There are plenty of things the world knows about the UK and the British in general. Our weather is awful, we drink tea and we bend over whenever the US gets a little frisky. Apparently we also live in castles too which would be fantastic, if a little cold in the winter.
The point of this article isn’t so much to brag about how useless this nation is, as every country has its own problems, but think of it as merely venting my displeasure at how things have changed in recent years. Yes I am proud to be British, but these days I am getting pretty frustrated with what goes on here, and rarely a day goes by nowadays where I don’t wish to live in another part of the world. Maybe a country that functions properly and doesn’t break when it snows, and a paradise city where the grass is green and I stop spouting 80’s rock lyrics.
So without further ado, here are my reasons why living in the UK sucks!
1. Everyone’s an alcoholic
The UK is like the dude who wants to be the life and soul of the party, except he can’t hold his drink, gets into a fight and then collapses in his own filth. Which to be fair sounds like a great night out but you wouldn’t want a reputation as someone that wets the bed, which is exactly the type of reputation the UK is receiving now.
In 2005 the Government brought in the 24 hour drinking legislation in the hope that it would reduce the amount of alcohol related crimes. Many of which were the result of a large number of people gathering in town centres at ‘kick out time’ around 2am.
They failed to consider that increasing the amount of drinking time would just lead to drinking more alcohol.
To be fair efforts are being made to reduce the amount of hours that we can buy alcohol but the damage has long since been done. Britain is the binge-drinking capital of Europe, with 12 per cent of the population admitting they have up to ten drinks in a single night out. This along with the supposed 1 million violent crimes committed due to alcohol per year and the 25% increase in liver diseases, suggests we can’t handle our drink either.
2. Everything is ridiculously expensive
No wonder the rest of the world think us Brits live in castles and pop round the Queens house for tea. Only the stupidly rich can afford to buy stuff on this island of ours and still have enough change to buy all that hard liquor. The cost of gadgets for example cost 32% more in Britain than America and this is one of the reasons why we’re all up to our eyeballs in credit card debt.
I remember buying my current guitar in 2006 for £650 which is a good price considering the exact same model now retails for over £850. The issue I had back then was that this guitar sold for $799, which you don’t need a degree in maths to figure out is a lot cheaper. In fact I imported one over for the sole purpose of re selling it on eBay for a hefty profit.
I should thank the UK for bringing out the hidden entrepreneur in me, but I won’t because that would be stupid and I’m still in the ‘moody’ part of the article, maybe later.
3. The weather
I’m not going to harp on about how much it rains over here as I think anyone with half an eye and a quarter of a brain will already know this. My major gripe is that the weather has no idea what it is doing. One minute it will be sunny and calm and 10 minutes later there will be torrential rain, closely followed by hailstones and then back to sunny again.
You can chuck a rainbow and some snow in there too if you want. It happens, I’ve seen it!
Of course this is something that cannot be changed due to our geographical location and the jet stream from the Atlantic. The irony is that without it, our little land would be genuinely cold instead of a bit chilly, and yes our weather would be more stable but if you think we moan about the weather now, imagine the misery if we didn’t get our three days of summer.
If you aren’t from the UK and you have no idea what a Chav is then look below.
You see that? They are Chavs and I don’t like them. I don’t even know if the term ‘Chav’ should be or deserves to be capitalised. Well there is no point changing now, I don’t want to be labelled as indecisive as well as a moaner.
They loiter on street corners wearing their fake Burberry clothing intimidating old people and the confused. If you’re extra lucky you might even see one of them with their socks pulled up over their tracksuit bottoms.
I remember walking home from a night out and I had to pass through a big group of them, maybe 15 or so. They were stood there doing their thing, which is pretty much just staring at the floor occasionally spitting and saying the word ‘blud’. As I walked by, one of them turned to me, and as I braced myself for the inevitable beating, said these fine words;
“ha nice clothes”.
A teenage boy with socks pulled halfway up his legs was mocking the fact I wore jeans and a plain white t shirt. I’m not entirely sure if I can be part of a society where this is allowed to happen.
Oh if you’re American I suppose the closest thing to a Chav over there is what you would call a redneck or trailer trash, but with you know, the sock thing.
5. Health and safety gone mad
Being part of the European Union has many benefits and I’m sure that when I think of some I will let you know about it. One of the many drawbacks is that their health and safety laws become OUR health and safety laws. The problem being that these are not created for the purpose of improving our health and our safety, but for annoying the hell out of everyone and causing immense frustration.
In February 2012 a drowning man couldn’t be saved because, and get this, the Fire-fighters and police on scene were not allowed to attempt a rescue. Now this wasn’t some rough stretch of coastline or a pool of water with the depth of infinity, but simply a lake that was 3ft deep.
This country allowed a man to die because of the health and safety law. What would have happened had one of these people tried to save him? They would probably lose their job. Madness. This is definitely one of the most infuriating reasons why the UK sucks.
6. We’re generally ignorant towards other cultures.
I wish I could see the stats for how many British people can speak another language as I’m fairly certain the number would be somewhere between 4 and 9. Compare this to Sweden or Germany where a large portion of the younger population has achieved a decent level of fluency in English. Now I know many of you will say something like, “yes but you don’t need to speak another language as English is spoken around the world”. It is you’re right, to an extent.
We will actually travel to places like Japan and Brazil and genuinely find it weird that almost nobody speaks English, at least to a fluent level. We will also happily go abroad on holiday or even to work and not put in the effort to mingle with the natives, yet when we meet a foreigner in our homeland who can’t speak English, we accuse them of being lazy and disrespecting us.
7. We hate ourselves
It’s true. The north and south hate each other, the Scottish hate the English, the Welsh hate the English and the English hate everyone else. This is even before we get into city rivalries and the racial tension. Okay maybe hate is a strong word and I might be going all ‘Daily Mail’ on you here so replace the word ‘hate’ with ‘gently mocking’. Yes that sounds better.
Regional rivalries are common all over the globe and in the UK they are largely harmless, but where it gets serious is when we enter the topic of gang culture and knife crime.
The UK and London in particular is now the knife crime capital of Europe and this is a large part of the gang culture that is infesting our streets. One study for the Home Office found that up to 6% of 10-19-year-olds belonged to a gang in England and Wales. Of course a lot of these gangs will be non-violent but you only have to look at the recent London riots to see the kind of tension that is bubbling under the surface.
Has there ever been a more pointless sport in the history of the universe? Those of you who are thinking of Snooker can shut up, at least that doesn’t last for days on end with the possibility of nobody actually winning. By the way, If you’re unfamiliar with Snooker then just imagine Pool but with a bigger table and tighter pockets.
Cricket is just the Britain’s version of Baseball in the sense that you have someone with a bat, someone bowling the ball and a load of bored people standing in the field waiting to catch something. If I’m displaying a certain level of ignorance here, then it’s definitely intended. I have friends who love the sport for some inexplicable reason, and I’ve tried to work out why, believe me I have.
It’s British to its core and maybe that is why it is so unfathomably popular over here. I don’t know. I give up.
9. Nothing works properly
I’m not exaggerating here, nothing actually works. Everything breaks eventually and when there is the smallest of disruptions, society crumbles and all we’re left with is Thunderdome!
I’ll give you an example. About once a year, we will have snow that actually settles on the ground. Nothing major, certainly not a blizzard and we can forget about calling Mr Plow too. I’m talking about a few inches of snow, which while barely enough to build a decent snowman, is more than enough to close all schools and shut down our whole transport network.
You can thank our health and safety regulations for this too.
We’re just very good at being incompetent in general. I dread to think what people think when they visit our land of hope and glory and wonder why they have been stuck in a queue for 3 hours because we’re short staffed.
10. The Daily Mail
The chances are that if you are human and you have some degree of reading ability (not to worry you don’t need much) then you will know all about our most infamous newspaper. Actually to be ahead of The Sun in the infamy stakes is quite an achievement.
