Home Politics & Debate
If you need urgent support, call 999 or go to your nearest A&E. To contact our Crisis Messenger (open 24/7) text THEMIX to 85258.
Read the community guidelines before posting ✨

What makes Britain so great?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
True or Not? i read this a week ago in guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/britain/article/0,,2077284,00.html and just remembered it..... it's funnily true

Your amusing national hypochondria:
Despite its comparative cosiness, Britain has an unshakable view of itself as a nation that is forever falling to pieces. If you watch the television you see a crumbling health service, falling educational standards, rampant gun crime, infrastructural chaos, economic meltdown and a fractured civilisation well beyond repair. Look out the window, and you see someone throwing a stick for a dog. This might not seem like such a great advertisement for a country, unless you have lived some place where it's the other way round.

Your weirdly old-fashioned radio:
Does any other nation continue to float programmes such as Test Match Special, Gardener's Question Time and The Archers purely on an inexhaustible bubble of collective affection? Even if no one listened to them any more there would still be an outcry if you tried to cancel them.

The world's least scary police:
It's not just the lack of guns or the breast-shaped hats; British police, alone or in groups, are almost incapable of maintaining an aura of menace. They can be officious, patronising, incompetent, dishonest or bigoted, but they are hardly ever frightening with it (although I'm not a Muslim). The postmen are more intimidating. This may not help their clear-up rate much, but as a foreigner I find it particularly endearing.

The silliest place names:
Sometimes, during traffic jams, I play a game in the car with my children and the map, asking them to guess which of a list of local place names I have made up: Craze Lowman, Hand and Pen, Pant, Droop, Trull, Splatt, Gussage All Saints, Hole, Shitebowl Episcopi. They always get it right, because I am not British and therefore cannot begin to imitate the sublime purity of oddness.

Your genuine lack of patriotism:
One of the things that Britons can be most proud of is, perversely, the fact that they don't take an unseemly pride in being British. Unlike the Americans and the French, the British seem well aware that patriotism is largely an attempt to take credit for national achievements - a written constitution, haute cuisine, jazz, impressionism - which you have done nothing to foster, support, advance or preserve. Britons instead have a sliding and inclusive scale of belonging, in which it is possible to be both a Scotsman and a Londoner, or both a Yorkshireman and a terrorist.

Your enduring fascination with some of the planet's least interesting weather:
You have to admire a nation that manages to make the most of so little. Apart from the occasional toy-town tornado, all you really have is rain interspersed with brief sunny spells, which are known locally as "droughts". The change of seasons is all but imperceptible: winters are uncommonly mild, and summer routinely fails to make an appearance at all. There is nevertheless a charming sense of collective surprise and wonderment at minor accumulations of snow or sudden gusts of wind. It's not unusual for an item about lost roof tiles to make the top of the six o'clock news. Whatever the weather, it's nice to be among people who care, and not just because they are afraid their cars are going to be sucked into the sky and dropped three counties to the south.

Your chequered past:
While it is an easy-going-enough place, one never has the sense that Britain just sort of fell into the routine of constitutional monarchy without having tried anything else first. Many countries are stuck with a form of democracy that is still considered by a portion of the population to be a dangerous experiment. The United Kingdom is in the happy position of knowing it had finally exhausted the other options.

Your long tradition of moaning:
Visitors to these isles could be forgiven for assuming that the expression "Mustn't grumble" is actually a local truncation of the longer "Mustn't Grumble Any More Than We're Doing Already, Or It Might Get Depressing". The national non-reluctance to complain (not face-to-face of course, but after the fact) means that everything is always a little bit better than you have been led to expect.

The lack of competition:
Britain may not automatically spring to mind as the greatest nation on Earth, but who else has a credible shot at the top spot: France? Paraguay? Please. I defy you to come up with a country that deserves the title more.

Del Boy falling through the bar:
I don't know why, exactly, but it's on everyone else's list, and, frankly, I felt shifty about putting it this low down.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your genuine lack of patriotism:
    One of the things that Britons can be most proud of is, perversely, the fact that they don't take an unseemly pride in being British. Unlike the Americans and the French, the British seem well aware that patriotism is largely an attempt to take credit for national achievements - a written constitution, haute cuisine, jazz, impressionism - which you have done nothing to foster, support, advance or preserve. Britons instead have a sliding and inclusive scale of belonging, in which it is possible to be both a Scotsman and a Londoner, or both a Yorkshireman and a terrorist.

    Yep, when they were on about introducing that Britishness test for immigrants, the only test would be whether they actually did it. Because we all know the definition of Britishness is not coming up with bullshit tests about what it is to be British.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Having rotten teeth and a history of death and imperialism doesn't make any nation great. ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The thing which makes Britain so great is your national dental plan which is respected world wide.



    I also am a big fan of Al Murrays explanation. http://youtube.com/watch?v=o4vPPBRyHew
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    One word : Cricket

    No-one else could possibly conceive a ridiculous game that requires silly white costumes, takes up to 5 days to complete and stops if there's as much as a light drizzle in the air. I adore cricket with all my heart but it makes no sense whatsoever.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Monty Python.

    The British Pub.

    Aston Martins.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    One day, God said to St Peter;
    *Pete, I'm going to make something, bugger off for 7 days and i'll show you when I get back.
    Pete goes and returns in 7 days to see an orb covered in a dust sheet floating in the ether.
    *What's that lord?
    *Well, I realised that everything around is perfect, there is no evil in the universe, so I decided to create balance.
    He whipped off the dust sheet to reveal Earth.
    *God, what is it?
    *This is Earth, I've made it specifically to be balanced. For every good part, there's a bad part. See this brown area, this is a desert. This white bit is the arctic. That bit there is a rain forest and this bit here is tundra.
    *It looks amazing lord, but is this all it does?
    *No Pete, for I have also created humanity, and they too shall be balanced. See this country here, the people are destined to be poor, it's called Somalia. This one here, the people will be rich, America. This one will have a dictator, this one a pacifist. This country they drink Vodka, this one they drink Saki.
    God went on for some time until he was left with just a couple of spaces of land. He pointed to a small island, barely visible and said,
    *And this is Britain. The people here are industrious, tolerant, friendly, polite. They provide aid, and say hello to strangers in the street. The country is a pleasant contrast of mountains, meadows, lakes and rivers. The weather is average, the food crops abundant. The people will rise to become rulers of an empire which they will then think a bit pointless and dismantle graciously and go on to become a leading nation in the 21st century.

    *But God! Pete cried in dismay, you said there would be balance, what point if you have such a perfect nation?
    *see this bit here, this is called (insert name of least liked country here) ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The thing which makes Britain so great is your national dental plan which is respected world wide.
    [/url]

    Lol - I think that apart from celebs, the state of dental health in the US has its shortcomings too. I've seen 'em on Jerry Springer! :lol:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Roast potatos
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sense of humour, and a concept of irony and sarcasm.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Sense of humour, and a concept of irony and sarcasm.

    Now that you mention that, I love of our sense of humour. Ever watched SNL in America? Biggest comedy thing going out there, and it's not even funny.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Blackadder. The definition of British humour. Intelligent, dark, cruel, ironic, and with a sense of superiority.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Blackadder. The definition of British humour. Intelligent, dark, cruel, ironic, and with a sense of superiority.

    Well said that man. And Al Murray as well, brilliant lol.
Sign In or Register to comment.