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What Is Modern English/British Culture?

Posted by DeadAnarchistPhil on February 12, 2007

Over recent years I have pondered over whether we the English or for that matter Britain as a whole has a culture. In my opinion it seems all we are doing is basing our modern culture on the past. Is modern English culture really just old Anglo-Saxon history, Royal history, and our recent Victorian industrial Empire years? Is it really tea and scones, red phoneboxes, bowler hats, and a Cockney and standard English accents? Is the landed gentry, Lords and ladies and the rest of the Aristocracy with their “Stiff upper lip” (That saying is American by the way) while on horses chasing a fox round the countryside our culture?
 
I’ll tell you something about the above, it aint my culture at all! And it’s also not the culture of the vast amount of English old and young on the estate where I live and on the estates in the rest of England and Britain. Or as I like to call it, real England. You know the England I’m talking about? The one where there’s a drug dealer on every street, violence in the pub and on the street in some way or another every night. You know the one with the tinned up windows on a council owned street? I’m not saying it’s this bad on every street but you get the idea. They are generally working class or poor run down areas. And as the working and poor classes make up the majority in England, they are England and the back bone of the country.
 
All of the classes above working class and even some working class people who kid themselves in to thinking they are middle class, think that the working classes are plebs, Chavs and Scallies. Well they are a minority not a majority of the poor and working class. So now we have the fact that the working class is the majority, what culture do they have? Do we see them wearing bowler hats? No we don’t. Do they take tea and scones? I don’t know many that would sit down to tea and scones – so the answer is no. How many of them talk in an accent like the two fat ladies? None unless they’re taking the piss or putting on a false accent to make themselves appear more higher up the class chain than they really are. So that’s another no then. How many go on fox hunts around the countryside? – another extreme no. I could go on with examples.
 
So what culture do we have? When I say ‘We’ I mean the majority of the people in the country, who are working class. I don’t really see any culture other than that adopted from the rest of the world, especially that of America. You see people walking around with baseball caps on, with a team plastered on the front of it that they never heard of. You see them wearing American clothes. They listen to American music as well as our own that has some American influence. They eat American food as well as Indian, Chinese, Italian and many more. I know we have our own food, clothes and music, but I’m not going to believe for a minute that all we have to English culture is fish and chips, Ben Sherman clothes and Oasis to name one English band. So to me it just seems we have adopted in recent years, fragments of other cultures. Is it fair to say the majority of English modern culture is adopted to make up for lack of our own? Are we adopting fragments of other cultures as a way of gaining our own after centuries of being told what our culture is and having it forced on us by a minority of elite people i.e. the Aristocracy?
 
What do you think modern English culture is and what do you think it is going to become? This blog isn’t just for English people to comment on, it’s for any person who’s surfing the spaces, and I’m sure most of you will have an opinion on what English culture is or what it means to you. So please leave a comment.
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29 Responses to “What Is Modern English/British Culture?”

  1. Philip said

    Regarding Aeryseer.
     
    Sorry you got the scally spawn at your door Aeryseer, but it happens more
    these days because of the uneducated thick people of this country are allowed
    to have children. It seems it\’s getting worse rather than better, but not everyone
    on council estates are like that.
     
    Yes the system does seem to soft, but if they just carried out good monitoring
    of these benifit cheats there wouldn\’t be much of a problem. But just because
    the minority rip the system off doesn\’t mean we should make it harder for people
    in genuine bad circumstance to claim benifits. If you have any other solutions to
    that particular problem i\’d like to hear it.
     
    The British have a culture of "as long as it\’s not to much bother", i disagree, WW2 is one that
    was very much bother, Falklands, Iraq and other numerous military engagements.
    We\’ve draged our selves out of a Tory caused econiomic melt down and if you read Spice the
    Cat\’s comment, we the English and the British can shoulder any burden placed on us by anyone.
    Read the comment by Spice and see.
     
    As for conquring nation, that was the aristocracy not the people. Yes we did see the world seen it
    done that and got the t-shirt.

  2. Charmaine said

    I\’m a South African who has lived in West Yorkshire for nearly 5 years so I can comment with a foreigners perspective and an insider perspective.  I am from a decidedly middle class background and now I have a mortgage on an ex-council house.  When we bought our house we had no clue about the council estate dynamic … it still horrifies me.  It is, I think, a uniquely British thing.  We bought the biggest house we could afford, near a park and within good comuting distance to Leeds, but if someone had just advised me beforehand and explained the council estate thing to me, I\’d have never bought this house.  I think my highlights of living in this area are being threatened to be punched by an eight year old and told to f-off by a two year  old.  I think the word that sums up council estates, or at least this one, is hostility.
     