So why does this deserve to be on the list? Well gather round kids, I have a story to tell. You’ll be hard pressed to find another newspaper as awful as this. Every other week they will publish a story on how a certain food will give you cancer, why the immigrants are ruining our nation, how the entertainment industry is warping our children’s minds and that is before we get into the subtle undertones of racism and homophobia.
Basically it’s a fun read for all the family.
Their website is even worse as most of their articles are written by ‘journalists’ who rarely give their real names. It’s no wonder they hold on to their anonymity given a lot of these articles contain basic spelling and grammar errors. Not to mention many of these stories aren’t actually factual at all and are obviously opinion pieces covered up as news.
It’s not all bad though. While their website is now the most visited news site on the internet, they are heavily in debt so let’s all cross our fingers and hope they go away.
On the plus side, they employ Martin Samuel who I consider to be the best sports journalist around.
On the upside
This being a light-hearted article means it wouldn’t be fair to talk about the UK without mentioning the positive aspects of living here, of which there are many. Here is a quick list;
- The National Health Service is perhaps the best in the world.
- Relatively speaking it is a safe place to live.
- Our military is world renowned and highly respected.
- Only a tiny percentage of the population could be classed as genuinely poor.
- We have some of the world’s finest universities.
- The UK is one of the most culturally diverse places on Earth.
- The 2012 London Olympics was perhaps the greatest yet.
- We are the birthplace of Football. (the most important obviously)
So there we go. If you have your own personal thought’s about why the UK sucks (or even if you love the damned place) then please leave your opinions in the comment section below.
Also if you enjoyed this article, please share on Facebook by clicking the button!
you just made me reconsider not to go there
but i think some countries are way worse
farouk recently posted..5 surprising psychological facts you would want to know
It’s honestly not that bad really. We could have the economic worries of Greece or the crime rate of South Africa, so it puts things into perspective. Thanks for the comment.
I also hate that if you are a teacher and you go to comfort/hug a child that is distressed and hurt, you are a paedophile and will be fired. I also hate the Justice system and I also hate how scared we are of upsetting anyone non English, like for example the lady who had to take her Cross necklace off or face unemployment, yet the Muslim was allowed her headscarf no questions asked. ARGHHH!
I do love it here most of the time, though 🙂
I agree with that definitely. I didn’t write much about political correctness as I think I would never actually finish the article! Haha
You are funny guy, Jamie! I took great delight in you humor here today. I suppose the “grass is always greener…” Onward and upward my friend
Hey thanks for your comment! The grass is indeed always greener, at least we think it is..
Love your sense of humor, Jamie!
Truth is, I planned on just checking your blog out for a moment or two and glancing at your post, but couldn’t stop reading! What a crack up! I suppose most of us could come up with reasons why where we live could be a lot better, right? But not all of us could have made it as entertaining as you did.
Hilariously done, Jamie!
KenWert@MeantToBeHappy recently posted..The Virtue of Intolerance: 10 things you should never tolerate
Thanks for your comment, it means a lot.
I am from India and a few things are quite similar !Particularly that cricket thing Maybe we inculcated it during the 200 years of colonialism ! I have made a live streaming Cricket website and almost 10,000 Brits visit it per month !(Source- Google Analytics) 😉
The London Olympics were the worst so far not the best.
You’re not Australian by any chance are you? 😉
What about the absolute lack of customer service that I hear about from other Brits? Drunkenness, gangs, hooligans, bullies…it doesn’t sound to me like Brits are a really happy, functional bunch of people. If alcohol fueled violence is so rampant, then yes, you have a country full of unhappy people.
Yep that sounds like us! 🙂
No shit sherlock, heres a medal for you.
yep ALOT of bullies
I agree with you on everything there. But one thing I have to say, and I want to make it very clear so that it spreads hopefully between the Brits: the only good thing about your universities is the certificate, simply the NAME of the university. But the QUALITY of your education is a different matter. I am only a student and I would not dare say that I have a wider knowledge than the graduates (especially older), however the fact is that you don’t know the basic stuff! I know a vet who doesn’t know that cortisol is a hormone…. well now he does because i told him. I met Scottish people who are not sure if Scotland is really a country… or if India is a continent or a country… the list is too long. Also you guys are very fake. You are famous all over the world for being helpful gentlemen, so on so on, but only on the outside. You ask ‘how are you?’ all the time, if you know someone at work for example, but when it comes to even going for a stupid coffee, you just ignore people. Let’s be honest here. At least with the eastern european people you know who is your friend and who is not. If they don’t like you they will just tell you to sod off, and at that point you know who really is your friend…
Wow Simona, thanks for that. Our education system is actually very good. Yes there are uni’s that are below par but that is the same in every country. Our very best can hold their own with anywhere in the world.
And we are not allowed to tell people to sod off as we would probably get a hefty fine and a criminal sentence !
I agree, the university system is still largely based on class, hierarchy, money rather than brains. The thick but rich have had first dibs at Oxbridge for centuries.
That explains our political leaders then…
UK also seems to have growing censorship concerns (relative to countries like USA, Sweden, Norway). I’ve remember a legal fight broke out when someone published that Homeopathy doesn’t work. The fact that legal drama breaks out over little things like that is sad.
Additionally people in the US complain about inequality but people in the UK can’t even trust their political reps to represent their interests. In the US, SOPA, PIPA, CISPA are pretty unpopular and regularly rejected but in the UK there’s concern that it’ll become common practice. Moreover, the new US COICA bill had a random thing in there that made unlocking phones illegal..and even that’s being reconsidered now!
I believe the UK has a positive reputation for it’s educational system (hierarchical if you ask me). But for some reason, I think I ‘d be quite fine relying on edX and Coursera to fill in the gaps of my education.
Anyways, I found your article quite cathartic, thanks!
UK is nice but not for me, lived there till age 9 then we moved
to US (Houston).
Whenever I go back I realize how much easier life in
US is. Cost of living is bloody cheap in America. People
have huge homes, big trucks, best price deals. In UK to have that same standard of living you’d have to earn way way more. People live really crappy in UK shitty closet size houses with toilets next to the kitchen?? Wtf?
Also US is so huge all the best land, from deserts to snowy mountains, warm
beaches, all kinds of cities , it’s awesome. One could spend their whole life just exploring America.
I agree, we do get the bum end of deals over here. I would counter that last part though by saying that while very true, a lot of Americans never leave the comfort of their own borders.
If people understood how large and complex america is. they’stop making flip remarks about American people about leaving. When driving from Dallas,Texas to El Paso , on the way to Los Angeles, El Paso qualifies as halfway there. It is to a good 4 day driveif yiu don’t stop for mexican food, indian articacts and tumble weed ,s
I’m a Brit living in the USA and just laugh when my fellow Brits talk about Americans not having passports. North America is a vast continent with diverse terrain and traveling within the US (plus many visit Caribbean, Mexico, Canada) is far more expensive and time consuming than the ease with which Europeans visit neighboring countries (states) or pop over to Morocco. It is more stimulating and enjoyable to travel through North America than it is to stamp your passport with award-winning Sunday Telegraph “destinations” or buy cheapo chavs-on-an-Easy Jet Euro-trash package deals.
I disagree, I lived in Florida for 15 years and found that the UK is alot cheaper, I dont know where you lived in the UK, but Im living in South Wales and its 100 times cheaper then Florida, especially when it comes to Healthcare, come on. But you are right, other then the Benefits of the NHS life is crap in the UK. Nothing to do, crap women, crap buildings, crap weather, yeah, im getting out too. Moving to South east Asisa! once I sell my house
Well,Florida isn’t really the cheapest place to live,it’s a good place to retire,but living not all much.
Hi jamie, who said you were a funny guy. Don’t they know you are a British guy!!!!
I am in northern Ireland and the weather is worse here and it is more expensive and some of us want to be british and some don’t. But we love self help and getting better!!!!!!!!and we are way funnier
keep up the great work.
