The cultural mandate played an important role in shaping my ideas, thoughts and worldview. I developed through the years a distinctly liberal/libertarian position and would have fiercely defended, in fact did defend my views. My wife will bear witness to the fact that I was a current affairs junkie and vehement defender of the individual and his or her rights.
I was brought up believing a number of myths: that the UK had the best universal health service in the world, in fact many European countries including our near neighbours France have had a finer health care system than us for a generation. That sexual freedom and liberation was progress to be celebrated for giving women the opportunity to do with their bodies as they please. A message warmly welcomed by the male population. Given the massive increase in abuse of women, STDs, broken marriages, for example the women in my wife’s family and mine have been devastated by broken promises, I am not sor sure the women’s liberation has delivered what it hoped.
A crucial myth which I believe is sown into the fabric of our life is that the BBC offers a balanced, fair and objective output. I tended to reject the proposal that the BBC has been projecting a liberal, pluralistic and relativist worldview. Of course that opinion was formed on a diet of BBC broadcasting. The evidence that the BBC uses its influence to promote a particular agenda can be seen in the Reith Lectures. They recently had on their website a collection of photos of lecturers, seventeen covering the last seventeen years. Each of most of these men represent a distinct branch of ‘progressive’ post modern thinking. Pacifists like Bertrand Russell, philosophers, Jews, pro-Europeans, anti-capitalists and so on. Russell portrayed as one the 20th century’s philosophers, a supposedly fine mind but you take a look at his life on Wiki, see the state of his relationships, the way the women were treated in his life, and tell me that was a life worth living, with meaning and purpose.
I am not suggesting that there is anything inherently wrong in the BBC following this agenda, my point is that I, you, we should see how these subtleties affect the opinions we form, cultural trends and opinions in the public square. The peers of my nineteen year old son speak of their girlfriends as if they owned them. They do not understand equality between sexes, treating women as sister with dignity and respect, any more than I did or I am sure many of my father’s generation. I can tell you bitter stories from our families where lives have been wrecked by men behaving in ways encouraged and endorsed by the ‘cultural mandate’. I offer my sons and their friends a different way of approaching relationships, point out history, and offer ideas that conventional behavior rejects.
This is not about returning to a day when chivalry reigned. I don’t know if there ever was a day. This is about progress. Of seeing that our opinions are flawed, formed through the lenses of liberal worldviews that govern much of our media output and educational institutions, all with particular prejudices and political agendas. You cannot afford to believe everything you think.