    Another uniquely british thing is the profitability of benefits.  How can people be convinced to actually work for a living when they really don\’t have to.  The current government has made it far too easy for people to not contribute anything; to claim benefits and to still be able to afford a very comfortable life.  And then people have the cheek to moan about eastern europeans taking all the jobs.
     
    The british, in general, have a culture of "as long as it is not too much bother".  They used to be a conquering nation, an intrepid and adventurous nation, but maybe all the conquerors and adventurers left to do their thing and left behind those who can\’t be bothered.

  3. ♪CoNni£ said

    Hey, Phill, all right mate?
    Lol, when you first posted a comment on my blog i checked how old you were so dont worry , i perfectly know im not speaking to a teen, but i asked you about school beacuse i thougth you were  in college, what do you do anyroads?
     
    well, I\’d like to be a grafic designer, specialized on photomanipulation, nowadays i\’m thinking about studyng something about fashion design as well, not to be the next Versace but to create underground costumes and stuff, i\’d like to go back to England for college. My fairy-tale future is to  have a band, or being a singer , whatever cos i enjoy writting lyrics and it would be fun to share them with the public.
     
    About the educative systems in Mexico, it is remarcable to say that states such as Nuevo Leon, Mexico city and Baja California Sur are the ones that have best scores to compare with our beloved England, USA and  i think Germany, for me the syst is not bad  but they can improve new  pilot projects based on habilities development rather than the typical : "eat the book, memorize but dont comprehend", which will make  an enforcement on reading and comprehension.Cos people here in Mexico do not like to read much.
     
    About your blog of  English modern culture, Congrats!!!!! its very nice. Let me compare Mexico with England to see how this Yabkee duddles are ruling the whole world.
    Mexico is a country that has very rich roots , starting with the mesoamerican cultures as brigth as the Mayas, olmecas, and aztecs to say some or at least the most advanced for their times. They had their own food (very healthy indeed and not only beens and tacos!!! ), and incredible traditions which with thearrival of the spaniars a nice fussion came form all the disasters. And so we have the colonial architecture some music as the huapango or the concheros . So did we,what about the celts?  oh very cool music and costumes,our imaginery of wiccans is fun,and of course the music, you see 70\’s england gave us PUNK, GOTH, (Y) about our food isnt black tea delicious, our roast beef , the stews , i prefer that rather than Mcdonald\’s, KFC or Britney!  I dont know but sometimes mexicans are ashamed about their indigenus roots and thats a shame! do you think we british are ashamed of our cullture as well?
     
    So now here as in the UK you see people wearing all over- produced american stuff, as you said. acting or trying to be as they are, putting their heads low just because they think americans rock, but i dont think so, (in this part im going to be a little ofensive) Yankees trust blinldy in their goverment, they always act as if they were the heroes as "american jesus" saving us from evil. and in my point of view they have a lack of roots, more like theyare a mix of inmigrants without a solid culture and still they dare to come down this subdeveloped country to do whatever they cant do in home, without having to be ask for pasports or visas (that was sometime ago,this year they started to be asked for papers) and treat migrants as  vandals.  UHHHHH!  i think i can keep going with examples as well  beacuse i realized how much they piss me! I hate being ruled or othered  by (as green day\’s song) A. idiots!
     
    And about the working class here in Mexico, they are the majority as well, I think british workers live bettter than mexicans,cos most of them suffer discrimination,paradoxicaly they are the ones who still keep their traditions, the middle an high class are the Wannabe yankees!
     
    what do you think we should do to preserve our cultures? .
    i\’ve been very bussy with personal projects  therefore i did not  logged in, either post a comment, but once more, congrats for the blog!!!
    Take care a lot! ok?Talk to you soon!

