New Year Message for 2018

New Year is a time that we try to look forward with hope.

My main hope is that we will see a greater level of honesty in our public debates and a degree of understanding that to fail to address glaring societal problems will only diminish the lives of the great majority of our people.

I hope that engagement with the challenge of how we again create a cohesive society in which every individual has real, rather than merely theoretical opportunities to fulfil their potential and provide a good life for their families, companions and communities is not too much to hope for from those in public life.

And at a time when many of our leaders are keen to talk of a ‘belief in Britain’ it is perhaps not too much to ask that they flesh out what they really mean and what a modern vision of Britain might involve.

In doing so I hope we can re-discover the tolerance, mutual respect and ‘live and let live’ philosophy and practice that I grew up believing was inherent to the values of British society. In other words a genuinely patriotic pride in the freedom of the individual within a society framed for the common good.

That is a vision that will always rise above enforced conformity and coercive patriotism against which the great generations of the 20th century fought and won through. Somewhere along the line much of that vision has been lost and the failure of political leaders to articulate its relevance to the modern world sits at the heart of the challenge we will face in the coming year.

Here’s hoping.   

John Howarth MEP

PS For more reflections and hopes for 2018 read on here