How liberal is the UK?

Mike McCartney

16th March 2023

A recent survey answers this within a global context

A newspaper clipping about on this was sitting on the desk in my classroom doing not very much, when one morning I came in and it had acted as a catalyst for a fierce debate among my Form - not all are Politics students. So I thought I'd post details on here, since the subject appears to be of some interest to Sixth Formers.

According to the Guardian:

"The UK has overtaken Canada, Germany and Australia to become one of the world’s most socially liberal nations towards divorce and abortion, the latest wave of a global study has revealed.

The latest wave of the survey, analysed by the Policy Institute at King’s College London, focuses on 24 countries across the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, accounting for about half of the world’s population."

The article goes on to say:

"Academics said the findings exposed how much more liberal the UK has become over a relatively short period of time and showed how politicians may face public pressure in the near future to consider reform on sensitive topics."

According to academics at King's College London, the death penalty is one issue where UK citizens are relatively less liberal, placing mid-table in the world league of countries surveyed.

According to the KCL website:

"One in five (21%) think capital punishment is justifiable – higher than Greece (4%), Italy (6%), Germany (7%), Sweden (8%), Norway (8%) and Spain (17%), though lower than Australia (25%), France (25%) and the US (30%).

And a further 35% of the UK indicate that the death penalty it is potentially justifiable. Taken together, this means a majority (56%) think it may at least be acceptable in certain circumstances."

This topic was of particular interest to my Sixth Formers. I sensed it had something to do with US family links, and also recent news stories about 'sportswashing' in world football.

I'm not sure it had much to do with Les Anderson's comments on the subject. BTW, what do his constituents think of him? See video below...

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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