News by email Donate

Suggestions

View-of-parliament-Main_article_image.jpg
Parliament - Copyright Image Broker / REX
UK News

The crucial significance of culture

by Martyn Eden

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards recognised this in its final report, pointing to a lack of personal responsibility, senior figures "sheltering behind an accountability firewall", with risks and rewards mismatched. Structural changes to separate High Street banking from speculative banking will not be enough without real changes in the culture within which the banks serve their clients. 

The G8 conference took a similar line in a global perspective, calling for greater transparency in taxation and trade to prevent companies moving their profits across borders to avoid taxes. Greater openness will only be achieved if business people stop looking for ways to get around the rules and actively seek to serve their customers and their countries. 

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt stressed the need for cultural change in Wednesday's statement on the failures of the Morecambe Bay hospital and the Care Quality Commission. The CQC had covered up a report on failures in the hospital's care of mothers and babies. Mr Hunt described this as embodying "everything that is wrong with the culture of the NHS" and called for that culture to change so that patient safety is a first priority. 

Last Monday was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and party leaders called for an end to elder abuse. Every year more than 500,000 older peoples in Britain suffer physical, mental and financial abuse, often by friends or relatives. The number of people over 80 is expected to double by 2050 making this a significant issue for public policy but also for inter-personal relationships. 

This provokes questions about what is shaping our national and local cultures.  Britain has become more individualistic and less communitarian. We have dumped traditional absolutes and become increasingly relativist, so that everyone becomes the judge of right and wrong for themselves. That has meant fewer people believing and practising the Christian faith and the moral absolutes it teaches. The Girl Guides decision to remove a 'duty to God' from their Promise is a symptom of this. 

What needs changing in our culture and how can change be achieved? The examples above suggest that recovering a commitment to public service should be a priority but this will not happen if our personal priorities are invariably self-orientated. The Capital Vision 2020 includes compassionate community service as one of its themes but genuine culture change needs everyone to be involved. Those engaged in food banks, street pastoring, neighbourhood watch, and the like are setting an example. Schools have a role in shaping young minds and local councils could do more to encourage active citizenship. Christians and churches have a contribution to make, being 'salt and light' wherever God has placed us, seeking the common good before self-interest. 

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email

Connect

Donate

Donate