last Saturday's Guardian (22/06/19) 75% of Conservative Party members believe that "Young people today don't have enough respect for traditional British values." Let's hope they put their votes where their mouths are.