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Topic for August/September - Rights and Responsibilities

    • 94 posts
    September 3, 2018 4:09 PM BST


    Draft Agenda for this topic

    Rights and Responsibilities i.e.  of each of Individuals, Organisations, Media and Government. Are there some that are so important to improving society that they should be spelt out and if so what should they be? 

    We obviously do take some for granted e.g. freedom of speech, right to an education, so the focus is on those we think should be given increased status.  


    What list of Rights and Responsibilities or Principles would we want our children to be taught? Are any of these so important to our society that we would want them to be part of the definition of ‘our culture/how we want our future society to be’ and articulated as core principles by Government? 

    A few areas that we might discuss, some clearly contentious:

    • Looking after one’s health and fitness
    • Responsibility for children’s behaviour and actions
    • Mutual respect, mutual help and neighbourliness
    • Contributing to our community, not being entirely self-centred
    • Being law abiding and support enforcement of law
    • To be informed and vote
    • To support a meritocratic society
    • To show consideration for others and to respect other’s point of view
    • To understand and respect minority viewpoints
    • Responsibility for one’s actions good and bad
    • Only having the number of children you can afford
    • To base decisions on facts
    • To be available to work with a good work ethic
    • To be prepared to fight for one’s country


    We discussed Businesses’ role in society in our previous meeting but it’s worth just re-looking at the Rights and Responsibilities aspect, topics such as:

    • In return for the fact that in our society we operate a system that allows both organisations and individuals to amass considerable wealth, and to trade in the UK and sell their wares to UK citizens, that in return and commensurate with the benefit they get, they have a corresponding responsibility to assist in benefitting our society both financially and in our wellbeing.
    • Making moral decisions not just relying on the letter of the law and pushing things to the limit
    • Paying tax commensurate with the business done (and hence benefit received) in the UK, not where tax is paid
    • Taking responsibility for the negative consequences, as well as positive consequences of products and services
    • Having an active Corporate Social Responsibility agenda e.g. Foundations


    Given the media are largely independent and self-regulated with few constraints, what responsibilities should they have? Should this differ between sate funded media e.g. BBC, ‘Trusted Media’ sources?

    • Recognise their enormous power to influence people both positively and negatively and take responsibility for and use judgement in how they use it (not push to limit)
    • Recognise their role as a fundamental element of our democracy and therefore a duty to inform and educate accurately and in a balanced way, such that we can make factual and balanced judgements about issues and about Government performance
    • Not putting their own interpretation on events and never distorting or slanting to advance their own personal or organisation position
    • Taking care not to reinforce prejudice, give unduly negative views, or paint the extreme or sensational as the norm
    • Never to indulge in and to expose fake news and misinformation


    This is also a topic we have previously covered to some extent under the heading ‘Government in the 21st Century’. So we need to focus on: What do we expect Government (all those in power) to see as its top-level responsibilities? So topics such as:

    • To govern for a fairer and better society for all
    • To continuously improve the practice and effectiveness of democracy in the UK
    • To continuously try and improve our lifestyles and wellbeing
    • To govern openly and honestly, never to hide or distort
    • To plan for the long-term not just the short-term and in particular not to make short-term decisions which adversely impact the long-term
    • To manage our money responsibly and efficiently and be accountable for so doing
    • As individual members of Government to put country and representation of the people above personal views and above personal gain



    This post was edited by Tony Clack at September 3, 2018 4:11 PM BST
    • 94 posts
    September 3, 2018 4:17 PM BST

    The Output on this topic from Pie and Pint meeting 17 can be viewed at: