Letter: Major's confused definition of Back to Basics issues

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The Independent Online
Sir: Lord Hailsham's clear legal mind should be a help in the present confusion about the content of the Back to Basics programme. In his autobiography, published in 1990, he defined natural morality as:

Respect for parents' authority and one's neighbours' rights, kindness, patriotism, courage, responsible sexual behaviour, respect for the environment, respect for one's own body, truth-telling, financial integrity, loyalty to friendships, tolerance of differences of opinion, openness of discussion, and forbearance to intrude into the private lives of others.

He compiles this list as a summary of 'the philosophia perennis, the eternal philosophy', which he expressed in the context of his own Christian faith but saw as an indispensable basis for any human community. It is a good list, far better than recent ad hoc ones. It is not an optional extra if we want to have a viable community life into the 21st century.

Yours sincerely,


South American Missionary Society

Tunbridge Wells,


10 January