  4. Kathryn said

    HHAhahaaaa
    You made me giggle a few times there , ILOVE Rotten, from the Pistols to PIL… it\’s all grand.. Most ppl over here don\’ t know about PIL but just the Pistols, at best, and even that just the album Never Mind the Bullocks.. My fav is the great rock n roll swindle, I have both CD and DVD..
    The song in question by Neil Young is "Out of the Blue"
    My my, hey heyRock and roll is here to stayIt\’s better to burn outThan to fade awayMy my, hey hey.Out of the blueand into the blackThey give you this,but you pay for thatAnd once you\’re gone,you can never come backWhen you\’re out of the blueand into the black.
    In the biography of Neil Young, Shakey by Jimmy McDonough, Neil points out that this song came about when he was jamming with the band Devo. The line "Rust never sleeps" was uttered by Mark Mothersbaugh, and Neil, loving the impromptu line, acquired it and would play the song live with Crazy Horse.The lyrics refer to "The King" and Johnny Rotten as rockers whose legacies live on. The king is Elvis Presley and Johnny Rotten was the lead singer of The Sex Pistols.
     As to why? He said Johnny was "burnt out" I would GUESS it had something to do with when Neil wrote this song, perhaps with the disband of the PISTOLS, there where a couple yrs Johhny didn\’t do much of anything.. That\’s a guess ;o) I think Johhny left the Pistols in 78?
     
     Canada has a underground punk scene, I say underground because not a lot of ppl know about it, a good old band would be
    dayglo abortions  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCUhI2ov63E
    and
    Tijuana bibles

    A lot of the newer "punk" band are pop crap sold to the masses with a bit of heavy guitar, and I don\’t want to mention those. Basically all the good punk is local and seen for a small fee at a dingy bar. Yes, I do go see the shows, I was listening to the Specials last week, I have some of there CD\’s they are choice, I\’ll have a look at your  other music there soon. I am as well familiar with Pulp as well ;O) But the good punk bands over here, amke no money! The Bibles do a fair amont of travelling though ;o) I am pretty sure even to the UK!
    Katt
     

  5. P said

    Hello Phil.Thanks for your late night visit over the weekend :)You made some really good points mate, I think the immigration and change of British culture is a debate that will continue to run.My door is always open, feel free to pass by whenever you want, just remember to keep the language clean, as it\’s a \’Family show\’…lol!Take care mate,Phil.

  6. shelly said

    _Hello  Phil ,
            She\’s all yours  hahahah  xxxxx
     
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  7. shelly said

     Hello  Phil,
                    I don\’t no wither to say thank you for my email or not hahahaha but i will let you of
         but i still love ya LOL i hope you are feeling much better im on the mend thank goodness .
         Hope to talk to you soon on msn but it wont be 2am hahahah i need my sleep .
         You take care {Hugs} Love from Shelly xxx
             " Blogging  Friendship"
       We\’ve never met and yet we\’ve come to know each other well.
        It may be that the written word says more than tongue can tell.
       Just a blogging friendship that you\’d think would fade away-with the changes in our lives that come from day to day.
       Much has happened things have altered.
       Friends have come and gone–Times has passed, but this our lovely friendship{{ still goes on & on & on.}}
    A chocolate said to a lollipop, you are damn sweet. And the lollipop said : Not as sweet as the person reading this! your smile makes me flat… your talks make me glad.. your company makes me mad… But your absence makes me sad… Be always with me my dear friend!!! send this 2 all your friends in your list & also back 2 me if i am your friend…. If you get more than 7 you are  lovable" ^H E , -^_^-, .. _, .-\’^ R S , .-^_______..| _.. H E , .-^____________k __..,Y.-^________________i ________________________ss ________________________kis _______________________skiss _______________________kissk ______________________isskiss ____________________kisskisskis __________________skisskisskisski ________________sskisskisskisskissk ______________isskisskisskisskisskiss ____________kisskisskisskisskisskisskis _________skisskisskisskisskisskisskisskiss _______kisskisskisskisskisskisskisskisskissk ______isskisskisskisskisskisskisskisskisskiss ______kisskisskisskisskisskisskisskisskisskis _______skisskisskisskisskisskisskisskisskis ~ * ~ * ~ YOU\’VE JUST BEEN KISSED ~ * ~ * ~ PASS THIS KISS AROUND TO SHOW YOUR FRIENDS YOU CARE ABOUT THEM!!!!! IF YOU GET A KISS BACK YOUR FRIEND CARES FOR YOU      Love & Hugs from Shelly xxx

  8. Amanda said

    Hi Phil,
    Just popped in to say hi, and thankyou for the birthday wishes.  Best get going. wer\’re off out for a meal now.  Talk soon on msn.
    Keep happy, love Mandy Marie xx