Everything you have pointed out here Jamie comes down to Money. Apart from the weather but even that’s changing because of money. (I’m not going to explain that one, should be easy enough to work out)
Actually let me retract that, it comes down to greed. All the failures of this country, any country in fact….sod it…..mankind, it all comes down to greed.
No, I am going to change that again, it all comes down to Pride.
Why do we get greedy? Why do we want so much of this and that and the other…..pride. I hate pride, it is the root cause of all misery and suffering.
It is a 3 stage downfall. Someone wants to have the best to say “I have it and you don’t”, an inherent need to be Proud, that becomes an an addiction if you like which we call Greed, to keep staying the best, to have the best of everything, to laud it over others. The medium we use to get this, Money and no further explanation is needed on that one.
Pride, Greed, Money.
If we could have the advancements in medicine that we have but go back to simpler times where people worked for themselves and traded items that their particular business made, for items that other people made that you needed (not wanted), then I think we would be all so much better off.
I know its a far fetched ideal but hey I can always dream.
Great post by the way, cracked me up :O)
I know this is a little off topic but it is important because very soon it won’t matter which country we live in, just watch.
Everything you wrote here comes down to international rise of hate, why am i not surprised when stupid articles like these comes from a total crack head loather who doesn’t want to work and complains about how hard life is. You’re a real freaking joke my man, as only people like you think there’s a better life abroad and live in dreams. I can already guarantee that if a person like you will go somewhere else you will definitely bring all your problems along with you no matter where you go. All countries have they’re do’s and dont’s but obviously you think that some countries always have positive life bits whilst others have nothing but bad sides. That ain’t how life works, and if you haven’t figured it out yet once you will grow out of your air head state you will realize that one time.
Ahh an irony deficiency I see. Maybe a change of diet will sort that out.. 😉
I got out from this rapidly declining hovel cesspit of a country 7 months ago im now living in tropical Bali enjoying 33 degree heat every day of my , safe in the knowledge im half way across the globe from the uk, and ive never looked back, there is nothing that i miss about the UK except my remaining family members there, not once have i saw a white nike trainer tracksuit wearing scumball chav speaking like a retard and gobbing repeatedly on the pavement while people pass by looking “very tough” (pussy more like) Im also glad to see the back of the hordes of useless slob alcoholics drinking stella artois beer and eating dubious takeaway baltis, pansy lilly livered politicians, shite weather, rubbish health service, fat useless pc plod police, thick necked tyski drinking eastern europeans everywhere “enriching english culture” opening “polski delicatessy” and crap disgusting food, dirty hospitals complete with flesh eating bugs and illiterate black knife wielding gun toting monkeys taking over the capital cities then blaming it on discrimination, while all the while being told to embrace our fabulous “multi cultural lovely heritage” the only thing most of the pathetic people do in uk is get wasted on the weekend and start fights or smash beer glasses into each others faces, truly retards degenerates, then there are the english women who are revolting too, frequently voted the most ugly and obnoxious women in Europe- morbidly obese lager swilling, loud mouthed trollops with muffin tops and fat saggy arses with a cheap g string protruding complete with the now obligitory tramp stamp directly above there cracks, yes indeed they think nothing of getting knocked up with a black man and having a string of mixed race mongrel kids, its a badge of honour, not a source of shame to them. then the man buggers off and leaves the state to bring up there revolting offspring to perpetuate the next generation of knife wielding gang members and braindead chavs, someone should put in a whole bottle of bleach and quickly flush the whole country down the toilet like a large hot stinking turd.
THE MOST HONEST DESCRIPTION YET OF MODERN BRITAIN !!!!
Also the most honest description yet of much of the US of A 😀
If you’re going to write a shitty, racist, and close minded rant, do everyone a solid and learn to use punctuation and grammar correctly. You truly are the worst type of person, and you’re attempting to drag down a whole country with you.
Im getting out too, moving to the Philippines, cant wait to say goodbye to this crap country and all the fagends that live in it (not everyone…) Your description is spot on
I could not have said it better myself. Everything is falling apart, too many lazy government policies and yob culture, teenage pregnancy, failing standards and aspirations and future.
London pretty much does everything while the rest of the country sits idle. Customer service sucks, people are selfish, greedy and unfriendly. Weather is either rain, cloudy, cold or barely warm in the summer. Too many CCTV cameras and rules. Small tiny houses that go for ridiculous amounts of money. Don’t forget racism and discrimination as well if your from a different background outside London.
It’s the weather. Absolutely dreadful. Depressing. I have lived in London three years and I think the weather has not “sucked donkey balls” on perhaps seven of those days. Honestly I don’t know why this god forsaken island was not decamped for Spain or southern France 500 years ago.
London never has good weather. You need to come to the south for that… even though that isn’t much better!
As an American living in Dublin that has visited the UK a few times, with another trip planned in the next two weeks, I’ve learned just enough about European and British culture to find this entertaining. “Chav” is a new word for me, but the Irish have something similar. I can’t think of what they’re called, but they are the highly detested track suit crowd. I believe there’s a television program here called “Tallafornia” which chronicles the life of them in Tallaght in north Dublin. I’m told its much like Jersey Shore, but I’m just rambling. This was a good read that I feel could apply to most Western countries, European or otherwise, with just a few changed words.
P.S. Your weather is indeed awful, but I would rather be wet than hot. Where I’m from, we reach the mid-40s (100+ in Fahrenheit) in the summer with droughts that can extend from a week to six weeks. I’m moving back soon in the dead heat of summer, and I will miss this weather tremendously for quite some time.
Too expensive here. Housing mainly, but the transport (rail especially) and monopolized private gas and electricity companies are a nightmare for consumers. Also the council tax. £2000 per year for what? Collecting the rubbish? A recent survey found that to live in London, spending 80% of your income on just RENTED ACCOMMODATION, you would need to earn £100,000 per year. All of this is perfectly acceptable to two groups: fat cats (business and politicians) and the black market (a couple of million off-the-grid back garden shed dwellers who don’t pay tax). Great country! Not.
I came over from Germany about, what, 8 years ago with my husband who was earning quite a decent wage. 3 bed semi detached in a nice area of Leeds (yup, they do exist, but you have to look pretty hard to find them)
Oh, I had a ball! A pretty garden, nice pubs within walking distance, a beautiful park just over the road, money to spend and stuff to do.
8 years and one divorce later, I live in a house littered with bedbugs in an area that will make people look at you either with disgust or sincere sympathy when you mention its name. Despite the attention of various “plumbers” (sadly all of them natives, I should have asked for a Polish professional) the toilet is leaking and there hasn’t been hot water in the kitchen for over a year. The gas fire has been yanked out of the wall after it nearly killed us in our sleep (us meaning me, my cats and my long term unemployed boyfriend who suffers from Hepatitis C which the NHS actually gave him in the tinted blood scandal when they ended up killing people with blood transfusions poisoned with HIV and Hep C. Unsuccessful treatment attempts gave him severe depression to round it all off, so that’s where the unemployment origins…) leaving a gaping hole in the wall which we can only just cover with a large picture frame.
After all the bills are paid, we have about £300 to live on between the two of us and the cats (who have been with me since before I came over)- out of which I have to pay a ridiculous amount each week for travelling to and from work.
Which leads me to work. I have been with the company for 5 years now, without a single sickie. Yup, German efficiency, right? At the moment I am contracted for 37.5 hours a week over 5 days in lower management tier. In reality, it works out at around 45 hours a week, often worked in 13, 14 hour shifts over 3 full days and a little “half day” (say 5- 10pm) in between. I should be raking it in, shouldn’t I? Co- responsible for a shop that turns over millions of £££ a year, handling thousands and thousands of quid on any given day. Not to mention the very real risk of either getting robbed or receiving violent abuse from customers.
