British Values should include respect for law and tolerance

Monday 25 August 2014

As politicians continue the debate about how to define British Values, 10,000 over 50s have cast their vote with overwhelming support for respect for the rule of British Law and Justice, alongside tolerance and free speech.

British Values should include respect for law and tolerance

The so-called ‘Trojan Horse Conspiracy’ whipped up a storm about what we should be teaching children and how we can instil in all citizens some common British Values. The core of the problem is that very few commentators and opinion formers seem able to agree on what would constitute Britishness and definitive British Values. However, in a new Saga Populus poll over 50s seem to have a clear and fairly consistent view respect for the rule of law emerge as the top British Values across the board supported by 89% of respondents. This was closely followed by Justice, belief in personal and social responsibility and treating others as you would wish to be treated (83% respectively).

The right to free speech, the concept of which has long held roots from as early as the late 1600s in England’s Bill of Rights, continues as one of the core values with 81% of over 50s who feel this should be preserved.  A similar proportion (76%) felt that tolerance should also be instilled during the education of our younger generations. In fact, it appears that the older you are the more emphasis you place on tolerance - 84% of those aged 80-89 believe that this is core to Britishness.

Saga’s Director of Communications, Paul Green commented, “When it comes to what should define Britishness who better to ask than society’s elders - people who have lived through many changes in society and helped build modern Britain as it is today.

“It appears that the Saga Generations have a pretty clear idea of what Britishness should be, and they balance a stout defence of justice, the rule of law and free speech with a marked emphasis on tolerance. We only have to look at the world’s trouble spots to know what a prize we have in achieving this balance and maintaining it through decades of rapid change. These are the people who have made Britain what it is, and while watchful of our core values they insist that individuality should be allowed to flourish.”

Most important British Values according to over 50s


Respect for rule of law


2 =



2 =

Belief in Personal and social responsibility


2 =

Treating others as you would want to be treated



Right to free speech



Sense of fair play






Editors notes:

Populus interviewed 9,944 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 12th and 19th June.  Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information see

For further information please contact:

Paul Green, director of communications on 01303 776023 or email

Saga is a leading provider of products and services primarily tailored for customers over the age of 50 in the UK. The Saga brand has been carefully developed over the past 60 years to become one of the most recognised and trusted brands among UK consumers aged over 50. Saga is synonymous in the UK with the over 50s market and is recognised for its high quality products and services.  These include cruises and holidays, home and motor insurance, savings and share dealing and the UK’s award winning Saga Magazine.  Saga also provides domiciliary and primary healthcare services through Allied Healthcare.  In addition to more than 2.1 million active customers it has built a proprietary database of more than 10.4 million contactable names. 


Share this page

Get In Touch

The Saga Group Communications Team only deal with enquiries from the media.

If you're not a journalist, visit our contact us page for a full list of telephone numbers.