  9. P said

    LOL!Hi Phil, don\’t hold back now…lol!Thanks very much for your recent \’in-depth\’ comment.There\’s no need to apologise for the length, I like \’thorough\’ comments, I\’m not saying short comments aren\’t honest, but in my opinion, when someone is really \’honestly\’ sharing they tend to explain themselves more.I could tell that you didn\’t \’entirely\’ agree with me but that\’s OK, as you rightly said, I wasn\’t expecting everyone to agree. 😉 Besides, I have another Space covering other topics in which (like you) I write anonymously (i.e. no Photos & descriptions) as what I have to say on that Space is more important than who I am.I have seen you around too, I notice a comment you left recently about getting to know someone a bit better before being added as a friend, I thought it was amusing.Let\’s clear something up and I think we\’ll get along fine… I am a believer, but I\’m not religious (that\’s another topic for another Blog on my other space..lol!).I don\’t expect everyone to agree with me or like what I have to say, as long as people are respectful, not blasphemous or do not swear I welcome their comments on my Space. If you read the \’I hope\’ Blog on my space I summarise my standpoint clearly. ;)OK, now back to your Blog, this is great, I love the Photos, spot on mate. ;)If you\’ve had a look around my Blog, you already know I\’m a North London (Islington) boy. I consider myself a person who speaks \’middle English\’ I don\’t speak with a cockney accent or street slang (usually associated with young Black Londoners) but I most definitely do not speak posh or \’plummy\’.As I was reading your Blog I began to formulate my opinion of \’English/British\’ culture, you\’re right, it\’s now an amalgamation of other cultures (European, Asian, American, Carribean & African). Remember sir Isaac Newtons Law, to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, that\’s what\’s taking place now. If you read my \’Breakdown Britain\’ Blog you\’ll see what I mean.I considered myself as English but after watching that programme \’100% English\’ I had some things confirmed, 1 The majority of people in Britain would not agree and 2 technically speaking there is no such thing as English, due to the genetic mix of people.So I\’m a Brit born in London, England from parents who met in England as teenagers after coming to this country as pre-teens in the early 60s.Phil, you sound like a republican lol! I personally am in two minds as to whether or not we should move that way.Britain now has a \’mixed\’ culture, there are things which could be improved and make it better but at the same time, it could be a whole lot worst.Take care Phil.Phil.PS: Feel free to pass by anytime and I\’ll return the favour. 😉

  10. Faery said

    Hope you don\’t mind the add request. No comment as I\’m not here long and your views deserve more time to be taken in and thought about. I will, as we say, be back.

  11. Amanda said

    Hi Phil,
    Ok am i going crazy here ???  I thought i had left you a comment already, but i don\’t see it ?  The same thing happened on Robin\’s space.  Are you guys deleting them, or is spaces playing up, or am i just going nuts here ??
    Talk soon, take care, love M&M xx

  12. spice said

    Phil, regarding your comment about being out of your depth on this one. I don\’t think that you are – you\’ve simply asked a question to which their is really no single answer. Any conclusion that anyone can come to on this is going to be no more than a form of national or racial stereotype.  It\’s ironic that the soaps are now the way that the rest of the world may perceive English life and behaviour – Your side of the hills being like life on Corrie and me being originally from the other side I must be more like the farming folk of Emmerdale. Yeah, right. That\’s really nailed it. Now where did I park that bloody tractor.

  13. Kathryn said

    PS: I\’ve heard of Red Dwarf and have beeen meaning to get around to it, Im pretty sure they don\’t show it here, but I know I can score some DVDs
    katt

  14. Kathryn said

    OK as for CDN TV you must check out "trailer park boys" on u tube. You can watch whole shows on there. As well try (full shows as well posted "little mosque on the prarie" and "corner gas" try those to start with. I\’d have given you the links, but alot are part 1 of three etc so try and watch an episode…. Northern Exposure is a GREAT show, by AMERICAN Alaska is part of the USA not Canada, although we should take it over as it is attached to OUR YUKON and the rest of our country in the NORTH WEST part of the continent..
    The show "Mantracker" takes place in the yukon..and is CDN..
    Ok music  I can do some links all CDN…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfqdolEXMBk    LOCAL Toronto Band White Cowbell Oklahoma
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHRFZFmEq9o   LOCAL Toronto Band Cowboy Junkies Doing a Lou Reed cover
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZwm_OKh6bw Local homgrown very popular in Canada "The tragically hip"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh44QPT1mPE  Canada\’s rock legend Neil Young
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1Qgsn0U340   Canada\’s Female Bob Dylan Joni Mitchell (The Counting Crows covered this song)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy75uEPaXeE Another Canadian rock legend group "The Guess Who"
    Enjoy,
    katt
     
