Infidelity and `Sick Days' Are Fine for New Breed of Briton
Chery Norton Social Affairs Correspondent, The Independent (London, England)
A NEW breed of Britons has emerged. New research mapping the moral values of the population has found that one- fifth of people, regardless of age or sex, now hold ambiguous moral values.
Psychologists believe that this "morally marginal" group of people, who are more politically minded than the rest of the population, is increasing because a general decline in society of traditional moral values of right and wrong is confusing the boundaries of what constitutes honest and loyal behaviour.
The rapid social change in Britain has also led, since the advent of New Labour, to fewer differences between the moral values of the two main political parties as they both try to tune in with modern Britain, said Helen Haste, professor of psychology at Bath University, who conducted the research. "The old liberal- conservative split between wanting more freedom and wanting more control is becoming blurred," she said. "The shifts are extremely important, not least for the political parties who will need to see how their agendas match the moral majority. The former left-right political value spectrum, which used to map on to social values, is no longer applicable in Britain," she said.
But the research shows that politicians should not try to claim the moral high ground,with Tony Blair's morality campaign not well regarded and most people not wanting to have the government interfering in their personal lives.
Researchers interviewed more than 500 people across Britain and found that the multi-millionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, the Olympic athlete Linford Christie and the footballer Michael Owen were seen as very positive role models for young people. In contrast, the pop star Geri Haliwell and William Hague, leader of the Conservative Party, were seen as having no impact, while bad role models included the singer Madonna, the footballer and actor Vinnie Jones and Noel Gallagher of pop group Oasis.
Overall, the majority of thepeople valued personal honesty most. They wanted a more tolerant society with fewer laws and restrictions but wanted greater social control. More control of sex …
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Publication information: Article title: Infidelity and `Sick Days' Are Fine for New Breed of Briton. Contributors: Chery Norton Social Affairs Correspondent - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: March 3, 2000. Page number: 11. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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