UK Parliament: Call for support an Oath to abide by British Values from Public Officers

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Britain has developed some of the strongest equality legislations in the world especially, the "British Values" for tolerance, fairness, transparency and accountability - Dame Louise Casey DBE CB 

Writing in the Sunday Times, Mr Javid Home Secretary said he was “drawn” to Dame Louise’s recommendation to bring in an oath of allegiance because it was impossible for people to play a “positive role” in public life unless they accepted basic values such as democracy and equality.

It can be assumed that British identity has been over shadowed by the  complexities of Brexit. It is now beginning to dawn on Ms May’s ministers and the cross political parties. “In order to challenge such attitudes, civic and political leaders have to lead by example.

The "British Values Legislation Act of Parliament Bill" before the Brexit deadline date of 29 March 2019. It can give a shared sense of belonging to something bigger; inspiring and helping people to band together.

I believe that public office-holder and Civil Servants should swear an oath of allegiance to British values, the former communities secretary Sajid Javid has said. The pledge would cover elected officials, civil servants, NHS, BBC and Council workers etc.

"The ability to speak English perfectly, is not what makes a good citizen." Nyadol Nyuon shuts down the Government’s push for tougher language requirements for migrants. #TheDrum

A new Ministerial Code was published on 9 January 2018 following a turbulent political period involving Cabinet resignations and widespread sexual assault allegations within Westminster. 

I share the same believe that it is in the public interest for the Ministerial Code to be extended to the Public Officers and Civil Servants. 

“We can’t expect new arrivals to embrace British values if those of us who are already here don’t do so ourselves, and such an oath would go a long way to making that happen - Rt Hon. Sajid Javid MP ”

That the oath would only be required for migrants is based on the assumption that existing citizens of the UK, born or naturalised, are fully paid-up adherents to the concept of “British values”.An oath to entry – all citizens should pledge allegiance to British values, not just new migrants?

The new "Oath of Allegiance" will not only improve integration efforts but, may also help the part of the country as identified on social cohesion by Dame Louise Casey, which said some sections of society did not accept British values. 

Ms Champion MP said that many Labour members and politicians based in London had “never been challenged by a reality that’s different” from their largely “tolerant, multicultural world”.

“London is not representative of the UK and it’s definitely not representative of the north of England in relation to race,” she said. “Rotherham and many post-industrial towns are still segregated.”

 Shabana Mahmood MP on Twitter
“Integration is a two-way street - my response to the Government on the #caseyreview


Schools should not be afraid to promote British values, says Ofsted head
Amanda Spielman says the education system has a vital role in upholding values of tolerance and fairness, while countering extreme views

 Labour's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said the move would not combat radicalisation.

She told Sky News: "I have nothing against it in principle"

Former chancellor George Osborne hailed the idea as a "great initiative", and ex-culture secretary John Whittingdale also said he supported the oath. 

Cabinet Office, Ministerial Code, January 2018, Page 27 para 1. Annex A

The Code sets out the general principle that “Ministers of the Crown are expected to maintain high standards and to behave in a way that upholds the highest standards of propriety”.1 It also states that Ministers “should be professional in all their dealings” and “harassing, bullying or other inappropriate or discriminating behaviour wherever it takes place is not consistent with the Ministerial Code and will not be tolerated”.

In addition Ministers are expected to observe the Seven Principles of Public Life (appended to the Code), and the principles of ministerial conduct (see para 1.1).

The 2018 Seven Principles of Public Life Code:

Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.

Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.

Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.

Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny necessary to ensure this.

Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for doing so.

Holders of public office should be truthful.

Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own
behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

In 2013 Dame Louise Casey DBE CB was named by BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour as one of the Top 100 most powerful women in the UK. July 2015, the then Prime Minister David Cameron MP and Home Secretary Theresa May MP asked Dame Louise Casey to conduct a review to consider what could be done to boost opportunity and integration in our most isolated and deprived communities.

The Casey Review into opportunities and integration sounds deafening alarm bells and offers a few cogent solutions. In a wide-ranging set of recommendations, the review called for a new “oath of integration” enshrining British values for all holders of public office.

“We need to be much bolder in not just celebrating our history, heritage and culture, but standing up for our democratically decided upon laws of the land,” she summarized for the Telegraph. “I have become convinced that it is only the upholding of our core British laws, cultures, values and traditions that will offer us the route map through the different and complex challenge of creating a cohesive society.”

I went where the evidence took me, some of the meetings and conversations I had were very challenging and the stories hard to hear, but none of the 800 or more people that we met, nor any of the two hundred plus written submissions to the review, said there wasn’t a problem to solve.

I know that for some, the content of this review will be hard to read, and I have wrestled with what to put in and what to leave out, particularly because I know that putting some communities under the spotlight – particularly communities in which there are high concentrations of high migration flows of minority heritage ethnic citizens in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

However, I am convinced that it is only by fully acknowledging what is happening that we can set about resolving these problems and eventually relieve this pressure.

None of this is easy. But too many leaders have chosen to take the easier path when confronted with these issues in the past – sometimes with good intent – and that has often resulted in problems being ducked, swept under the carpet or allowed to fester. I approached this review with an absolute belief that we are a compassionate society.

Our population today
As the diversity of the nation has increased another dynamic is also clear –
50% of the British population lives in areas with relatively high migration flows.
50% of all minority ethnic citizens in Britain live in London, Birmingham and Manchester. 

Dame Louise said there were areas that were struggling to cope with the pace and scale of change they faced as a result of immigration while there were still large social and economic gaps between different ethnic groups.

In particular, "she highlighted the plight of rule of law subjected to violence and criminal acts of abuse, often enacted in the name of cultural values”. In her report, Dame Louise said that immigrants should be made to take an “oath of allegiance” to improve integration efforts.

The oath could include phrases such as “tolerating the views of others even if you disagree with them”, as well as “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"

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