When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
MP Richard Drax's column: Our beloved institutions ‘crumbling’
10:34am Friday 8th March 2013 in News
FORGIVE me, but I’m having a Victor Meldrew moment.
Am I wrong in thinking that many of our beloved institutions are either under fire or crumbling?
Gay marriage has rocked both Anglicans and Roman Catholics, with the latter mired in scandals of sexual abuse by some of its priests. For the first time in 600 years, a reigning Pope has stepped down.
In parts of the NHS – once described by Nigel Lawson as the nearest thing we have to a religion – we learn that patients have died needlessly due to lack of basic care.
The BBC has harboured a sexual predator in its midst for more than 20 years.
And cover-ups and gagging orders are falling out of the proverbial cupboard faster than can be reported.
Our much admired armed forces have been reduced to a gendarmerie, while money is thrown at the EU, welfare and overseas aid.
Meanwhile, mistrust of politicians has risen to an all-time high, not least because of the expenses’ scandal.
Even the monarchy – that last bastion of duty and selflessness – is under attack, with changes to the laws of succession.
Free speech, long enshrined as a basic human right in our country, is monitored for ‘hate crime’. A colleague of mine, for example, is pilloried because he called someone ‘unkempt’.
No longer do we truly have the freedom to speak our minds, offend or disagree.
In fact, much of what made Britain the proud nation she is being undermined. It’s fertile ground for conspiracy theorists, although it’s very hard to point a finger in any one direction.
I do know, though, that like children we need gold standards to aim for, even if we can’t always attain them.
The alternative is mediocrity, which is neither aspirational, nor in the country’s long term interest.