Friday, 17 July 2015

Britain the peculiar

There's some strange things about the UK, too. There's probably more than I can list, because some things don't feel strange to me, but might to someone not British.

The House of Lords. We have an upper house of parliament that isn't elected. And they can actually influence what laws are passed.

We have an established church, the Church of England. This means that one religion is privileged above all others. It also means that 26 of the members of the House of Lords are Bishops, so the church can directly affect our legal system.

Drug legality. Whereas a number of other states are legalising (or at least decriminalising) cannabis, the UK government doesn't seem to have thought about it.

The TV licence. I know of no other country that imposes a tax on its citizens for owning a TV.
And by the way, we're not actually citizens, we're subjects.

Prince Charles. He's not insane, I think, but he does have leanings in that directions. and he's likely to be our next monarch. And he doesn't seem to have understood that the role of the monarch is to NOT INTERFERE with the running of the country.

Our police are, in general not armed. I think that's great, but it is unusual compared to other countries.

In England, getting a degree will cost you £27,000 in tuition fees (and living costs on top of that). In Scotland, it's free. In England it used to be free until the Labour Government of the day changed that.

We drive on the left. Almost every other country drives on the right.

A while back, we went metric, and metric is compulsory when selling goods. But all out road signs are still in imperial and our speed limits are imperial.

We don't have a written constitution. Pretty much every other country does.

If we have a national song, it's "Jerusalem". Which is all about how maybe Jesus Christ visited England.

The greatest military victory that most people can think of, is Dunkirk. Which was actually an evacuation in the face of the enemy. And people still refer to "the spirit of Dunkirk".

The Goons, ISIRTA, ISIHAC and Monty Python.

Deep fried Mars bars.

The British National Dish is Chicken Tikka Masala.






  1. I would posit that the greatest British military victory many would propose was Waterloo. The "spirit of Dunkirk" isn't about a supposed victory, but about the British ability to conquer adversity.

  2. I'd propose Crecy. But Dunkirk seems to me to be the one I read about most in the media.