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This is a question Why I Love/Hate Britain

This week's been all about the Daily Mail and why people love or hate their country. Tell us one thing you hate about Britain, and one thing about why you love it.

This shouldn't be an excuse for RACISTLOLS, or long lists of things you dislike. Be intelligent, be funny, and be interesting

(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 13:55)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Confessions of a Pathetic Anglophile.
Here's the thing, I was born in South Africa. My ancestors are from all over north-western Europe, with a slight numerical bias towards the Scots, and then the English. I have never been to Britain, as we were not wealthy and it was hideously expensive due to the exchange rate. I was raised on books like the Beano, Giles annuals, Battle/Action Comics and Enid Blyton. I went to a very prestigious (state) school where we wore blazers and boaters, had a rowing team, all that jazz.

Because of the historical English/Afrikaans divide in South Africa (amongst white people) there was a degree of snobbery about accents on the English side, and my school actually encouraged enunciation tending toward received pronunciation. With fairly English-sounding parents, I was somehow one of the only students in whom it took root, to the point that people in my own country thought I was foreign.

Now I live in Australia (I emigrated blindly, don't regret it) and people here just assume I'm British. Including local Brits. Considering my birthplace's historical baggage and my countrymen's aggressive reputation, I don't really mind the confusion ameliorating first impressions.

Throughout all of this, I've never felt I belonged in either country. Too English during Apartheid, too white and "Eurocentic" afterwards, and a foreigner in Australia. The Afrikaners have a term for people like me: "Soutpiel", meaning salty-cock from having one foot in Africa, one foot in Britain and one's penis therefore dangling in the sea.

The people I seem to have the most in common with online tend to be British. There's a certain humour we share and I have little in common with the Americans, what with their lack of ZX Spectrums, boring profanity, horrid spelling and dialect and bewilderment at meat pies and Marmite. I love QI and other such congenially tweedy bollocks.

I'm well aware that England and Scotland are in reality urban, grey, full of Jeremy Kyle's audience, and that someone with my accent would probably be thought a bit of a wanker. In my mind it's all misty, winding avenues and hedgerows, otters and hedgehogs, Spitfires, ancient manors and cosy cottages, Big Ben clanging out midnight, welling up during "Jerusalem" and all that stuff that presumably makes me an annoying prat to the locals.

I know that John Major got pilloried for his speech celebrating the kind of England I get wistful imagining. I like James May, and even he hates this kind of "heritage England" mythmaking. I'm not remotely what would be a Tory, before anyone wonders.

In my own little fantasy existence, I live in a small, genteel English village, and the locals all nod stiffly as I make my way through the evening chill to the ancient local pub for a quiet beer.

I'll probably never even visit because I'm kind of poor and seldom have any paid leave, but I thought you'd all be amused at the pathetic reasons I love Britain. Feel free to have a laugh and point fingers.
(, Sat 5 Oct 2013, 10:18, 26 replies)
BNP Boss
My old boss had political views that would have seen him kicked out of UKIP.
To him, the idea that the foreigns should be sent back to Bongo Bongo Land wasn't extreme enough. After they'd all been repatriated, Bongo Bongo Land should then be nuked to prevent them getting out again.
One day he was getting drunk at the bar and started to hold court.
He lived in a sleepy, Sussex village and recently a family had moved into the area who were of the dark skinned persuasion.
This was not on. There were places for blacks to live, and they were cities (if we couldn't send them back to BBL). It was a fucking disgrace, why should he have to put up with living within a mile of these people.
"My grandad didn't fight in the war so I'd have to live next door to a load of blacks. He fought for white, Anglo Saxon Protestants and he'd be spinning in his grave right now."
At this point I was gob smacked. I knew his views were not to my taste but I didn't really think he was that extreme.
Suddenly an old man sat at the bar pipped up over his half. "My dad fought in the war and if he'd have heard you he would have punched you straight in the face. He was a Scottish Catholic and he fought in the war to stop fascists like you!" With that, he necked the end of his drink, and walked past the now spluttering racist and without glancing in his direction left with the immortal words "You cock!"
Within the space of a second I'd gone from hating my fellow countrymen and the place we live to having my faith in humanity restored.