£1090 after tax. I will spare you the full maths, but the rent for this sh!thole weighs in at £450. And this is what is called very competitive wage in the UK.
The NHS sucks balls, too. Apart from nearly killing my boyfriend 20 years ago when he had to receive a blood transfusion after he had a tooth pulled out (hemophiliac) and then utterly failing to cure the HepC that is now slowly gnawing away at him, they have also now installed this idiotic first response phone number to call when the emergency is not essentially lethal. Good luck getting a dentist appointment with that lot. Long story short- the only way I got to see a doctor when an abscess in my jaw threatened to take away what little is left of my sanity was to waltz into A&E at night, claiming I feared that I might have od’d on strong prescription painkillers… way to go, NHS, next time my teeth give me grief I’ll just knock them out myself.
In this country, if you don’t have money, you are screwed. In fact- that’s not even true. You are screwed if you don’t either have parents who have sorted out your life path for you (by paying for your Uni, deposit for your house and conveniently letting you inherit their property once they have kicked the bucket) or if you are too proud to go and make 5 babies with 4 different fathers, willing to let whatever is left of society to pay your way. Albeit if you are too proud (or stupid) and insist on making it all by yourself, forget it. Without a degree you will not get a job that pays for either a decent rental property or a mortgage, and once you are stuck in an “unskilled” job (even though my job requires a lot of skills that don’t exactly fall from the sky) the few pennies you do earn (and are expected to be grateful for) will be taken away by landlords who will screw you at every turn, by public transport (they KNOW you rely on them, so they charge whatever they damn well fancy), the council and whoever else offers goods and/ or services for money.
As an employee, tenant and citizen you have next to no rights apart from kissing the behind of THE MAN in eternal gratitude for him allowing you to remain on the face of his planet, picking up whatever scraps he throws you.
Other countries might be terrible, but I have only ever lived in two of them, and if it wasn’t for Germany being full of Germans (yup, I do harbour a deep dislike for my kinsmen) I’d go back there sooner rather than later. At least our bloody plumbers do their jobs right.
Funnily enough I think Germany improves on the UK in almost every way possible. It goes to show a lot of it is down to perception as well as reality.
wow. thats what i call a reality check. theres so many shills online trying to spin things the other way, it’s actually shocking when you see a real post like this one. most websites try to prevent information like this from getting out.
Well, seeing as it’s my website, I can say what I want :p
I woke up this morning wanting to read something that would get me thinking, I came across your blog just by chance and i have to say it woke me up for sure. you have a great talent in writing and i very much enjoyed reading your blog.
Thank you Kamran, I hope you continue to stick around!
The National Health Service is perhaps the best in the world.
– Obviously has not been to many other EU countries
Relatively speaking it is a safe place to live.
– Probably true. Although in my experience many London neighborhoods are worst than other major EU cities neighborhoods. I know…London is special
Our military is world renowned and highly respected.
– Haha, maybe over 100-200 years ago
Only a tiny percentage of the population could be classed as genuinely poor.
– ridiculous. One could go into depth here, but imo UK is one of the countries with the worst disparity in wealth, people might “earn” a certain amount per month, but their absolute wealth is extremely low compared to for instance scandinavian countries which earn nominatively much less.
We have some of the world’s finest universities.
– Again comparing to rest of Europe…Not sure if this is true any longer
The UK is one of the most culturally diverse places on Earth.
– To me this has contributed to the UK being one of the worst EU countries because of that. Especially London absolutely no sense of community anymore.
The 2012 London Olympics was perhaps the greatest yet.
– No. Great event but far from the greatest. It cost the state alot when it couldnt really afford it.
We are the birthplace of Football. (the most important obviously)
– In 2013, what does this mean?
Seriously, good list overall…But I think UK is only likeable if you’re from the UK. Otherwise I wouldnt see a point living there. However from what I’ve heard Ireland/scotland are best place to live there.
well, here is what i hate about britain. arrogant, unfriendly, violent people. it is NOT relatively safe, and i consider it to be one of the more violent places i have lived. a friend of mine works as a bouncer, and he’s afraid to get money at the atm at night. thats not a sign of safety. we’ve become so acustomed to violence that we actually think britain is safe.
people dont trust each other. everyone thinks everyones a crook. has anyone tried to open a bank account? proof of address? and they want to know who your ancestors are for 5 generations. they say it;s to protect people from money laundering, but britains main industry is finance. hello. wake up call. without money laundering, britain’s economy would tank. this is what we do.
it’s dirty. rubbish all over the streets, parks, etc. things are expensive for no damn good reason either. please explain to me why it costs more than 5 pounds to wash my clothes at the laundry shop? the train cost is also a rip off. the weather sucks. the food is not very tasty. it’s inconvenient. things close too early. it’s fascist. cops and cctv everywhere. it’s like youre guilty until proven innocent. this alone is enough to get the hell out of here. the royal family. yep. they suck. if you broke up the royal family, alot of that money can actually go towards healthcare, or education, but instead corrupt politicians choose to raise tuition instead. still think we live in a real democracy?
who’s our military renowned by? not by the victims of british military aggression i hope? and believe me, there are lots of them- from argentina to india and back. i also dont like how we put soldiers up on a pedistal like theyre doing something good. rememberance day should be a day to remember all the chaos and misery british military aggression has brought to the world, not to celebrate military aggression. i dont think diversity has made britain a better place. the london olympics was no better than any other olympic. football is overated, and it just goes to show how bad britain is that the only hobby you can have is boozing, and football.
whats good about britain? well, the broadband is cheap i guess, Chinese buffets, cheap fried chicken, kebabs, self service tils, and you can get free sim cards.
YOU MEAN WHY YOU THINK THE UK SUCKS, YES THE GOVERNMENT IS STUPID AND THE LAWS SUCK AND EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE BUT REALLY EVERYONE IS AN ALCOHOLIC AND HATES THEIR LIFE. REALLY
After having lived here for seven years I totally agree with everything you said. The whole system sucks, especially service delievery e.g. banking services, most people doing these jobs are often thoroughly incompetent and most of the times under-educated thus delivering sub-standard services to citizens who simply take their crap and are often too polite to complain about anything!!! grrrr… soo annoying lol
The whole world sucks right now, there are problems everywhere with rising crime, corruption, intolerance towards others. Uk has its good and bad like everywhere else but the govt in Uk is horrible, immigration is horrible because first they allowed the shit of the world to come live in Uk and now everyone hates the normal educated professional skilled migrants who move to UK. Racism is very high in Uk and even institutionally they are racist getting worse rather than improving. Earlier UK were concerned about immigrants from asia but their real immigration headaches will be from the eastern europeans flocking to UK…low quality unskilled desperate people who have such a deeply negative attitude and have no interest in british culture or society..these people will ruin the Uk.
Cricket, probably one of the hardest games to play, and the toughest, what other game are you allowed to hurl a rock hard almost 1/2 pound ball from 20 yards away at over 90mph..and purposely scare the shit out of your opponent or deliberately do physical damage, this being in the rules….I’d rather face 15 drunken CHAVS.
NHS. Going down the toilet fast, this bulling ton crowd will have it privatized soon, then we are in deep shit.
You forgot to mention drugs….we are the drugs Capital of Europe, weed, coke, heroine, speed, pills, horse tranquilizer all available on the cheap, 85% of all notes in circulation in the uk! having traces of cocaine, and someone’s snotty bloody nose.
Immigrants….WTF….how half the population have not caught TB ILL never know…and here is the crux of the problem…we have been an open sewer for the last 25 years…accepting every piece of crap Europe could offer….looking back, I’m siding with some of Adolph’s reasoning, 1930-1937….after that he went crackers….send Em all back post 1985….then the uk would be in a far better state.
First of all, the UK doesn’t ‘suck’. We don’t use that word ‘suck’ in the UK – are you American or something? You’ve most likely been consumed by the ‘Americanisation’ of British culture – which, if that is your ideal place to live, is the height of ignorance. If you think we have problems, imagine the scale of problems in the USA. Just taking that example, things could be so much worse.
