United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
|Social and Moral Index||18th best|
|Land Area1||241 930 km2|
|Life Expectancy3||80.308yrs (2012)|
|ISO3166-1 Codes4||GB, GBR, 826|
Why dislike the UK? (2004)
UK Trash Culture (2004)
|UN's Human Development Index|
|Social and Moral Development|
The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others. The values in the chart are factored by 100.
The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2013).
|Life Expectancy (at birth)|
|3||St Vincent & Grenadines||2.0|
The UK's population is predicted to rise to 69.31 million by 2030. This rise is despite a low fertility rate, meaning, that this country is helping to alleviate problems with growing population in neighbouring countries by accepting immigrants, very likely as a requirement of maintaining an active workforce. This country has a fertility rate of 1.87. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.
|Female Vote and Stand|
Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.
UK is on the way towards ending gender inequality but women are still in an unfavourable position much of the time.
|Disbelief In God|
|How Many Are Religious?|
Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below8:
By adding up the Pew Forum data for the major monotheistic religions we can see that these make up 76% of the population. Yet there are simply too many who disbelieve in God for this to be true (42%). This is due to the so-called 'Census Effect', whereby many put down a religion for cultural reasons rather than because it reflects their beliefs. In highly Christian countries, as many as half of those who say they're a Christian lack any connection to a Church, and do not hold Christian beliefs (such as believing in God!).
It appears that when asked "What religion are you" many give pollsters the 'correct' answer despite how they actually feel, and despite what they actually believe. Although 78% of the populace say they belong to a religion, only 27% say that they are religious when the question is phrased as "Is religion an important part of your daily life?".
For more on this phenomenon, see:
With over 170 distinct religions counted, the religious make-up of the UK is diverse, complex and multicultural. The 2011 Census shows that minority and alternative religions are steadily growing, as is Islam. Less than half of the British people believe in a God and from 2009 the annual British Social Attitudes results has revealed that over 50% of us say we're not religious9 and a 2014 YouGov poll saw 77% of the British public say they're not very, or not at all, religious10. Comprehensive professional research in 2006 by Tearfund found that two thirds (66% - 32.2 million people) in the UK have no connection with any religion or church11.
However people continue to put down what they think is their "official" religion on official forms. As a result of this Census Effect in the 2011 National Census, 59.3% of us put their religion down as "Christian"12. Half of those who say they have no religion to pollsters still put one down on the 2011 Census. Even despite this, Christian numbers are substantially down from the 2001 figure of 72%. Religion in Britain has suffered an immense general decline since the 1950s. Between 1979 and 2005, half of all Christians stopped going to church on a Sunday. Four in five britons want religion to be private, not public, and have no place in politics13. All indicators show a continued secularisation of British society in line with other European countries such as France.
|IT Security Risks|
|Internet Users in Population|
Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.
|Gross National Income|
|Global Peace Index|
|Human Rights Treaties|
|Press Freedom Index|
Police investigating that a known paedophile resumed as a priest in 1985 (BBC News 2000)
Catholic church shaken by sex scandals (BBC News 2002)
The United Kingdom has seen many cases of paedophile priests, including many cases where Bishops and other senior Christians have protected paedophiles, moving them from post to post when accusations surface.
London's Ealing Abbey and St Benedicts School: "The Charity Commission has issued an unusually strongly-worded criticism of the monks of Ealing Abbey in west London, when one of their number, who was known to have abused children, was allowed to have contact with a teenager at the abbey, who he then sexually assaulted. "Father" David Pearce, a former head teacher at St Benedict's Junior School, was jailed in October after he belatedly admitted 10 indecent assaults and one sexual assault. Complaints of abuse against Pearce had already been heard in a civil court and damages were awarded against him. He was allowed to return to the Abbey, but was arrested in 2008 for sexually assaulting a sixth-form pupil who was employed to wash up for the monks. [...] The report said that the Diocese of Westminster was well aware of the allegations against Pearce and had told the trustees to keep him away from children or young people. The trustees failed to do this, and the consequent assault took place"15.