Edit: must admit I didn't really read the brief. That's one thing I hate about us Brits, too arrogant to believe the rules apply to us.
(, Sat 5 Oct 2013, 12:00, 5 replies)
London 2012
Now I'm not one given much to jingoism/nationalism but there have been rare occasions when I feel proud to be British. Mostly these reasons are tea related but one national even sticks out in my mind.

Obviously I'm not talking about the Olympics here but the rioting that happened just prior. Watching the news I saw gangs of yoof hurling bricks , bottles and the odd molotov at the police. The police themselves where fighting back with baton charges and tear gas. I was awestruck, this was it I was watching London, our nations capital burn. This was was the setting to this gleaming moment of national pride that I felt.

You see, in the midst of all this carnage and anarchy the rioters had managed to break open the shutters of an electronics store. As the missiles flew and the fires raged around these rioters formed an orderly queue to loot it .

I honestly felt like standing up and saluting the telly.
(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 21:00, 27 replies)
Not if this is against the rules or not...
but on my travels through the interweb I stumbled across this. It's a booklet given to the American soldiers in WW2 when they arrived in the UK to explain what the people and day-to-day life and culture is like, an interesting read.

(, Fri 4 Oct 2013, 0:17, 13 replies)
The obsession with pomp and circumstance
There's nothing wrong with being proud of your history if you have a nice history.
If you have a history of going around the world and murdering millions of people and stealing their natuarl resources, and then fucking up other countries who try to do the same thing but make the mistake of doing it on your own doorstop instead of the other side of the world, well, that's not really something to be proud of, is it.

We are a nation obsessed with history, tradition and all things old.

The royal family is a vile institution which somehow the masses have been brainwashed into believeing we need. We don't.

Judges wigs and robes, Black Rod and the state opening of Parliament, trooping the colour, Lord Mayor's Show... all bobbins reminders of YOUR place in the grand scheme of things: at the bottom, looking up at your betters.

It's unbelievable to me that a country that is happy, and indeed welcomes, judges and lawyers to dress like utter tits somehow has a problem with women wearing 'traditional' clothes. A country which dragged thousands of people from around the world to come and work here, now decides it doesn't want them anymore. A country where people will gladly see a needy neighbour die in poverty than admit that the problems of this country are caused by those at the top rather than those at the bottom of society.

This country can be beautiful. Unfortunately most of the time, it brings out the worst in people.
(, Fri 4 Oct 2013, 11:30, 24 replies)
Wht do I like about Britian?
The fact that you shipped off all your religious nutters to the American colonies before sending your criminals, Irish scum and prostitutes to the Australian colonies.
(, Fri 4 Oct 2013, 21:05, 4 replies)
I like Britain.

I like the fact that our national attributes are inventiveness and slacking off. We’re the cool kids of Europe, punching well above our weight in science and patents and at the same time pissing it all away on cheap cider, teenage pregnancy and rock & roll. We could be all successful and German if we wanted to, but as a great man once said, Fuck That Shit.
(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 14:51, 3 replies)
Is nowhere near as bad as some may make out. It's not going to be 100% perfect, but the number of problems is such a vanishingly small percentage of the people who have use of it. You might hear somebody having complaints with the NHS, this isn't indicative of the entire service.
A couple of years ago, I saw my GP who then referred me to a neurologist who I saw 2 days later. He said he would send me for an MRI. I got a letter three days later (on a Saturday) with an appointment for the following Thursday.

Mrs SLVA ruptured her achilles tendon last month, saw a GP, referred for an ultrasound who then arranged for an appointment with orthopaedics. He recommended having corrective surgery, an operation that she'll be having soon.

Also it's free as opposed to prohibitively expensive. I hate to think how much the above would cost with the American medical insurance paradigm. Bear in mind that cover doesn't pay for everything and there is often an excess to pay out of your pocket.

The downside of the NHS isn't the service itself, it's just poorly managed by successive governments over the last 60 odd years. Shame the Tories are hell-bent on killing it off as it's this country's biggest and most valuable asset.

So there. And anybody who disagrees is a paedophile.
(, Mon 7 Oct 2013, 11:50, 20 replies)


Monty Python (and by extension Spike Milligan as they admitted to copying him)
Our contribution to the arts/cinema/theatre.
British engineering.