Much of the problems you state we have are problems that are endemic in most countries – they are not unique to us alone. If you think other countries are much more superior, then prepare to live a life of misery because everything is shit these days. And besides, we are far more liberal than other countries when it comes to multiculturalism.
Anyway, we have great culture – as a guitar player, you would know we have a long heritage of great music. Nothing beats that. Also, we have the best comedy (unless you are into whoopin and hollerin thinly disguised morality plays that pass off as ‘sitcoms’ in the United States – e.g. Friends, Big Bang Theory) which is self deprecating and edgy. Plus, a great tradition of great actors and films.
It’s not perfect living in the UK, but no country is, but I sure as hell don’t desire to leave the place.
Hey Matthew, thanks for your comment! I am indeed English and I would like to offer you some vitamins for that irony deficiency.. 🙂
People with attitudes like yours are the reason I hate this country. You dislike a word just because another country uses it? Grow the hell up, stop being such a bigot.
Good article. Just enough tongue in cheek to attract the genuine reader and non-genuine ranger. Folk who talk IN CAPITALS, one question, WHY? D’uh.
Love your blog. I’m a Scot hoping for independence if only to disassociate my country from the Union Jack waving English football fans. Say what you like about Scottish Football, you must agree the playing is crap but the fans are wonderful. Good ambassadors for their country.
I don’t mind the Royal Family though wouldn’t say I’m exactly a Royalist. This ERII designation grates, as does the oft given media title, Queen of England. I’m sorry, did Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland disappear into the sea? If not, she is still Queen of us all.
Apologies for ranting. Pet hate of mine. Perhaps I should go blog too.
Keep up the good work.
The thing about Scottish fans is that they know they won’t win anything but they are 100% positive with it. English fans hate themselves, hate their team, hate their country and hate all the players.
Then moan when it all goes wrong.
Start a blog. It’s fun! 🙂
You forgot something:
– you must work till 70 in your country
– your economy is collapsing and is heavily dependent on the financial industry
– your women look ugly (according to Google)
Greetings from Germany,
Germany >> Britain
Ahhh, I disagree. I am an American getting my masters degree now here in Brighton, England…and I love it! I dread being forced back to California. (It appears getting a work visa is a bit like hoping to win the lottery.)
Health and Safety laws aren’t a European thing. Just take a trip to Spain, Greece, Portgual etc (all part of the EU) and you’ll notice that they aren’t anywhere near as Health and Safety crazy. It’s our dumb interpretation and over-zealous application of these laws, not the EU’s fault. Also, one positive of the EU you didn’t list is that you can escape to any one of the 27 other countries with just a plane ticket and your passport in hand.
ye UK sucks big time it’s a sad depressing little place..no space anywhere for anything too many people, too narrow roads…small shitty apartments..showers are a joke electricity outlets are a joke just a ridiculous garbage country…could go on and on and on..not one house with a pool in the backyard, a tiny garage is considered a great luxury..cars are ridiculously small prices the opposite..apart from bars and restaurants there’s nothing else to do. Nature doesn’t exist. Zero mountains zero amusement parks zero everything but rain and shitty fucking wind which is always at least 30mph strong…
Very amusing! It’s not QUITE as bad as that..
it is…………some folk like gloominess so maybe they find England awesomeee
I think you’ll find it is that awful. Coming from abroad, I found the standard of education in the UK to be of an exceedingly low standard, which really came as a shock. Britain is disgustingly dirty, everywhere there is rubbish.
My neighbour has a pool in her (small) garden. So at least on pool in the UK!
Sorry, I meant one pool. We Brits obviously can’t spell either!
When I look out of my house, over the rolling fields in one direction, over the policies that lead down to my trout-stream in another, and into the walled garden, a modest acre, from the conservatory, I find it hard to recognize the grim caricature of British life portrayed in the article. I wasn’t born rich, nor was I even a businessman in my working life. I was born shortly before the National Health Service was inaugurated, I had the benefit of a grammar school education (free, of course), I went to one of the best universities in England (with a grant paying fees and a contribution towards maintenance), moved on to postgraduate work and a PhD, (with a grant) worked in universities in England, Scotland, South Africa, and New Zealand, and a small blip, but not serious: I retired early after a bout of cancer, treated free at point of need, a year after my wife also experienced a bout of cancer, also treated free at point of need, and after prudent money management bought the beautiful Georgian former rectory with its surrounding gardens and land after retirement.
Of course the principles of the Welfare State, and the Robbins Principle have long been sold out by the Tories (to be expected) and New Labour (to their shame) and this means that I have lived through a golden age in Britain which will never return, and nobody can now expect to live as we have done.
Where else in the world has a person ever had access to free education, free health care through his whole life? Oh, yes, and my wife enjoyed almost all of the same benefits though she had a richer father than I did.
My main sorrow is that the politicians spoilt what we had, but people like you and like your parents voted for them. I mostly blame the lower-middle and working-class, especially the deferential element that likes to vote nobs into power. Before the first government of Mrs Thatcher there was an accommodation between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party which was described by Sir Keith Joseph as the Socialist-Ratchet: the Conservative Party in power avoided legislation that promoted the Welfare State, but did little to reduce its influence; the Labour Party in power extended the Welfare State, to the benefit of almost everybody. Mrs Thatcher succeeded in destroying the Socialist-Ratchet and cleverly made respectable again the idea of Every-man-for-himself- and-to-Hell-with-Stragglers that had been wiped away in the aftermath of the Second World War. After that there has been a gradual and probably terminal decline in British Society. Remember, Mrs Thatcher said ‘There’s is no such thing as society’: it wasn’t true when she said it; but her actions and the actions of her followers are making it come true.
Leaving Britain is, of course, a choice that I would not make, but if I did, where would I go? I am not a linguist so I should not be happy in other than an anglophone country. So where? I was happy to visit New Zealand, and South Africa, but I would never be at home in either place. America: Sure the wonderful health service, the fundamentalists, the gun-nuts, yes, that would be just the place for me (but they probably wouldn’t have me). Oz, if New Zealand is on the loud side . . .
I think that it is better to stay here and try to preserve something of the way of life that has been so kind to me and to my generation.
Hey Jamie… You strike a cord with me every single time… Running under water to Cricket… Genius.
I lived in the UK for seven years and my partner, who I met there, and I decided to move to Australia after the doom and gloom was too much to waste what’s left of our lives in. Two years down under. Here’s my verdict that you might find helpful should you decide to leave:
Drinking: I have long forgotten the scene of young people dressed in summer or beach clothes in the coldest winter days lying on the streets in their own vomit. What I saw though is people drinking continuously on the weekend and then jumping in the car to play “avoid the booze bus”.
Prices: let’s put it this way… When I went back to visit last month I bought 20 kilos worth of clothes, paid extra luggage charges for the long haul, and never claimed the VAT back. All was full price, still worked out cheaper than Oz (well, work paying for my flight helped a bit). It is ridiculously expensive over here a can of coke is $5 and a sandwich is $10.
Weather: there are down sides to hot weather too, whilst a jacket and a brolly can sort out the cold problem, you can’t have a portable air condition to stop you sweating buckets.
Chavs (or NEDS in Scotland): read about hillbillys and bogans… There are people who designed their life to be different, annoying different, and they’re everywhere.
Cricket: they love it more over here… Chances are you’ll run into a cricket fanatic in every party or workplace you go to… I’m doubting myself there must be something exciting about this dull sport.
However, generally, folk over here are extremely friendly, pleasant, TV stuck back in the 80s but you wake up to poeople laughing and speaking about happy stuff. Cafes are open early for breakkie before work and open late for coffee after dinner…. And health and safety has not gone mad yet.
