Why I Love Being British

It is very uncool to posess anything with a Union Jack flag on it if you are a resident of the UK and not a punk (in which case it is marginally acceptable) as the Union Jack has become a symbol of xenophobia, pro-monarchy conservatism, stiff-upper-lip anal retention and general Church of England bloody-mindedness.

The UK is probably the very least patriotic country in Europe. The Danish fly their flags in their front gardens, the French actually know the words to their national anthem, the Germans and Italians would shed a tear to see their motherlands disparaged. Or at least that is the impression I get as a Brit looking at the country of my birth compared with other countries. We even admit we’re crap in the Eurovision Song Contest!

But there are a few reasons why I am proud to be British and I would like to share my thoughts.

– Curry. You cannot deny that the best place to have a curry is in the UK. You know wherever you go they’ll have your old favourites; chicken dansak, lamb rogan-josh, prawn bhuna and chicken tikka masala top the list at any reputable curry shop.

– Being given affectionate names by people you have never met before such as bag-packers in the co-op chatting away to you calling you “duck” and “love” when you could be a drug-pusher fall all their sweet hearts know. It warms your cockles, admit it!

– Tea-drinking. A Canadian once said to me that she thought it was a joke that all we drink during the day is tea. She thought it was hilarious just how much time we set aside during the day for tea and how much we ritualise it. I love tea, it is a very special time of day when you have your own special mug and a biscuit or a slice of cake at your desk at work. It does the job much better than alcohol.

– The NHS. I’m off to the States in March and I am having to fuss about for health insurance because an E1-11 just won’t cut the mustard. The NHS, for all its fault, is a wonderful institution. Yes we need to take better care of our poor elderly hospital patients and we need to bring back matrons but if you think about how amazing it is and how much we take it for granted that all our healthcare means are in theory provided for us, thats quite good really.

And finally

– Chippy chips. With curry sauce, with mayonaise, with red or brown sauce, with chilli con carne or with cheese – you know the best chips you will EVER get at 3am anywhere in the world is the UK. Freedom Fries? Reclaimed potatoe bits? No thanks, Yanks.

And so ends my little chatette on why the UK isn’t so bad. Yes the railways are a joke to the rest of Europe and our exam results are slipping a bit and our teen pregnancy is not looking so hot and Big Issue sellers piss you off even when you bought one off them earlier that day and we are responsible for so much shit that it is no wonder we get Nil Points at the Eurovision. I’m reserving that smidgen of pride. Otherwise, why would I still be here?


4 Responses

  1. If you changed a few of the words/descriptions/items in your post you could be talking about Canada. We, Canadians, are going through similar question (probably due in large part to our British heritage). I think you’ll probably find similar questions happening in most Western countries due to history and the current immigration situation.

    (You know I just realized that I think you left a message on my blog, and I came across your blog while browsing tags, in a mostly unrelated way to your post on my blog. It is a frick’n small world. Or maybe you didn’t and I’m just making things up. Anythings possible)

  2. […] about being a nationalistic Brit. I never really realized it but there just might be truth in what Miss Scribbler says in her blog – that “the UK is probably the very least patriotic country in Europe.” I am sure that many […]

  3. […] is more of Miss Scribbler’s list on why she is proud to be British. Let’s see which of these we can relate to. Tea-drinking. A Canadian once said to me that she […]

  4. I do so share most of your thoughts about being British; it’s my country and I dearly love it.
    However, I do take issue with our `national anthem’ – it’s no such thing! It’s no wonder we don’t know the words; nobody wants to! It’s a song about the monarch, not the country.
    I don’t have any strong feelings about the monarchy one way or the other (which, in itself, must speak volumes considering that most of the population probably feels the same) but I do feel that if our anthem were truly about the Nation we’d have something like `Jerusalem’ or, better still in my view `I vow to thee my Country’ (set to Holst’s `Jupiter’ from `The Planets’
    I’m a 60 year old ex-pat Yorkshireman living in Northants.
    God Bless you ma’am!

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