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Poems for Reflection and Discussion

By Josie Whitehead

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British Values

We’re British!  Are we really?  
     Tell me what does 'really' mean.
We’re British – yes, I think so.
     We’ve had many kings and queens.

We’re British!  We were born here 
       And our fathers fought in war.
Then we’ve football teams – and cricket;
      Swimmers, cyclists and much more!

Surely there’s more to being British
     Than the things above, that’s true.
Yes 'Britishness' is more than this
      As I guess you really knew.    


It’s accepting British values 
       And democracy stands tall.
The ones who rule, the laws we have
        Were chosen by us all.

It’s respecting other people:
     Yes, their colour, race and creed.
It’s the breaking down of barriers
       And loving those in need.

It’s treating other people
     With both tolerance and with care:
It’s teaching our own offspring
      That in Britain we all share.

It’s showing love to other folk,

     Especially those in need,
And by caring for our lovely world –
     Not killing it by greed.

It’s caring for the elderly 
      Especially those alone:
A friendly smile, a visit 
     Or a chat, perhaps, by phone.

It’s by looking outside family
     That we’ll make the truest friends.
Being British?  Look it’s your turn now
     For my poem’s reached its end.

Copyright on all my poems

Class Discussion:  I'm British, born and brought up in Worcestershire, but now living, for most of my life, in West Yorkshire.  The above British values are what I hope are prevalent in the country I live in, but all too often I read in the newspapers or see on the news that makes me think that many people don't seem to share these values.  What do you think?  Perhaps you think others should be added to this list.  I hope you strive to put all of these things into your lives - British or not.  They should be human values not just those of a few countries.  Josie 

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