What I’m trying to say is despite the problems in the UK, I miss it, I miss Scotland’s hills, I miss the familiarity, I miss my friends, cheaper food/drink/clothes/cars/rent… And, believe it or not, BBC news in the morning… But this is my darker depressed side talking now.
Good on ya
Yeah, you’re right, it’s NOT that bad when you compare it to… oh I don’t know, a third world country maybe? Surely the ol’ lads here can’t be compared to them Al-Qaeda rascals.
I hate it here sooooooooo much! But I can’t leave…my home country is worse…disorganised, backwards and corrupt.
I don’t like the UK because of the disguised racism. To make friends with the English you have to binge drink. Because don’t do that I find it hard to make friends. The men are so shy and only ask you out if they’ve had lots to drink, and even then they just want a one night stand.
My heart is in Switzerland ..the mountains, the traditional lifestyle, the slower pace…but alas, I don’t speak the language. Children reading this listen to me…take languages seriously otherwise you’d end up STUCK!!!!!
I’m so desperate to meet people with normal values….so rare here in England…
Same with the women here in the UK, very timid…unless their dead drunk, then they will be all over you, and then it just feels like their acting foolish, there is no really beauty here in the women, in looks and attitude. Iv been to places where the women are very beautiful and friendly, easy to make friends in other countries. And if you give your num out to a girl you like she will most of the time text or give you a call, here the women are so timid they rather throw away your num and not look desperate even though they would like to. They got a social problem here, too many clicks, if your not into football your out of the click, and with the women, well most of them are just mental.
Aaah yes,the british women….. another disaster after the british men,they frankly deserved each other….
depends where youre from. british women like talking to me because im american. even when theyre sober.
I hate it here sooooooooo much! But I can’t leave…my home country is worse…disorganised, backwards and corrupt.
I Know I should be greatful because London is such an amazing place but….I don’t it here these days because of the disguised racism. To make friends with the English you have to binge drink. Because I don’t do that I find it hard to make friends. The men are so shy and only ask you out if they’ve had lots to drink, and even then they just want a one night stand.
My heart is in Switzerland…the mountains, the traditional lifestyle, the slower pace…but alas, I don’t speak the language.
Children reading this listen to me…take languages seriously otherwise you’d end up STUCK!!!!!
I’m so desperate to meet people with normal values….so rare here in England…
Yes, the UK has it’s flaws, as do the majority of Countries. I agree strongly with the Daily Mail point and to a degree, some of your other points, including the unfortunate weather and the ‘Chavs’. However, Chavs are a small percentage of a hugely diverse and wonderful multicultural society. I see it took you having to move in excess of 3396 miles to another country before you expose the fact that indeed you’re just a bigoted racist at heart, revealing your true bravery?! I, for one am delighted that your absence from the UK, leaves our possibly over populated little Island one racist short! Hurrah! 🙂
Seriously, what on earth are you talking about? Who moved 3396 miles? To where? Who’s a bigoted racist?
I live in england for 4 years and it really does suck….. Fish and chips? Mushy Peas? The flop top hair cuts and clothes wasn’t a fad or fashion statement, it was because Brits had to dress and look that way because they were poor.
C’mon, the first thing I could tell, was that the people were truely enslaved and they had absolutely NO clue. With greasy hair, and no bath in days, eating slop, they looked up to the Queen and the royal family as Gods and Godesses not seeing that they were all pawns, peasants, and servants…. lol talk about being brainwashed, and taxed out the a$$, I would never ever ever step foot in that country again.
Where do you plan to move to?
Germany probably – or at least that’s the first destination of many.
You missed what is the main one for me – loneliness. People are so inhibited and reserved here and, after uni, it’s nearly impossible to make friends more meaningful than the small talk it always stagnates at. It’s the same with my friends too, they barely see anyone either. Nobody has close dependable friends anymore or simply wants to hang. Infact what bothers me the most is that I may not have problems the way the poorest in the world do but I can bet that most of them would have more meaningful relationships in their lives. And honestly if I had a good social circle my problems wouldn’t seem half as bad. It’s misery here!!
I can’t speak English fluently and please forgive my grammar but let me tell you something, I agree with you that people in Britain use to drink a lot, like a LOT. I have a British friend in Facebook who is absolutely a drunken master and he’s only in his early twenties ! They are also bad mouthed like they use to say the word “F*CK” all the time and some are so lazy and mean to other people who’s not British. I was so disappointed with that because all this time we were thought that Education in U.K. is absolutely FANTASTIC considering how wealthy the nation is, but manner of the young BRITS speak differently. But one thing is for sure, I still would like to visit U.K. or work in U.K. someday, just wanna give myself a try to see how things are different there than in our country. 🙂 This is a good post and a good insight on what living in U.K. might be … Thank You Jamie.
So I saw the title of this post and expected to read this and find something to disagree with. But I didn’t. And now I’m depressed about living in the UK. Joking aside (though I’m only half joking), I am and will remain grateful for the free healthcare here. I’ve lived in the US and I’ve visited family in Nigeria and free healthcare is a big, big deal. Though don’t get me started on the state of the benefits system here right now. Great post.
Micah recently posted..The Anatomy of a Critic
No: 11 and 12 to add to the list. Women in the UK think they are Gods gift to man, even though most of them are FAT, Ugly, dyed hair,Wear an inch of makeup and have the most foul attitude in the world. If more women went to Asia they would see that they are not so fantastic and should humble them selves abit. No :12 The justice system is the worst in the world. In the UK you can go to jail for upto 6 years and be labelled a pedo for going out with a girl (consented) one year before her legal age, yet if you kill someone you will only get 4 -5 years out in 2. Overall the UK sucks, and if it was not for the NHS there would be 0% reason to stay. And like you I cant wait to get OUT!
It will be kind of weird but i am french and i’ll be the one who will go on England side. In my opinion, a country in which street cops are walking around with NO gun is the proof that this place got a really undeniable maturity.
How can you drown in 3 feet of water, you can kneel in that……..
It only takes a few inches to drown…
I lived in UK for over 6 years (in Birmingham). The most part of those disadvantages are right. Sad but true, my homeland is cloning that shit into our own ground. Chavs are increasing in Poland too… and all the products are starting to break just 2 days after warranty date.
Hiya, hey omg wow its soooooooooooo nice to come across a fun to read blogger i have been looking for content like yours for a while now….
i just started blogging though my website is not even half as lovely as yours (though i luv it all th same ofcourse 😉 and im def bookmarking and coming back for a read!
At last someone that thinks UK is the way you describe. I also think it doesn’t worth living in here. I know some people that say London is the best place in the world and I feel ashame for them. Poor ignorants, they have never lived in Germany or don’t know anything about outside of UK.
Because of the language, it’s not easy to find a job there, but in the future I plan to move to Germany for the best and overall for the quality of life.
I have lived in the UK for 2 years, I don’t know how I did it, and I just cannot wait to abandon this country.
Note: I am not german I am spanish.
You know all countries have their problems. Whether it’s your UK or my US. Come to the states; we can have a drink or twenty and have a good time making fun of each other and the rest of the world.
The UK is the biggest hellhole I have ever seen. So much greed, unfriendliness, lack of community, stupid ignorant values that are not worldly, moral or fair. Disguised racism and do everything to stop non brits from integrating, going to school or getting a good job. Don’t get me started on classism, I don’t know you so don’t talk to me attitude but will go to university or vacation abroad and want to meet all the new people there. Just rude, arrogant and selfish. Parents, schools and society refuse to bring up their kids with the right values because they have no values to pass on. Getting what you want, selfishness, greed and hate towards what is right and authority.
Everything is horrendously expensive, good high paying jobs with a degree are hard to come by outside of London, nothing makes any sense at all and backwards. Why is everything London centric? There is no space, start building offices outside. But you don’t want to ruin the countryside.
