What nonsense, being proud to be British

However, the pride of Britons in their national identity has fallen to an all-time low, with only one in five young people “very proud” to be British, the British Social Attitudes survey has found.

According to the figures, seen by The Sunday Times, a third of people are very proud to be British, compared with 43 per cent a decade ago.

The young and highly educated are the least likely to feel proud to be British than older people or those with fewer qualifications.

Why would anyone be proud of having pulled the winning lottery ticket in life, that random chance of having been born British? Thankful possibly, grateful perhaps, but proud?

The monarchy, the BBC and pubs are among the most important aspects when it comes to defining Britain, according to a new research.

William Shakespeare, the House of Commons and our weather also top the list of key British associations.

The major feature of being British is that we don’t try to define it. There’s none of this Germanic nonsense where people try to look for the soul of the nation, the blood of the race n’all. No Froggie insistence that it’s all contained in three word phrases, not for us a l’Americain where it’s hand on heart to the flag. We simply are and that’s the end of that.

Think how damn difficult it is to really come up with a definition of Britishness. The best I can do is that we’re the only group of people who are willing to entertain the idea that not all Morris Dancers are entirely and completely mad. Not sure about it mind, but willing to entertain the idea. Or is that the English?

 

 

18 comments on “What nonsense, being proud to be British

  1. What a load of defeatist tosh! Decades of EU propaganda has finally got through to you. It may be 50 years since we won the World Cup, but that’s only because it hasn’t been worth winning since, as evinced by the way the Germans, Brazilians and Spanish have hogged it ever since. The only reason we talk of being British is the natural inclusivity of the English, who are institutionally modest, allowing the Celtic fringe to share in our unparalleled supremacy as a nationality.
    “It’s not that they’re wicked, or terribly Bad,
    It’s not being ENGLISH that makes them so Mad
    “The English, the English, the English are best,
    So up with the English, to Hell with the Rest”
    Flanders and Swan – a Russian emigre, put it most succinctly

  2. Morris dancers – yes, that’s the English. But don’t worry about it. We’re all peculiar.

    The Scots dress in kilts and their national musical instrument is something they intermittently claim to be a weapon of war.

    The Welsh do the male choir thing and their national costume is designed for garden gnomes.

    And when the Irish finally stop fighting each other over whatever the current excuse is this time (don’t hold your breath, it’s been thousands of years to date), then we’ll be able to see that they have some fairly odd national habits too.

  3. Pubs, weather and the monarchy? If that’s the sort of thing we’re expected to be proud of, no wonder we can’t be bothered.

    Pride, like respect, has to be earned, continually.

  4. A decline in national pride could be cause for concern in the event that war breaks out. Young men won’t sign up to fight for a country they don’t care about.
    There aren’t any major wars on the horizon, but the same was true in 1913.

  5. I thik you have the morris dancing thing exactly the wrong way round: the British are the ones who titter at morris dancing, whereas in the US and on the continent they take it seriously.

    I’ve not been dancing in the US, but the European equivalent of morris dancing (some of which is well-nigh identical) tends to be well integrated into civic life, with resources, funding and respect well in excess of anything you find in Britain. The closest I’ve found in the UK is probably the May Day weekend in Hastings. Though so far as I can tell Scotland is rather better than England and being proud of heritage, rather than embarrassed by it.

    I think the general problem is well identified by Kate Fox in “Watching the English”: in the dance sphere in particular it’s the importance of not being earnest, coupled with some embarrassment that by standing up with bells on you’re not being properly self-effacing 🙂

  6. Andrew M,

    “A decline in national pride could be cause for concern in the event that war breaks out. Young men won’t sign up to fight for a country they don’t care about.”

    Other way around. People become more nationalistic, more community-minded when threatened. It’s a natural response to find allies and work with them.

    It’s what politicians trying to desperately create community cohesion can never understand. We actually don’t want community cohesion. We all like not knowing our neighbours and driving to Sainsbury’s and hanging out with our friends.

  7. A decline in national pride could be cause for concern in the event that war breaks out. Young men won’t sign up to fight for a country they don’t care about.

    Does anybody seriously expect any war of national survival (for the UK) to last long enough to train the modern chav how to tie up a set of bootlaces, never mind operate a UAV or a Chally 2?

    This, of course, assumes that Scotland doesn’t become independent in 2016 and immediately launch an invasion of thousands of schiltrons with the intent to seize Buckfast Abbey for the greater glory of His Imperial Eckness.

  8. Other way around. People become more nationalistic, more community-minded when threatened. It’s a natural response to find allies and work with them.

    You’ll find me signing up when, with our glorious Eurasian allies, we wage war on our Eastasian enemies.

  9. This, of course, assumes that Scotland doesn’t become independent in 2016 and immediately launch an invasion of thousands of schiltrons with the intent to seize Buckfast Abbey for the greater glory of His Imperial Eckness.

    They”ll bottle it when they get to Derby.

  10. They”ll bottle it when they get to Derby.

    But that’s beer? Anyway, that only applies if they’re led by a gay Frenchman 🙂

    Let’s be honest – seizing the Buckfast production line is a far more obvious target of Scottish national significance than replacing a German with a Frenchman on the throne of England.

  11. SE – Can you imagine it? An army of neds amassing on the border, their Argos jewellery and white Kappa tracksuits glittering in the sun. It would be carnage, like when Rangers fans sacked Manchester a few years ago.

    Salmond wouldn’t be available to lead the troops personally because he has a bad back and somebody needs to stay behind to guard Scotland’s strategic reserve of pies. But the SNP has a number of remarkably aggressive hirsute women in its ranks who could lead the Gold-plated horde into battle.

    The combined capacity of Hampden, Celtic Park, and Ibrox is bigger than the total manpower of the British Army. We wouldn’t stand a chance unless we found a way to disrupt their booze and deep fried food supply lines. Can’t rely on English and Welsh chavs to repel them either because Jeremy Kyle has taught us that chavs, neds, and spides are all on the same side when they’re not awaiting DNA or lie detector tests.

    It’d be like something out of Lord of the Jings.

  12. It’d be like something out of Lord of the Jings.

    Nigel Farage as Gandalf?

    Instead of Shadowfax, he could be riding a Met Polis “Ziegler Wasserwerfer 9000”. Add soap rather than CS to the mix and he should manage to dissolve most of them.

  13. We’re all terribly proud of not being terribly proud. We boast about how we don’t brag. And we piss off abroad while reserving the right to nag at the stay-at-homes.

  14. As a lottery winner I realise it’s just luck, not something to be proud of.
    On the other hand, some losers have much to be ashamed of.

  15. Of my very extensive circle of family and expat friends, I am the only one who has not become an Australian citizen. The wife and three (out of four) children had to do so in order to pay local uni fees (international students pay 4 times what the locals pay),

    It really pisses off the Aussies who think that paying six figure income tax is not enough, I should embrace Australia fully, be compelled to vote and be equally graceless in victory as in defeat.

    When I make some comment such as “I’m the only pure bred pom in the room”, the Aussie British expats are clearly embarrassed. They come up with some lame excuses such as that at least they don’t have to renew their re-entry visa every five years or that they cannot lose the Ashes.

    I accept, Tim’s point, but having won the lottery, why would I want to exchange it for three numders and a tenner?

  16. The UK stopped being british a good while back. Now it is a multicultural branch of the EU.
    The population have been cowed and indoctrinated to a degree that they will believe anything.

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