Jeremy Kyle's guests/audience/viewers/himself
Mob violence based on football or sectarianism.
Soap operas. All of the fucking soap operas. And reality TV.
Molesworth 2 who is a wet and a weed. I diskard him.

But mainly, people in the TV studio audiences who try to clap along to the music on Saturday evening TV shows and can't keep fucking time with the music. Fucking morons.
(, Fri 4 Oct 2013, 21:51, 4 replies)
the NHS.
That organisation has helped me and so many friends and relatives over the years.
I saw a couple of girls at last week@s demo in Manc with 2 separate placards. One said , thanks NHS you fought for my mum. The other said, now I'm here to fight for you. Fucking great, the NHS. Saved me a few times.
(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 20:38, 15 replies)
Love: The surprising space. Even where I live, in the most densely populated corner of this small, crowded country, it's easy to jump on a train or bus and find somewhere, quiet and green.
Fields that look the same as they did 200 years ago and woodlands that are mostly unchanged for the last 1000.

However, most of all, I would suggest a trip to the Scottish Highlands. It's a vast, mostly empty wilderness that has a beauty that rivals anywhere in the world. Globally speaking, it's on our doorstep, yet so few people make the effort. The kind of place where after a few days, you feel much more, well, 'balanced' is probably the word.
And as for the anti-English mentality that so many people down here believe is rife, total bollocks. I only met one prick up there and he was angry at the world, not an accent.

Oh, and the first time I walked into a pub to see an entire wall of whisky behind the bar... I nearly crashed me yoghurt truck!

Hate: The Tories. With a burning, unyielding, energy-giving fury. Fuck them. Don't get me wrong, most of the 'alternatives' can get fucked too, but they will always have a special ink-black place in my affections.
(, Tue 8 Oct 2013, 14:15, 32 replies)
It's the people you know, you fuckwits.
Geography: Not that unusual; there are places more exceptional, more awesome, equivalently seasonal, as temperate, as abundant. We do have a lot of it in a small space though.

Population: Everywhere else in the world has their chavvy, cunty, fuckwitted wankstains that make life less bearable. EVERY. WHERE. Some places more than others.

Food: Not as bad as you think. It's come a long way in the last 10-15 years and all those old jokes are now ... old. We compare well with almost everywhere.

Beer: Sadly, what we think we know, we don't. The yanks & the Aussies actually make some decent beer - proper real ale and all that. And pretty good cider. And mead, and most other things. We are in the top-5, but not heads & shoulders above the rest.

Politics: They are all cunts. Ours cunts aren't as bad as some.

What makes Britain great? The people YOU know.

100% FACT.
(, Fri 4 Oct 2013, 10:55, 15 replies)
Morris Dancing
I love the fact that being from a country that spent lots of time wondering around the globe nicking things and fighting everyone that our national dance involves waving hankies and jangling bells.

I'd very much like to see the England Rugby team morris as a response to the haka next time we play NZ. It'll shit 'em right up.
(, Wed 9 Oct 2013, 13:31, 18 replies)
I love
The British sense of irony.
(, Fri 4 Oct 2013, 18:04, 6 replies)
On a wall, next to a bus stop near where I live, there is one lone piece of graffiti.
Written in yellow crayon, it just says "EDL".

I think it sums everything up beautifully.

Edit: The word near has been inserted to ensure people don't think I live in a bus stop.
(, Fri 4 Oct 2013, 12:47, 7 replies)

(, Fri 4 Oct 2013, 8:59, 4 replies)
I love radio 4 in the morning
wordplay, wit and hyper-polite ripping of politicians to bits. Evening comedy is good too - its not even remotely ashamed to make jokes that a good proportion of the audience wont get.
(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 21:35, 8 replies)
It isn't France.
For both parts of the question.
(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 20:32, 1 reply)
Chavs and pikeys.
It's hard to find words which adequately describe the euphoric feeling I have when I'm reminded how I escaped from daily exposure to the UK's chav culture.

