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Many of the 50 writers who replied to our invitation to provide ideas for Gordon Brown’s British statement of values made the familiar point that most of the relevant political values are universal, or at least European, and thus not distinctly British. But no one seems to have noticed that Brown wants a British statement of values, not a statement of British values. And, in any case, can’t there be distinctively British ways to state universal values? Unless you believe, with Michael Fry, that British values can’t exist because the values of a big country like England must in the…

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