Friday, December 08, 2006


Tony Blair has boldly said what has needed to be boldly said for quite some time now (and what John Howard has, in fact, been boldly saying for some time now). That, in this country, all cultures are not equal, that there is a hierarchy of values in which some abrogate others.

When it comes to our essential values - belief in democracy, the rule of law, tolerance, equal treatment for all, respect for this country and its shared heritage - then that is where we come together, it is what we hold in common.

It is what gives us the right to call ourselves British. At that point no distinctive culture or religion supercedes our duty to be part of an integrated United Kingdom.

Being British carries rights. It also carries duties. And those duties take clear precedence over any cultural or religious practice.

We must demand allegiance to the rule of law. Nobody can legitimately ask to stand outside the law of the nation. There is thus no question of the UK allowing the introduction of religious law in the UK. Parliament sets the law, interpreted by the courts. All criminal matters should be dealt with through the criminal justice system.

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