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British Values

Length - 7:27
Published - Apr 2023
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

What are British Values? What do they mean? The government says they are: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, respect for different beliefs – and that they should be taught in schools. TrueTube took to the streets during the late Queen’s Jubilee to test who actually even knows that (?!), in a series of voxpop interviews. But before revealing the answers, we asked the people what they personally think defines ‘Britain’…

British Values

Great Britain. The British Isles. Britannia. We all know what it means to be British. And of course, we all share the same values.


Whoa, hang on. Do we, though? It seems to me there's a lot of debate about that.


Well, you can't get more British than Shakespeare.


What about music festivals?


Bangers and mash.


Barbecues in the rain.


Seaside holidays.


Chicken tikka masala.






Royal Guards.


Folk music.


British bulldog. Taxis.


Carnival. Bowls. British Values. What do you think they are and what do they mean? We sent a film crew out onto the streets of London during the late Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee to ask random people some key questions about Britain's identity. Are you British?


I am. Yes.


Yes. Yes.


Yes recently. This is the fifth year that I'm living in the UK and I am applying for becoming British. That's why I am still learning from it. I'm from Iran.


I'm as English as they come.


Yes. In education. In values. And in understanding the system. Yes.


I'm Welsh, actually, I'm from Wales. I now live in Newcastle. But yeah, British through and through.




No. We are from India. And we are just students here. Master students.






I am British, born in Scotland, but I classify myself as British. British subject.


What do you think of when I say Britain?


The Queen, the castle and the corgi.


Uh... good humour.




Rain. Although it's not raining.


The bus. The red bus. Of course. Yeah.


You have a pretty flag.


Traditional royal telephone. I mean, not royal.


Number one is the monarchy because there is no other country on the planet Earth that has a constitutional monarchy that has that unique arrangement between parliament, the ministers and monarchy.


What do you think Britain's values are?


There ain't any - that's the problem eh.


With things like democracy, it's obviously really important for our country. And we see around the world where that isn't the case. You know, and how sad that is.


Fairness. That means everybody has a say. Everybody has a part.


Hospitality. Accommodating all people from all around the world, I mean me as well. And the second thing is that they're very kind and very warm.


Today everyone's out being patriotic, isn't it? But yeah. Any other day. No, no one's too English are they.


Being kind? Um, help each other and go to the pub and have fun.


British values used to be according to scripture, according to the Bible.


When we talk about British, we're talking about generosity. Caring. And consideration for other people. Humanity. Humanity. Everything. Multiculture. Multiculture. Yes, of course. Yeah.


I think there's a stigma with British. I think for a lot of people it's probably being well spoken. I think it's being quite upper class, and I think that stigma hopefully has now gone.


Um having your own individual views. Teaching children that they should have a right to be heard and we should listen to them and respect their views and they should therefore respect the views and the rights of other people that they're growing up with.


Next, we told them the government's four official British values: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs.


I think they're very good. They should stick to them.


Yeah, I see it in everyday aspects of my life. I can feel it and touch it. Yeah. All these four values, especially democracy.


Are the British living up to those values?


Tries to.


Yeah. Yes they are. Yeah.


No. Do we hell. No, no, not at all, I don't think so.


I think generally the majority of people want to. Whether our leaders do is another matter.


Well, you can't live up to them if you forget God, see if you forget God in your life, you live a life of sin.


They've been supportive for us. And they are always ready to accept everyone from any country or anything like.


I wouldn't agree to that.


Yeah. No, I don't think fully.


Yeah. Rule of law, I think that's a difficult one. I think you should learn enough I think this day and age, and especially down to being able, like, competent when you leave school, to be able to say, well, what is right and wrong?


Not, not every member of the country is equal under the law. And especially those in power. Which is quite hypocritical of them.


You can't preach something and then not do it.


Democracy can be quite a big thing in terms of what we have that other countries necessarily don't. And I think sometimes that can be in a positive or a negative manner.


Sometimes there are only poor choices, but we still have to make a choice.


The actual concept of monarchy is completely contradictory to democracy as a sentiment. It's just one person who has arbitrary power.


We're supposed to be the United Kingdom, but in my opinion, we are now the perverted kingdom. The situation is now that lying has been institutionalised in the political realm.


You definitely feel that our British values have been lost. It seems.


Not lost, destroyed.


What examples are there of British values in action?


I got a neighbour. She's almost about 70 years old, and she told me that she's going to throw a party for the elderly people that are living in the care house - care homes. And she's doing very much in order to prepare food for these parties, for the platinum Jubilee parties. And I'm so excited to see how she's keen to prepare everything for people.


Where we live near Tynemouth, the north coast, there's some groups that support people who are struggling with mental health and they do that by going wild swimming early in the morning. So there's groups for children and for adults to get into the water on the North Sea. Right. Pretty cold and doing that, fresh, in the morning, in the middle of winter, is really helpful for your mental health.


Through work, you know we have the values of treating everyone fairly, making sure that, you know, that we take everyone at face value, that nobody, you know, like pre-judging or down to, you know, anything to do with religion or ethnicity or anything like that. And I think you need to have those values going forward because everybody's equal on that point. So hopefully that's what the next generation will see.


Any country's values change with time and vary from person to person. Traditions matter more to some than others.


Ha! Indeed they do.


But new traditions need the chance to evolve. What do you think of the government's official values and what makes Britain 'Britain' in the 21st century?


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