     
     
     

  15. laura said

    Hey Phil,
         Thanks for visiting my space. When I read that you read what I wrote about you I was thinking you were going to give me shit..lol.
    Nice to meet another Stargate Fan. Did you happen to watch Farscape as well? The 2 new characters on SG1 came from there. I know it\’s cancelled obviously but a local station here in Ontario started carrying it. It\’s a bit wack (by a bit I actually mean seriously wack) but still some sci fi fun. I hated Atlantis when it first came on but now it\’s really grown on me. I hear there may be yet another spin off. Plus SG1 is "supposed" to be filming 2 straight to videos a year for the next who knows how long. Something to look forward to. So long as the Wraith don\’t eat them all it should be alright.
    WWE is very cool. 5 years ago I took my sons to see Wrestlemania when it was in Toronto. I took them to the Fan Access as well. Last year we went to one of the house shows. We actually got to meet Batista , Carlito Cool and Randy Orton. Randy Orton was a total fucking asshole. I got to grab Batistas butt though so that made up for everything. I\’m taking the boys to another house show in May. Should be fun!
    Hey.. I watch Cornation Street (since I was 3). Probably the only Italian in Canada that does. Isn\’t your culture hanging out at your "local" calling each other.. "silly cows" and  smoking fags.. (WTF is that all about anyways??)
    Anyhow.. I must dash.. I feel another pms mood swing coming on. I should grab some doritos and chocolate before it gets outta hand.. Thanks again for stopping by… take care..
    Laura
    Anyhoo.. gotta dash..

  16. shelly said

    Hello Phil ,
         Great talking the other night i hope all was well? iv not been on much lately not been to good
       hope to talk when i get better my friend
     
     you take care {{Hugs}} Love from Shelly xxx
     
    I found this little poem along the way and brought forward to you my Friends:
     
     
    I told someone just the other day That I had friends all over the place They wondered how I could say I knew Someone I hadn\’t met face to face We write little notes and send out sites And a few write just to say "Hey" Then I have a few special ones That I talk to every single day At times when I can\’t sleep at night I will often go online
    There I will find a friend or two That will help me pass the time I think sometimes my online friends Know me more than my neighbors next door And they don\’t care if my house is clean Or what time I came in the night before So no matter how far apart you are
    If you\’re sincere in the love that you give Online friends can be as true and as real As your friends in the place where you live _____??????________ ??????________ ____??????????___??????????______ ____????????????_???????????_____ ____????????????????????????_____ _____??????????????????????______ ______????????????????????______ _______??????????????????_______ ________????????????????________ __________????????????_________ ____________?????????____________ _____________???????______________ _______________???________________ ________________?_________________ A Friend is sending some Love your way,send this to your friends you hold Dear, and evento the friend who sent it to you! Have a nice week!

  17. Kathryn said

    LOL  I Like your pics!
    I do like all those bands mentioned by you as well.
    As for BBC programming, DR WHO is my #1 fav programe on the telly! LOL They are playing series 2 here now still and they fking skipped the X-mas special! WANKERS! I\’m collecting ALL the Dr WHO Available on DVD I have the first Dr\’s up to Tom Baker, and am working on his collection now.. As well I LOVED AB FAB OMG I have that all on DVD.. Monty Python and Mr Bean where very funny as well…The org cronicles of narnia and Hitchhikers is by far better than the American Blockbusters, DAMN we even get BBC TV in Canada, I\’m sure you don\’t get any of our shows! OR a station?! Although some of CDN TV is  quite good as well..
    Maybe you get degrassi? hee hee
    Hooked on ebonics eh?
    You th\’o\’t oyur tight? peep this shit
    The canadian crew has ebonix locked up . sho \’nuff!
    We\’re hard as fuq madness. and git Sheniquah\’s ass back ova\’ heeah.
    I\’ve got ta slap dat negroid ass silly! what the fuck sup now?
    You scared o\’ da katt bother? be understanding dis negroid-canadian  languag foo\’
    LOL
    katt
     
