These qualities range across a very broad spectrum, and include: our Royal Family, the Mother of all Parliaments, and our Christian culture. The beautiful and varied countryside, architecture, our towns and villages, our exceptional sense of community.
No other country can put on an ‘occasion’, whether it be military, a national event, a celebration, a remembrance or even a local festival, quite like the British. And if they can they will have surely learnt it from us.
Our very Britishness is distinctive and special, something to be treasured, and appreciated. We are as a nation recognised for tolerance, broad mindedness and our democracy. Britishness binds and distinguishes our unity, tolerance and our identity
As we enter 2016 there seems to be a growing risk that some of these qualities are endangered, due to the actions of a few who appear to consider their views to be morally superior to the majority’s view.
An example being the students campaigning to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oriel College Oxford. Shame on the university authorities who have already been bullied into removing a plaque dedicated to Rhodes.
Today’s students appear to consider they have an entitlement to re-write history, and dictate what they consider acceptable within their narrow minded and bigoted parameters.
The future looks bleak, if these are to be the intellectuals and leaders of tomorrow. As each generation becomes increasingly intolerant, and wish to white wash history; God help future generations.
There are also those who do not consider it necessary for migrants wishing to live in this country to accept or adopt our laws, beliefs and customs which sustain and enhance our freedom, prosperity and our way of life. At the camps in Calais where would-be immigrants, they are entertained by street entertainers, subsidised by the French Government. These ‘entertainers’ are reportedly promoting anti-British propaganda, and encouraging would-be British citizens to mock our monarchy and our history. These few examples are part of a worrying trend.
We are fortunate that Sussex has not been struck by the floods to the extent that has devastated northern counties and Scotland. It is wet but with some exceptions, we have so far been fortunate.
The floods have been blamed on global warming, a dysfunctional Environment Agency, and Government falling over its self to follow EU directives which consider the ‘environment’ to be more important than people’s homes and businesses, and farmland.
This very wet winter is we know due to the El Nino effect. The Environment Agency which replaced the former River Authority, has neglected the important task of dredging rivers and water ways to speed up the water flow out to sea. And the EU officials who impose these edicts from their gilded cages in Brussels, obviously have little regard for the impact upon British communities, having to cope with the chaos caused by their ill thought out regulations.
The debate regarding the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU is becoming very relevant and heated, as this game changing vote draws closer. It will be surprising if the majority of the farmers do not vote to exit.
Those who will immediately benefit if we opt out of the EU, are tenant farmers. As commodity prices and incomes continue to tumble, it is hard to justify the high rents payed to landlords. These are driven by the European CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) basic payments. Without which land rents would more than halve overnight.
Europhile alarmists, such as former NFU chief economist Sean Rickard has said he believes it is doubtful that the UK could regain control over its agricultural policy if we left the EU. This is totally unsubstantiated. The Government outside the EU, would in fact be in a better position to support agriculture and the environment. It could target payments in a much more effective manner, as Owen Paterson and others have pointed out.
Mr Paterson continues to champion the farming community, despite having been unceremoniously relieved of his duties by David Cameron and replaced by Liz Truss in 2014.
No doubt farmers will follow his speech with interest this week, which he will deliver at the Oxford Farming Conference.
We will be bombarded with misinformation from many quarters as the referendum draws close. This will include skewed financial and immigrations figures which we must unravel in order to understand the truth.
What is sure is that nothing remains the same, and the EU as it is today, will change dramatically. It will become increasingly federal, with Germany and France driving the agenda aggressively as the tentacles of Brussels become increasingly hard line, controlling and hostile.
David Cameron will no doubt try to persuade us to vote to stay in. However the facts including: membership is costing Great Britain £20 billion each year, we are unable to control rampant immigration, and wise business leaders, who do not have their snouts in the EU trough, are advocating exit, surely counters his arguments.
Our very Britishness is at stake. The qualities which make us proud and patriotic are increasingly at risk. This is our opportunity to once again take control of our country, our borders, our laws and our values, we must take it.