People in Britain like to mock North America because it has trailer trash and rednecks, conveniently turning the shitlight away from their own all too prevalent scum.
But Britain is full of people like that, an overbreeding underclass is crawling around almost everywhere. Even the middle-England Daily Mail loving Cotswold villages I grew up in now have gangs of chavs with over-muscled dogs on strings lurking outside the mini-mart.
I was back in the UK for a visit last year and I'd been in the country less than 2 hours before I witnessed two track-suited greasy twats from a feral pack punch another guy at a bus stop for "pushing me wiv your bag you cunt". He was walking by, they stood in his way and blocked the path, he couldn't even go around as there were barriers on the path and he brushed them with a huge backpack he was wearing.

In contrast the "people of Wal-Mart" are a blessing.
(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 18:12, 21 replies)
I love being British
We have sarcasm and irony for a start.
Imagine being a merkin where everything is face value?

I love our passive aggressive-ness. I love how we queue patiently.

I love how we have beautiful countryside, mountains and cities side by side.

Im not overly fond of our yob culture, abused benefits system or politics.

Could be a lot worse though, when you look at Middle Eastern troubles.
(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 17:24, Reply)
I love
the sound of children with delightful local accents calling out with glee as they kick a football around the streets on a gentle summer's evening, just late enough that soon their mothers will call them in for a tea of toad in the hole and bread and butter pudding. I hear their joyful noises over the top of the stirring final strains of one of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance Marches, whilst I stand by the mantelpiece in my Old English cottage, bent almost double, wanking like a gibbon over a photo of Kate Middleton.

Meanwhile I dislike all the jingoism and pointless nostalgia.
(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 16:10, 2 replies)
Blame culture
I'm not a daily mail reader but I'm starting to suspect I think like one...

50 years ago, people worked hard to get the things they needed (not wanted), looked after things and didn't expect handouts. You were lucky if you got anywhere near the idea of owning your home and you expected to work every hour of your job to justify the wage.

Seems that todays news is dominated by the tragic news that the prime minister thinks that the under 25's shouldn't automatically qualify for benefits. A country where people expect the state to provide for them a council house and a weekly bursary to pay their cost of living, without anything so inconvenient as working for it.

The government blames the previous government for the situation, yet the previous government blames the current one for the changes they make. Meanwhile those paying their taxes complain they can't afford to makes ends meet, and those living from the state complain they can't be expected to pay taxes.

I love the fact that Britain has always taken care of it's citizens. We're not one of the nations we see in the news that will gas the population in the night and leave people to die from starvation.

Yet I hate the fact that Britain has to take care of it's citizens to such an extent that many are expectant to do nothing and live off the state.

I agree with the benefits system, its there to protect and help the most vulnerable among us. Yet increasingly it's abused and exploited to provide for those who blame society for their predicament.

The lines between capitalism and communism seem to be getting blurred and I question if the country can still be fixed.

Is it too much to ask that everyone just tries to do their bit to contribute and help themselves?
(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 15:00, 36 replies)
"We must have the best rail replacement 'bus services in Europe!"
- Al Murray
(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 14:59, Reply)
I enjoy the politeness when cars arrive simultaneously
at each junction of a mini roundabout.

I am a fan of all driving courtesies and etiquette. I enjoy buses flashing their lights to say thank you, I enjoy polite waves when you let someone through, but if I pull aside for a biker to overtake and he doesn't give me a thank you wave, I want nothing more than to drive into the fucker and teach him a lesson.
(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 14:38, 16 replies)
The thing I like least about Britain
is the wilful ignorance of those who care in any way about "celebrity culture" or "reality television", whilst people who are actually of use to the country get ignored.
I'd say remove their brains, but clearly that's moot.
(, Thu 3 Oct 2013, 14:36, 2 replies)
A question so shit have a Pea
Dear England,

It has been some time since I last saw you so I thought I should drop you a line. It only seems like yesterday since I worked in the basement of Harrods selling nuts, who could believe it has been almost 20 years, and yet each day I spent working in the basement felt like 20 years, ironic isn’t it.

I hope you are keeping well. I have heard on the grape vine that you have had a few money worries; I don’t mean to say I told you so but I did warn you about taking banking advice from that shifty America, but, you never did listen.