No one has a mind of their own, follow the crowd entirely, no one understands traditonal values, sharing, opening doors for people and manners. Americans know manners and how to act like a community. English people just shut you out and won’t talk unless you know their friends. Snobs if you ask me. Driving is a joke in the UK, everyone drives super fast, cut people up and horn you for following the rules.
One day, Europe will own the UK and mostly London, inject some culture and so will other nationalities and American culture will influence diversity, hard work.
The UK is a country only designed for money and selfishness. That is the culture that has came out of no morals, no discipline, broken families and no community. Most arrogant, backwards, uneducated, badly behaved and proud country I have ever had the shame of witnessing. You have destroyed yourselves and need other nations with morals and community to save you.
What the UK needs is more people like you, sir, unafraid to diagnose the real social problems in a humerous way. I am a dual US UK citizen with several years in both countries and I wholeheartedly agree with this list. My biggest gripe is actually the British “culture of homogenization” and the absolute terror of being percieved as different, “odd” or freethinking outside rigidly prescribed norms. I think this contributes to school bullying as well, which seems to be much worse here.
Having said that some of the attitudes resulting from the “insular” qualitity of the culture are very pleasant, such as a general willingness to help strangers, a genuine selflessness and concern for others, adorable cultural reference points, etc. Not to mention welfare systems, anti-gun laws and minority protections. As a gay lady in the southern US I grew up with ZERO employment or housing equalities protection, zero hate crimes legislation, and rampant systematic homophobia in school and work. Not so here!
Everyone’s an alcoholic? Everyone? You know everyone? You know me? I don’t drink at all neither does my partner. So not EVERYONE is an alco.
As for things being expensive, sure i agree with that but its not an issue for me since i work and have the ability to save and budget.
The weather is great in the Uk, its not hot 24/7 its not raining 24/7 there’s always a mixture of weather patterns. I like rain and to be honest i prefer rain over sun any day, it cools you down and is needed to drink.
As for chavs, totally agree with you there, i hate them to.
Health and safety to me is not a problem, i like the fact that these are in place.
Ignorant towards cultures? The only ones I’m ignorant towards are the ones who live in our country and don’t know anything about speaking English, i see it like this, you come to our Country to live at least speak English.
Crickets a sport, some like it some don’t, if you don’t like it stop complaining and stop watching or reading about it.
Nothing works properly? Can you be more specific instead of complaining about the snow?
Daily mail? Come on now your just whining about everything, its a paper! Thats all a paper! Don’t read it!
Sorry I’m British and nearly everything you have mentioned is bull, you make out everyone in the Uk drinks, you make out the weather is awful when its actually a normal weather cycle, you seem like someone who is really mardy about everything, if something doesn’t go the way you want you make out everything is sh*t, sorry to sound rude but shut up with your crying. Geeze.
Danny, I bet you’re a real joy at parties. 😉
I am European and in London for a little over 1 year.
I’ve travelled on all continents so I’ve seen alot.
What I can say is that living in the UK is good or bad depending on what you like to do. If you are an outdoors sporty person, like the sun and beach, then forget it. If you are more the urban person who dislikes sports, then UK is nice.
The main problem I have is the mentality. But this is talking about London specifically. Its 100% individualism and “new wealth’ mentality. No socialism like in mainland Europe.
I’ve never felt more lonely in a city in my entire life. Its really all about work & making money, and if you have alot of it then you can enjoy life.
Long story short the British dont know how to live, and can be extremely shallow individuals IMO. Men can be like in the article: Drunks, chavy, ignorant about the rest of the world and even Europe. And generally the population is overly chauvinistic and cannot criticize itself.
The worst part about the UK is the self-delusion that the Brits have about the NHS. Almost every brit I came across thinks that the nhs is the best healthcare system in the world (or at least a very good one) when only a very small percentage of them have actually lived in a foreign country and utilised a foreign healthcare system. At best they can only come up with comparisons with the US. Sure, like the us is the only other country in the world and let’s be honest: almost every country’s health system would seem perfect when compared to the us.
Most Brits would never be able to imagine being able to see the GP on the same day as they fall ill because they have to make appts days in advance. From where I’m from, I can easily choose to see the doctor at 3am in the morning at the many 24 hr clinics around my neighbourhood ( and im not talking about a&e which is some thing really terrible about the nhs as well). Oh wait, the brits would never be able to imagine themselves having the ability to choose clinics so easily as well because they have to register with a particular clinic. If they wish to change clinic, its a weeklong troublesome affair of form filling. And by the way, a visit to my local doctor only cost around 20 pounds. Sure its not free, but I’d rather pay the 20 pounds then wait 2-3 days later.
I can go on and on but the underlying point is that the british people as a nation have seemed to collectively deceive themselves to think they have a functional health care system.
Our healthcare system is broken is it? So how is it that we still get free point of delivery healthcare for any ailment? How is it that our ageing population manages to continue to get older even whilst struggling with being unable to get an appointment to see a Doctor for so long? (It’s relatively easy to get an appointment for the same day by the way. Where did you get your information from?) We are getting fatter by the day, liver disease is on the increase, certain cancers are far more prevelant, cases of diabetes have rocketted recently, allergies – including hayfever – are suffered by a much greater percentage of youngsters, and yet we get older. Is this in spite of the NHS or because of it?
Maybe it’s because we can take a joke? Or perhaps it’s because we’re always drunk? Or maybe it’s the knife fights that keep us on our toes?
The Health System in this country functions well for most of the people most of the time. And is free at point of delivery. You will always be treated regardless of your ability to pay because you don’t have to pay. Your Government may have to reimburse us at a later date but you won’t. How does that make it broken?
Okay, I may have exaggerated when I say that your healthcare system is not functional. It is okay but it is not as good as you think it is, especially when compared to other developed countries. That is my main annoyance: the tendency by Brits to place the NHS on a pedestal. You make a lot of strange points.
1) You don’t need a good healthcare system for your population to get older. You just need a population where the birthrate of the previous generations are much higher than the current one.
2) It is not easy to get an appt for the same day. I say this from personal experience of having lived in the UK for many years. I have registered at various clinics and unless it is extremely urgent (in which case you should really visit the crappy A&E), I’m sorry but you usually can’t visit on the same day. Your clinic may be different, and doctors and nurses are wonderfully efficient but that is another one of my gripes with the NHS: postcode lottery.
3) I’m don’t think that an entirely free system is the best system. There, I said it. This concept of “free healthcare”=good, “not free”=evil is practically dogma in the UK and to question it is sacrilegious. Of course please don’t misunderstand me and think that I’m all for charging absurd prices like the U.S. and patient be damned if he/she can’t pay. The best systems in my personal opinion combine both social welfare nets as well as profit incentives. The UK NHS just strips the profit incentives part completely.
By the way, you do have to pay for your treatments albeit indirectly through taxes. So it’s not really free.
Got to the end and had to comment – doesn’t the US Education system teach you about apostrophes? It’s ‘my thoughts’ NOT ‘my thought’s!’ (Before you reply regarding ‘it’s’ I am abbreviating ‘it is’
Hi – I wouldn’t know. I’ve never sampled the US education system.. being British and everything, but thank you for pointing out my grammatical flaws. 🙂
I’ve lived in the UK for almost ten years. To be honest, I have a soft spot for the UK but there are problems that can be dealt with and solved, but aren’t. Sometimes, it seems like the government doesn’t even try to keep things working and deliberately tries to ruin what works well and all that is peaceful. For example, it seems like the government loves to cram as many people as they can to live near you. They love building needless houses (mostly low income) near your area and thus, injecting crime into your once peaceful area.
No one tries to tackle crime. No one tries to make people accountable for their actions either. State education in the UK is a complete joke because they are nothing more than exam factories. As long as the school’s league table status is up to par, nothing else matters. Exam results and school inspections are “fixed”. The attitude that many schools have today is that if the child feels good about himself, that is all that matters. Teachers aren’t allowed to tell the truth about students and their progress. This makes me believe that most schools are nothing more than day care centres. Go to mainland Europe and you’ll find the opposite.