     
     
     
    katt

  18. Kathryn said

    PS: What is this obsession with track suits? Only mothers with kids seem to wear them here! LOL as they are easy to wash if a kid barfs on them!
    hahhaaaa
    katt

  19. Kathryn said

    OMG I luved the scally ,chave pleb bit hahahaaaaaaaa
    I don\’t know if we are that descriptive over here? I guess one CDN word to emcompass all those people would be HOSER ..
    Hoser" Shortened version of "Hose Head" A term used to refer to simple minded people that siphon gas from other peoples cars using a hose. The gas money saved can then be used to buy more beer and back-bacon as well as fuel for the Coleman Stove.Also used as a derogatory remark when refering to an idiot.
    That would probably cover them all eh?
     
    I\’d say we have a pretty specific word for this "scally"
    Either WIGGER

    Wigger (alternatively spelled wigga or whigger or whigga) is a slang term that refers to a white person who emulates mannerisms, slangs and fashions stereotypically associated with urban African Americans; especially in relation to hip hop culture.
    OR
    Gangsta wanna be
    Or alot more for a person of this nature! LOL..
    As for good "New Music " from  the brits I love (in no order)
    radiohead ,The verve, The Cure
    and a lot of classic rock came out of the UK as well;
    Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Who,
    Stop a moment, and ask yourself how great would rock and roll be without these blokes? These bands changed the face of music, granted there is not a lot of original GOOD bands these days  ALL OVER THE GLOBE , BUT history is like that, music becomes a bit stagnent before a major change… Good NEW music is tough to come by, but I think it will come around again, with the influence of past music, as per usual.
    Katt
     
     
     
     
     
     

  20. hiu kwan said

    thx 4 ur comment

  21. ... Angelwitch said

    hmmm thought provoking as usual Phil…
    I think the best way of summing up the english culture/ society would be the word \’mongrel\’ Ok we have little quirks that we can trace back a long way back like the traditional afternoon tea and so on but even most of these can be traced back ot a foreign land..(tea coming from the far east for instance)
    I watched a tv program not so long ago on channel 4 that rounded up a group of people who thought they were british through and through and were confidedt on trcing their roots back to the dark ages and so on..anyway they\’ve all had gentic tests to see what and where their genetic make up came form and surprise surprise it was a very mixed bag indeed..
    the other irony is most of the things we do classify as \’made in britain\’ i\’d be ashamed to admit as being our own doing…Cricket for instance, we invented it but we can\’t swing a bat to save our lives most of the time..
    musically though we still rule so that\’s one good  thing about this country..
     
    end of the day we can go back in time as far as we want and we\’ll always find a time where we were conqured and our previous culture whitewashed in faver on the invading party so it\’s hardly a surprise really britain is how it is..it\’s like taking a mirror and smashing it and counting the shards…we have too many inflences from abroad to really form an identity of our own now so the way foreward is to stand tall, integrate and make the country stronger than the sum of its parts and make this country something to be proud of again, it\’s that sort of get up and go we won\’t surrender spirit that has saved us time and again and made the backbone of what it was to be british and it can be again if we work on it together…

  22. Suska Mint said

    thank you phil^-^

  23. spice said

    A very well written post, Phil.
     
    I don\’t really know what is meant when a nation\’s \’culture\’ is mentioned – I don\’t think, in reality, that a whole nation can actually have \’a culture\’. Small tribes around the world can have a culture, a recognisable set of rituals, songs, way of life that can be used to identify them as a group which is distinctly separate from other groups with different cultural markers. But a whole nation is too large and has too many individual sub groups to be classified as having a single, recognisable culture.
     
    What you\’re probably trying to identify are chracteristics which are what make the English unique in their Englishness. They, I think, do still exist in some form or other. For example, how about a certain level headedness and sensibility that the English have, an avoidance, for the greater part, of extreme opinion and behaviour – shown by the fact that political extremists, of either left or right, very rarely become successful in their bids for office. Or the response to 30 years of IRA terrorism where even during the worst of the troubles the Irish people never became the object of irrational hatred in the same way that muslims have become to the Americans since 9/11.
     
    There\’s a stoicism and resliliance about the English which has served them well over the centuries, from Waterloo through to the Second World War, from the depression in the 1920\’s right down to today\’s ridiculously high cost of living, the English seem to be able to shoulder any burden which is placed on them.
     