Has the weather improved since I saw you last? I remember with no fondness the cold and dark days you gave us but, I do still smile when I remember the old lady in my street at Barons Court who would convince me that 3 degree’s was a pleasant day and shame me into not taking a coat. Do you think that Doctor who treated me for the influenza and whose bill I skipped out on is still looking for me?

If you see them about the place would please remember me to Lisa, Chelsea, Sarah, Lindsy, Chrissie, the other Sarah, Emma, Louise, Carol, Sam, Bec, Antonia, Helen, Joanne, the other Emma with the huge tits and Dianne. There are few others I can’t remember but, if you recognize them please pretend I remembered them too. By the way, if any of them are looking for me and have devilishly handsome 19 year old children with good teeth, tell you don’t know where I am.

I am still sorry for making that joke that the only a true Englishman is of Saxon decent, which you can tell from his red hair, and that all the others are basically French (although I still stand by my comment that the Normans ARE French). I am also sorry for suggesting you missed your last chance to become a great empire again 1942 when you rejected the introduction of German efficiency.

Things at home are still not back to normal I am afraid and we really do insist that you return the Ashes you cheated us out of recently, and please explain how the Rugby World Cup finished up in the hands of the French after we entrusted it to you for safe keeping! (Makes me think that my joke really does have some truth to it).

You will be pleased to know we dispatched Uncle Rupert to the United States as punishment but, he is still refusing to give back control of your media (he was always a bit of a bastard). And for crying out loud don’t send that smarmy wanker Wills back here again. If you don’t want him what makes you think we do?

All the folks at Ramsy Street and Summer Bay send their best regards but, there has been some quite mumbles that they are falling out of favor. Surely this can’t be true?!?

I will sign off now to take a swim in my private pool on my quarter acre block with a 2 story 4 bedroom house in my leafy suburb close to the city that I have bought with an average wage.

Lots of Love,

bad advice

PS Nick the bar man at the Cooggee Bay asks if you can remind the next set of gap year students that although not compulsory tipping is welcome

PPS Dad says you can keep Pete Andre’, he reckons he would happier with you

PPPS Uncle Warnie has lost his blow up cock and asks you if you can keep an eye out for it

(, Wed 9 Oct 2013, 9:48, 19 replies)
My wife is one of them forrins that UKIP and the Daily Mail is always going on about

...so, as a full-blooded Englishman, I'm always interested in her perspective about us Brits.

There are many things here that she finds totally baffling: the TV license, benefits culture, marmite, Ealing Comedies, emotional repression, knock-knock jokes, warm beer, and why a grown man would want to watch Gerry Anderson programs.

But the one thing that impresses her is our acceptance. The fact that in England (and especially in Brighton) you can be what you want, dress how you like, do whatever makes you happy, without being judged. In her culture, people dress in their finest clothes to go to the shops, because whenever you're in public, you're on display. People have to have expensive clothes, a new car, a new house, to show that they're successful - even if they can't actually afford it. Life is an endless round of social competition and conspicuous consumption.

Another related thing that delights her, and is totally different from her home culture, is the way that people of all ages and backgrounds hang out and interact in the same pubs and restaurants. Her society is far more stratified.

Personally I feel quite proud of those things. To the point where I can just about accept the Gerry Anderson thing.
(, Mon 7 Oct 2013, 11:30, 11 replies)

Never been, but I do think 'Escape to the Country' is just about the most anthropological show about Britain I have ever seen. Jesus, why did they film Lord of the Rings in NZ when the houses in Britain make hobbit holes look palatial? Why are washing machines in hallways and kitchens? Why are your lounge rooms the size of a postage stamp and considered spacious? Is there a height limit to live in Britain? Why do people get so jolly about a view filled with nothing or power poles?

Love the stickybeak and hyperbole, can't bear the sense of claustrophobia I get thinking about living in a British home.
(, Sun 6 Oct 2013, 10:04, 23 replies)
I suppose the thing that I like most is
When you're driving your ten-year-old cousin at 140mph and get done by the cops, if they call you a nonce you can punch them in the face and the CPS will drop all charges if you've recorded it on your mobile 'phone.
(, Fri 4 Oct 2013, 13:44, 10 replies)
Opening a polite request to a stranger for directions with an apology.

(, Fri 4 Oct 2013, 12:59, 4 replies)

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