As of 2011 November, two perpetrators of sex crimes against children have been convicted, and another has jumped bail. In 2009 Oct, Father David Pearce "was jailed for eight years over a string of sex attacks on five young boys, four under 14, at St Benedict's over a period of 36 years. Earlier this month police revealed they were hunting a Catholic cleric wanted over allegations of child abuse reported to date back to when he taught at St Benedict's. Father Laurence Soper, who was abbot of Ealing Abbey from 1991 to 2000, failed to return to a police station for questioning. He is believed to have been living in a monastery in Rome and was due to return to London to answer bail in March, but he failed to turn up".16
Buckfast Abbey in Devon was under investigation for clerical child abuse, and the Catholic Church had appointed Christopher Jarvis to lead their inquiry. "The scale of abuse now being uncovered at Buckfast Abbey is disturbing. Paul Crouch 'Father Benedict' had already been jailed for ten years in 2007 for a string of offences with boys stretching over 20 years. One victim had been 'so terrified that he hid in his locker' and had 'complained to the school Matron in 1987', After an internal investigation, Crouch was allowed to carry on teaching and the police were not alerted. Father William Manahan, called 'Daddy Prior', was jailed, also in 2007, for 15 months for abuse between 1971 and 1978". Unfortunately, the safeguarding officer Chris Jarvis has now himself been jailed "for having 4,000 child abuse images on his work laptop computer, including ten involving sadistic violence, the most serious category"17 and including making and distributing child porn16.
That's not quite the end due to another case unrelated to Buckfast Abbey. A now-deceased monk Father Edward Stewart 'is alleged to have repeatedly abused a young boy over three years. Even worse is that it has become clear that Stewart was moved around parishes in Britain and Scandinavia despite (and of course because of) 'frequent complaints about his behaviour'.'
Buckfast Abbey brought in a replacement safeguarding co-ordinator, Father James Courtney, who has happened to previously 'discovered a trunk of photographs of adolescent boys engaged in sexual activities belonging to Stewart but neither he nor the Abbot reported them to the police, and the incriminating material was destroyed.' Such inactivity in the face of such serious immoral and criminal behaviour is hardly a good sign for a safety officer whose job it is to look after children's welfare against sexual abuse, especially as that person is replacing the previous safeguarding officer because he's been convicted for the type of offense he was supposed to be stopping!17
Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society again highlighted his common-sense argument that no-one in the Church should be a child protection officer, and that all current plans to try to curb child abuse by Church officials lack independence.
The paedophile Roman Catholic priest, Father Eric Taylor, was convicted on 16 charges of indecent assault. He worked at an Orphanage in Staffordshire. He already had previous convictions for indecent assault in 1975, where he abused four boys at his vicarage. Some of his victims had committed suicide "because they could not live with what the priest had done to them".
Father Anthony McSweeney, a Catholic priest aged 68, was under investigation for abusing 3 boys. He owned a "large collection" of gay porn, which he admitted to Southwark Crown Court, and, John Stingemore, a friend, had previously shown him porn including some child porn, and he did not think to do anything about it, and did not tell anyone about it, even though Mr Stingemore is a care home manager.18. Together, they preyed on children at Grafton Close children's home in Hounslow, London. McSweeney was also "a member of the governing body of a Catholic school. [...] He was also found guilty of three counts of making indecent images of children between 2012 and 2013". Two Bishops in the Catholic Church had "ignored at least two clear warning signs of his sexual interest in children" but he was merely made subject to internal disciplinary procedures - he was sent for therapy and not reported to the police. He was jailed for three years.19. If the Bishops involved acted properly, the police could have obtained more timely evidence and the conviction could have been somewhat longer, and sooner.
(2013) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2013). Accessed 2016 Oct 23.
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.
Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.