    The other side of the coin is that the English seem to have a lack of confidence in themselves, a view that we\’re second best, not quite as good as some of the other nations in the world. We seem to be ashamed of having pride in the areas where we are actually the best in the world. England is still the most important financial centre globally, we do produce the best and most creative music, British TV and radio are by far the best, most creative, diverse and innovative anywhere on the planet and we\’ve raised some of the world\’s best actors, writers and directors. And that\’s just the tip of English achievements
     
    Part of the problem with the English is that their view of themselves is influenced too much by the media. The popular media will celebrate the the largely undistinguished career of junkie scum like Pete Docherty and his dalliance with a cokehead-past-her-best model rather than focus on those who are perhaps less sensational, but infinitely more successful. The message that\’s understood is that a grimey smackhead in tabloid headlines equals success whereas an unreported multi millionaire twentysomething equates with failure.
     
    I don\’t agree with Robin that immigration has changed English \’culture\’. Whatever there was that could be described as such had largely gone by the end of the 1950\’s and was well and truely buried by the mid 1960\’s. Society was changing rapidly at that time and immigration played very little part in the changes. The idealism of what is seen as Englishness – the village cricket match, thatched cottages, the local policeman cuffing kids round the ear, fair play and all that only really existed in fiction, poetry books and biscuit tin lids of the 1920\’s and 1930\’s. The reality for most people, right up to the last twenty or thirty years was of grinding poverty, hardship and being locked into a lifestyle where there was no way out. The changes in society in the 1960\’s made many people realise that you can change your life – by means of education, enterprise, innovation or just sheer determination.
     
    What England needs right now is another social revelation such as that in the 1960\’s to cast off the negativities of the last thirty years and to reinforce the positive things that have evolved since then. That and to stop looking down at the rubbish on the pavement and start looking upward towards the stars.
     
     
     
     

  24. Kathryn said

    And as well, drug heads,pushers,pimps,rapists, pedofiles and other "wankers" of the nature are EVERYWHERE including here, it\’s a global epidemic of people not giving a SHIT for anyone but themselves, it\’s tough here as well, don\’t fool yourself.. The only thing you can do, is keep good mates as friends, try to help those in need and move on…
    At the intersection near my house , I can get a blow job for 20 $ well, probably 5$ ice heads will do anythnig for a buck!
    So, your really not alone, and my neighbourhood is NICE!
    katt

  25. Kathryn said

      You have a lot to be proud of as a brit. YOur music is distinct and very good, in fact my #1 all time fav band is from England, Robert Smith of the Cure, I\’m not a huge oasis fan myself, but you have a tremendous amount of good music that comes out of Britian, I think if you looked at my collection of music, you\’d see it consists about 40 % brit 20 % CDN and 40 % american. You helped kick start real good rock and roll with the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, invented punk with the Sex Pistols, smashed fashion on it\’s head with Vivienne Westwood, and the BBC has always, and is currently playing some of th best shows on TV! I would say that as a Canadian, I am most definately influenced by your nation, in fact, we still have ties with you through our Governer General, who only reports to your Queen. You have a rich history of being balls out to defend your nation with gusto..
    What more can you ask for? I think that England has always had a lower class of peeps, and that is what brings the culture. I\’m pretty sure Johnny Rotton is not an aristocrat. Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side it seems, looking over it looks pretty good on this end, plus there are parts of thing blog I need translated, lol!!!!!!!! You have a rich vocab, plebs, chavs and scallys. ??????? And you also do have one sexy proper speaking Engish accent, no matter what the class!! So, stand up be proud, I can\’t wait to visit soon!
    Katt

  26. Robert said

    Hey mate, well written,  concise and my own thoughts exactly. I left the UK in 2003 to travel Asia and currently live in South Korea with my Canadian wife. We are going to live in Canada and may (I mean…. if I have to) visit the UK to se my family…..let me tell you why…
     
    The British, more specifically \’ The English \’ what are we? A culture? A race? We are nothing…the only thing we have is our history, some Kings and Queens, colonising countries and raping their natural resources, a language derived from mostly German, a royal family (she\’s German and he\’s a bubble) and err…thats about it.
     
