Daily life in New Ingerland
|This article is part of the series:|
|Daily life in New Ingerland|
|Education · Health · Public safety · Utilities and services|
|Employment relations · Welfare · Holidays|
New Ingerland is a stable and prosperous western society, with a sound basis on the rule of law and liberty, coupled with a sense of tradition and reverence for those institutions that have endured since time immemorial (church, monarchy, family). Since settlement, the people of New Ingerland have developed a single national identity, with a set of institutions and political ideologies which reflect the nation's culture and history. These values are drawn from the western tradition, with a firm basis in Christian teachings. New Ingerlanders are encouraged to love thy neighbour as thyself, to forgive men their trespasses, and to be charitable to those whose need is greater than themselves. Whilst the antipodean ethic of a "fair go" flourishes in New Ingerland, the notion of egalitarianism is considered to be an unrealistic fiction and a very simple class system endures here.
Whilst this is a society that prefers assimilation over multiculturalism, there has been a bleeding of outside cultures into New Ingerland over the years, which while causing some early tensions, has proven to be a positive influence and prevented society and culture here from becoming hard and unreceptive. Foreign cuisine, music, film, dress, language and sport have all found their way into this country, and have had a dramatic influence on the arts and culture of the local population. The less desirable elements of any culture (and all have at least some) are actively discouraged and weeded out. These unsavoury elements include violence, discrimination, intolerance of others, and welfare dependency. Also discouraged is the cultural isolation that occurs with the formation of cultural ghettos by migrants. Assimilation has meant that newcomers are expected to speak English fluently and clearly, and must be employed in permanent full-time work before they are allowed to enter the country.
Most New Ingerlanders are descendants from the English colonial immigrants who came to New Ingerland in the years between 1836 and 1907. At the time of independence in 1907, the population of New Ingerland was about 775,000. Over the last century years, that population has increased to 3,473,671 through a combination of having a higher birth rate, a lower death rate, and a generous immigration scheme. Immigration has seen a large number of people from overseas attracted by the social stability and tradition values seen here. The largest numbers of migrants have arrived from other western nations, such as Britain, Ireland, Canada, the United States, and Australia. As part of its international obligations, a small number of needy migrants from the second and third world are accepted every year, with those chosen often being people persecuted for cultural or religious reasons.
Perhaps most surprisingly to many outsiders, the national identity seeks to encourage the idea that all people should have a strong faith system in their lives (it doesn't matter which one, as long as it is not extremist). To New Ingerlanders, the idea that people have a strong system of faith and beliefs is one of the most important aspects of the national identity, and goes a long way to explaining why most religious groups have continued to grow throughout this century. Christianity, in the form of the Anglican Church, remains the officially established religion of the land, and is accorded special rights and privileges by the government, with other religious groups given toleration and basic protection from discrimination.
The provision of essential human services, such as education, health and public safety is carried out by both public and private sector organisations. Access to these services is considered a basic human for all New Ingerlanders and throughout their lives, all people living here will require to support and care that each of the essential services provide. The state provides access to all at either no charge or at a subsidised rate. No person can be refused schooling or health care on the basis of their ability to pay. Private sector organisations are also free to provide their own education and health services, often at a considerable expense to the individual. Private public safety organisations are largely forbidden, although private security firms are legal and regulated to provide support to the state run police forces.
While the state also provides a wide range of important services in other areas such as transport and utility supply, education, health and public safety are considered to be the most critical of all services for ongoing viability of New Ingerland as an independent nation state. The ability to properly manage these services is one of the key factors in determining which political party a person will chose to vote for at an election. A failure in the delivery of an essential service is considered to be a major scandal for an incumbent government, who can expect a subsequent loss of votes at the next election.
As utopian as New Ingerland is for many, the majority of its people must work in order to make a living. For most people, this involves a career in one, or sometimes two or more, professions. For the average New Ingerland, working life commences after they complete study and national service, and continues for forty-five to fifty years until they retire. Throughout this time, there are plenty of breaks and leave periods that an employee can look forward to over the years, with the average employee having five weeks annual leave, four weeks sick leave and various other types of leave for miscellaneous circumstances.
New Ingerlanders enjoy fair and equitable workplace conditions. The right for an employee to negotiate their own employment contract (with or without a trade union) is enshrined in law, and protection against unscrupulous employers is further protected by the judiciary. Likewise, employers are able to utilise powers backed by the commission to deal with a problem employees or overzealous union officials. Union membership stands at just 19% nation wide, with the civil service having the highest rate of membership (36%) of any industry sector.
References and notes
- Industrial Relations Act (Public Act No. 58 of 2006).