So whats wrong with this country then?

  Cymro. 14:03 17 Nov 2008

I complain in an earlier posting that British politicians are criticised no matter what they do. But in fact I think it is not just our politicians that we criticise but just about everything regarding our country.

There is hardly anything about the UK that is not slagged off with great regularity not just on forums like this one but in the press or in any bar-room argument that you come across.

Be it the weather, the state of our public transport system, how the NHS is ran, the quality of our schools, the behaviour of our youngsters, whatever it is if it is British it must be rubbished.

I don`t think other countries carry on in this way. The USA certainly don`t do so. They will soon tell you that their country has the biggest and best of just about everything. In fact they do so to the point of utter boredom.

So do we really think so little of our country that we must for ever be criticising just about everything about it? Is there no room for a bit of pride in once country these days?

Can any of you think of a country that they would prefer to belong to? I certainly can`t. I have had a liking for some countries from time to time such as some of the Scandinavian countries, or perhaps New Zealand or Canada or one or two other places but all in all the UK is not such a bad place. Certainly not as bad as some will have us believe.

  n4165si 15:37 17 Nov 2008

The problem i think is that there is no accountability for people who hold responsible positions of trust,how many times have you heard the words,Lessons will be learned ,or it will never happen again.
When you get a system that pays people for failure ,the electorate thinks, well thats okay then, and its taken for the norm .Its not the case i think that all you hear is critism ,its because people who should know better ,Just don't and i think you just get turned off i know i do.

  peter99co 16:00 17 Nov 2008

There is a lot of good news. It just does not get published.

I think the BBC Children in Need Appeal is good example of good news but is an exception at the moment.

  spuds 16:18 17 Nov 2008

Didn't the Australian's invent the saying of 'wingeing pom'.

The British invented being 'ripped off'.

  lofty29 19:23 17 Nov 2008

I an sure that there are many who would like to be more proud of the country, I am one of them, I do not follow sport, it bores me, but the efforts at the olympics was wonderful, In my opinion our armed force are the best in the world, but when I see the way in which the Gurhka's are treated ik makes me ashamed, UK technology and science leads the way in many fields, for other countries to follow, b ut very rarely exploited at home, I am proud of the royal family, many will dissagree, but they are not corrupt like so many wold leaders, our weather has always been a talking point, its traditional. What saddens me is the way that the leaders of the UK, political and financial, have let down the people of the UK, they are seen as either incompetant or corrupt, or both. This country used to have a mighty industy, this has been destroyed by those who should know better, the british working man, very often much maligned, is the equal of any in the world given a level playing field. Political correctness and rules have contricted the system to a point where it can no longer function effectively, look at the case of the whistleblower in the baby P case, society is fracured and anyone who dares to raise a voice is blackgarded, irresponsibility is encouraged by those who should know better.

  Forum Editor 19:52 17 Nov 2008

on the 'Stephen Fry in America' programm.

Jonathan's the man who designed the iPod, the iPhone, and other things Apple - he's Apple's Vice president of design.

He lives in California, but he comes from London, and he was asked what it was about America that he liked so much. He said that what struck him so forcibly was how americans are prepared to give anything and anybody a chance - they don't have a glass half empty philosophy. He said in America his ideas were received with a 'That sounds interesting, let's explore it further' attitude, whereas in the UK he said people tend to say 'Hmm.. maybe this will go wrong, or that won't work - let's not waste time on it'.

It summed up my experience of american attitudes beautifully, and highlighted our national problem - we're a nation of 'what if it doesn't work' or 'That's never going to succeed' people. We never used to be like that, back in the 1960's and 70's. We were a nation of innovators then, and we had a 'yes we can' attitude to problems.

Now we seem to have a 'Can't be bothered' outlook on life, and I'm not sure why. We have the skills, and we have the brains, the free thinkers, and the innovators, but we don't seem to value them highly enough. It's a generalisation, I know that there are wonderful British innovators and scientists, and artists, but there isn't the same atmosphere here as there is in America. Australia has it, and so do Germany, Canada, and some of the Far East countries.

  laurie53 21:18 17 Nov 2008

How many times, when watching a news report on something which has been tried successfully in another country, is it followed by some pundit saying, "That would never work here"?

  Bingalau 21:39 17 Nov 2008

I've often noticed that our FE always tells us how wonderful this country is. He is right because in spite of its faults it is still one of the best in the world to live in. That's why so many people want to come here to live of course.

  natdoor 21:42 17 Nov 2008

There has been too much emphasis on financial services and not enough on positive contributions from science and technology, for example. A significant number of science and maths graduates have been attracted to the city because of the financial rewards. There was not the appetite for investing in high technology when it appeared much easier and far less risky to make money in financial services. Perhaps that will change but I wont hold my breath.

Hopefully the following will be new to at least one or two and I apologise in advance to the rest.

"Being British is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer, then travelling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV.

BUT....... The most British thing of all? - Suspicion of anything foreign.

Oh and...... Only in Britain... can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance......true!!

Only in Britain... do supermarkets make sick people walk all the way to the back of the shop to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

Only in Britain... do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries and a DIET coke.

Only in Britain... do banks leave both doors open and chain the pens to the counters.

Only in Britain.... do we leave cars worth thousands of pounds on the drive and lock our junk and cheap lawn mower in the garage.

Only in Britain... do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won't miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place.

Only in Britain... are there disabled parking places in front of a skating rink.


3 Brits die each year testing if a 9v battery works on their tongue.

142 Brits were injured in 1999 by not removing all pins from new shirts.

58 Brits are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of screwdrivers.

31 Brits have died since 1996 by watering their Christmas tree while the fairy lights were plugged in

19 Brits have died in the last 3 years believing that Christmas decorations were chocolate.

British Hospitals reported 4 broken arms last year after cracker pulling accidents.

101 people since 1999 have had broken parts of plastic toys pulled out of the soles of their feet.

18 Brits had serious burns in 2000 trying on a new jumper with a lit cigarette in their mouth.

A massive 543 Brits were admitted to A&E in the last two years after opening bottles of beer with their teeth.

5 Brits were injured last year in accidents involving out of Control Scalextric cars."

It's a great country, even if some of the "only in Britain" events are not unique to us.

  Jim Thing 21:42 17 Nov 2008

"...our national problem - we're a nation of 'what if it doesn't work' or 'That's never going to succeed' people. We never used to be like that, back in the 1960's and 70's. We were a nation of innovators then, and we had a 'yes we can' attitude to problems."

Not entirely, FE. We also had an almighty problem with trade unions that resisted technical innovation as a matter of principle. The situation was summed up neatly by a Canadian colleague in the late 1960s, who said "When faced with a new technique the typical North American blue-collar guy sees it as a potential extra string to his bow, and says "Why not give it a try?" whereas the typical Brit sees it as a potential threat to his job and says "Why the hell _should_ I give it a try?"

In addition: in those days our schools turned out many more teenagers who could read, write and count than they do today — and we had a wide range of manufacturing industries (remember them?) to offer them apprenticeships and other forms of skills training. Remember also trudging off to night school three or four evenings a week for three or four years, studying for Higher National Certificate or City and Guilds? Damned hard graft it was, but well worth the effort in the end.

  WhiteTruckMan 21:43 17 Nov 2008

I think this country is seen as possibly the worlds bigest soft touch. I think that may go a long way to explaining things.


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