    I remember being a kid and things were cool, go anywhere, no dangers so to speak of but things changed. What is British culture now….let\’s see…..shell suit wearing scum who have no respect for anything or anyone, drug taking wankers who will steal anything (your bike, car, phone, credit card details)  pubs that erupt into glass fights regularly, some the highest prices in the world (fek knows why as the services are shit), a nation obsessed with football, drinking, moaning, the acceptance of rapists and paedophiles, over crowded prisons and a tax system that feks you over so you never actually live you just exist……….well bollocks to that….the best thing about the UK is the road out…..take my advice mate….get yourself a degree (if you haven\’t already) and get out….there\’s lots to do and see and there are better places to live than there.
     
    Anyways, gkad you enjoyed my blog and good luck to you, I\’ll keep an eye on yours, nice to read something written intelligently from a younger man………..cheers then (taking the piss eh)

  27. shelly said

    Hello Phil,
     
    I hope you are having a lovely Valentines day love {hugs} from Shelly xxx
    I like you because of who you are to me…A true friendAnd if I don\’t get this back I\’ll take the hintTonight at midnight your true love will realize they like you.Something good will happen to you at 1:00-4:00 PM tomorrow.It could be anywhere — AOL, Yahoo, outside of school, anywhereGet ready for the biggest shock of your life.Please send to 5 people in 5 minutes
    Remember:"A good friend will come bail you out of jail….But a true friend will be sitting next to you sayingWE screwed up, but we had fun!Proud to be your Friend!Make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence, and don\’t skipahead .I\’ve learned…that life is like a roll of toilet paper.The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.I\’ve learned…that we should be glad God doesn\’t give us everything we askfor.I\’ve learned..that money doesn\’t buy class.I\’ve learned…that it\’s those small daily happenings that make life sospectacular.I\’ve learned…that under every one\’s hard shell is someone who wants to beappreciated and loved.
    I\’ve learned…that the Lord didn\’t do it all in one day.What makes me think I can?I\’ve learned…that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.I\’ve learned…that the less time I have to work, the more things I get doneTo all of you…make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence.It\’s National Friendship Week.Show your friends how much you care.Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND, even if it means sending itback to the person who sent it to youIf it comes back to you, then you\’ll know you have a circle of friends.HAPPY FRIENDSHIP WEEK TO YOU!!!!!!
    YOU ARE MY FRIEND AND I am honored.

  28. shelly said

    Hello Phil,
        Very interesting blog,
     But we will always have people that think there toffs & the haves & have knots .
     It\’s becoming a sad place to live , but im in my own little home make it as happy as i can , i dont think everybody
     is better than me & i dont think im better than anybody else ,it\’s just that i treat people the way i wont to be treated.  "WITH RESPECT"
     I come from the south & loved it , iv now been living in the North for a long time & i find it as lovely, there are good & bad everywhere, i won\’t put myself in a class as i dont let it bother my life .
    You take care {{Hugs}}  Love from Shelly xxxxx      {I will be back to have another read}
     
      HAPPY VALENTINES DAY
    ´´´´¶¶¶¶¶¶´´´´´´¶¶¶¶¶¶´´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶´´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶´´´´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶´´´´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶´´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ ´¶¶¶¶¶´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶´´´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶´´´´´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶´´´´´´´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶´´´´´´´´´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶´´´´´´´´´´´¶¶¶¶´´´´´´´´´´´´¶¶
     
     

  29. Robin said

    Hi Phil great blog.Yesteryears are long gone we had an Empire we ruled half the world, when I say we I mean the toffs Royalty,The liberals who ran parlement as a club, Cultures evolve with time, thank god we don\’t bow down to vitorian era. They had many sound moral standings these are missing to day more\’s the pity.
     
    We still have the bowler hats,the city toffs of Eton and other private schools,collages followed by the yuppies.modern culture is very diferent to day. without doubt. I used to to think in terms of North and South, with the southfull of richness away from the city squaller. The North with rows of back to back houses and the flat cap brigade.
     
    Imigration has changed our culture to almost none, it now shared with many nationalities each bringing their own culture to these shores wheather that is good or bad is open to debate. We are now more cosmopolitan to day cities sush as Leeds, Manchester are now vibrant thriving places. Yet we still have that devide, rich and poor
     
    I am proud to call myself working class, why is it Britshness to put people into classes? if you work hard then why not achieve greatness does it really matter if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth or wooden one.if you live in the south or North.
    The trouble to day is if you dont live near it you dont miss it and you are not involved.
     

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