I am a glass half full kind of gal and am fed up of all the British baiting going on at the moment.
It has encouraged me to ponder over what it means to be British. With all the hype around British values and politicians talking nonsense (no change there) and UKIP winning their first seats (arrghh!) and the Scottish referendum etc. I have come up with my top ten reasons to be proud! It is so easy to lose perspective and forget the big picture so my list focusses on the big stuff. I am sure you could all add to this list, be interested in your feedback…
- 1. HISTORY & HERITAGE
I am proud of the way we value our past and our achievements. We protect it, we teach it, we celebrate it and we talk about it. We look after our historical sites funding many restoration projects other countries would ignore; we invest in our museums and places of interest. We are prolific publishers of historical books and even our fiction shelves are bursting with historical novels. We remember key dates in our journey and we honour our public figures and military. The Poppies at the Tower was a perfect example of this. Inspired!
Nowhere in the world will you find a country more tolerant of a diverse range of cultures and religions, in fact we positively encourage difference. We are truly a multi-cultural society with most towns boasting a Synagogue, Mosque, Sikh temple and churches. This enriches our experience of life and is to be admired.
3. ANIMAL CRACKERS
I love our passion for all creatures great and small. We will step up to stop cruelty towards animals, we will go out of our way to protect our wildlife and we treat our pets like one of the family. In fact in any given year the RSPCA will generate 3 times more legacy funding than the NSPCC and closely match them in volunteer income. Not so sure I am comfortable with this but I appreciate our love for the birds, bees and beyond!
4. THE UNDERDOG IS KING
We champion the underdog in all things. This in part, is about our need for justice and fairness (discussed later) but show us someone who steps up to try and we will back them all the way. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the XFactor, Strictly or the like, show us a tryer and we will vote in our millions!
5. JUSTICE AND THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD
As Brits we demand fair play in all our endeavours. We believe in justice and the right to be heard and we champion free speech. Our justice system may be flawed in some areas but it is still the best in the world and our acceptance of people’s right to express their opinions even if they are controversial, offensive or ill advised is something we take for granted. A case in point, Russell Brand and his new book Revolution. In some countries he would have been incarcerated by now!
6. RESILIENCE & OUR STIFF UPPER LIP
We are known for our strength of character the world over. We step up in a crisis and refuse to be broken by terrorism or any other form of mindless violence. Our spirit will never be broken.
7. OUR GREEN & PLEASANT LAND
How lucky are we that no matter where you are in our country you are only ever minutes away from lush green countryside, meadows, hills, pastures, parkland, forests, lakes, rivers, streams , quarries etc. We still inhabit a beautiful, spacious country and I love our passion to protect this. Greenbelt is sacrosanct and we all do our bit to nurture the environment by tending to our gardens, community space, footpaths and the bigger picture.
8. TRADITION IS ALIVE AND WELL
We are a nation in love with tradition – The Sunday roast, trooping the colour, Remembrance Sunday, strawberries and cream at Wimbledon, never ending chit chat about the weather, the Queen’s Christmas Day address, chippy tea and the rest – worryingly most of mine revolve around food!
9. CREATORS R US
We can and should be proud of our contributions to the world. Well over 50% of the world’s frame-breaking inventions have their roots in Britain and I would not even be communicating with you now if not for Tim Berners-Lee’s awesome invention www. We love to meddle, create and improve and let’s hope we continue.
10. STAND IN LINE
Our ability to queue is legendary and taken very seriously. Pushing in, jumping the line or displaying any anger in the queue are frowned upon. Sorry folks but I am not so proud of this one but could not write a top ten of Britishness without mentioning this!
Arrgh! Feel a bit better now. Love to hear yours?