Yup.. stay for long enough and all the miserable c*nts who live there will convince you you’re actually worse than all of them for being realistic and pointing how utterly shit the class system (thanks to upper middle class Tarquin and all his pretentious Tory bumchums and the lower middle class comprised of Sharen and her 85 kids who are only half on welfare because she runs a successful local hair, nail and tanning salon- please lets not fucking pretend there’s any real working class or aristocracy left to blame for all the problems) and everything else about Toilet Island (as it should be renamed) in fact is- all because the English are too bloody nutless to do anything about it. Minimum wage for a year or two if you’re lucky after borrowing thirty grand for a completely undervalued education? Fuck off!
It boils my blood how clever and progressive all of these these mollycoddled fuckwits seem to think they are as well- they whine about their government and then don’t fucking vote, whine about a lack of qualified personnel then refuse to train graduates.. I was born in Australia but raised in Blighty and as soon as I left the latter (having stayed far too long) for the former I found employment on the basis of pretty much just having a brain, for twice the pay. I just had the misfortune of returning to the Land of the Leperous for a visit after just over a year down under, and it was two months of public transport nightmares, vanishing funds, rudeness from impotent cretins and litter- luckily I flew back out to Canada before my head exploded, and walked into another job which pays me what my skills and qualifications are worth..
Don’t get me wrong- (or do, I don’t fucking care)- I miss the English countryside, I will always love the smell and sounds of the harvest and the mist in the hollows in all of those little hilly places which just don’t exist in the same way anywhere else, but until England loses about 50 million of its inhabitants to fungal necrosis and the other 10 million pull their heads out of their arses it’ll be more hassle than the inevitable aneurysm’s worth to live there 🙁
I was with my daughter last year in Scotland to hike the West Highland Way. Had a great time while over there. However by the end of our stay, I desperately needed to trim a finger nails and had forgotten to pack a pair of nail clipper for the trip. I went to the chemist in Glasgow an ended up paying 4 pounds for nail clippers! I wouldn’t have paid more then $1.50 for them at home. You Brits do indeed get ripped off. But seem to be prepared to put up with getting gouged.
I’m orginally from germany, but lived in malawi all my life. go to international school and lots of my british friends and teachers are just TOO proud. I never really got why. so i did some rsearch and i love this post. AMAZING, Jamie!
Sorry but the gangs are an American problem too because not only do both countries relax illegal immigrants but encourage them buy giving free services out of the curtsy of the tax payers.
Any country that allows unchecked immigration problems tend to creep up and unhappiness happens not to mention heath problems from diseases unchecked..
I am NOT AGAINST LAWFUL IMMIGRATION as people have a right to come over if they do thru the legal channels so they don’t bring some super virus over or terrorists coming in unchecked bringing money in/out to build or sell high powered weapons.
Actually I moved into South Wales two months ago for 3rd year study in the University. I pay 900 GBP/m to rent here to live in a studio room. Can you believe it? 900 GBP is a god damn expensive rent and all you can rent is a stupid box.
Most of the people think that I’m Italian at the first time we met, they find me quite attractive and want to meet me especially when they are drunk. Once they heard that I’m Turkish, they start to move slightly away from me. They don’t know how modern life a Turkish person may have and they decide to consider me as a fundamentalist I guess.. I swear I look and dress much modern than any UK guys I’ve met here.
I went to a nice looking barber shop and a polite lady cut my hair. It was the most terrible haircut experience I had and paid 20 GBP.. It is not that cheap.
All the people have so fake friendships here. Most of them are two-faced. Native British are enemies to each other as well. They don’t even say “Hi” to each other.. What the heck is this guys?
Adult people are so kind and friendly. They are so noble I love them. But the people around 20-35 is like a disaster. They never help you, they don’t have any analytical mind. They always stay away from taking responsibility and they treat international people in a so badly way. It’s nearly impossible to become socialised in this kingdom. For the living cost, the life experience does not worth the money. That’s why I decided to become a loner and in two months I became suicidal. I can’t even concentrate on my courses. Always finish the assignments so late and my grades are reduced from the beginning. I hope I can pass these hard days I think it’s just because only 2 months left, I’m still on an adaptation process. I was thinking that I was about to have the best experience in my life because of moving into a well developed country.. But when I faced with the truth, I was shocked. I was thinking about applying to MSc Degree in the UK but depending on my current experiences, this would be the worst decision and will end up with a big loss of money. Life is so expensive in the UK. However, you think that musical equipments are expensive, in Turkey they are at least 2 times, sometimes 3 times expensive than the UK, and the cars as well. I can get a brand new Honda in Turkey, for the same cost I can get a nice and clean used Maserati here. So for myself, if I can find a job here, my life will standards will be better than Turkey. Life in the most anti-social, cold and 7/24 rainy country. Who cares about the standards then. I hope I will jump to the USA next year, and never look back.
Wow my love affair with the idea of living in the UK has been shattered here. I’ve always thought the UK would be the coolest place to live- of course I’m going to say I love the accents (most of them)- I love that you have loads of Indian places to eat, and most likely lots of authentic ethnic places to eat-
I think the whole English breakfast is hilarious/fun- it’s different which makes it interesting to me anyway- and Spotted Dick, bangers and mash, bacon butty, etc- “tea” but really you mean food- unless you mean tea- all the fun slang you use there- wish I could say “init” properly- just love it! cracks me up! It’s like a different language but understandable-
British people seemed to have a great sense of humor- they seem tougher than Americans- say it like it is- you have great entertainment- comedy- drama- mysteries etc- interesting culture, history- museums…………
I understand the immigrant frustration but there is never a reason to hate anyone- or call them horrible racist names- really I thought British people were ok with blacks and other races- I know there are racist people everywhere from all different backgrounds- but in general I thought in England people were relaxed with race-
Racism is alive and well in US- I like Chicago though for the diversity and the willingness of people of different races to strike up a convo- or have a laugh- (in most cases that’s my experience anyway) that’s my favorite thing, to have a good laugh or interaction with a complete stranger no matter what race- I thought the UK was like this but cooler/ more interesting-
I’m so disappointed to hear the truth- don’t know if I care as much now if I ever get to visit or not- the whole world is a mess though- it’s not just the UK- these people that moved to Asia, Philippines, so on- the people born there tend to have a hard life as well- unless they have money- this is the same story worldwide-
It’s beyond my understanding why people don’t just leave and pursue their desire of living in other countries; on that perfect, flawless piece of heaven they believe exists. No country is perfect, and out there is a great deal of other countries or continents that have much, much worse problems and issues than UK has. I particularly don’t understand the people that have so much hate and disgrace for this place, when they clearly and best know they’ve came from worse. I’ve moved here 4 years ago and never experienced racism but on the contrary, on my first year of college here, a girl has been expelled as soon as she addressed several insults upon my citizenship; and on a daily basis?! No one ever threw any rocks at me, but a few smiles and the occasional “hi” and oh my! does that hurt! When on the train, please excuse the poor hypocrites for still staring into their books or phones even though you’re dressed as a clown, do your makeup or eat spaghetti with your hands! Well, in the country I come from (Romania) you’d be laughed at, tortured and probably shown on news later on. The weather… I learnt to love it and I truly do, I’ve been on a two weeks holiday to Spain last year… I was suffocating. When I got back here it started showering and along with it, my tears when realizing how much I love and missed this weather. Here I’ve been able to buy and get everything I’ve ever wished for, ok, not everything yet but they’re accomplishing as we speak. You can never starve here?! Noodles and canned beans?! You can easily feed a family of 4 haha. No but seriously, food is cheap; products in general are cheap. Rent and travel prices’ are quite an abuse but hey! There needs to be something that keeps you motivated and pushes you to be and do better or in this case, earn better. The accent I love, the colleges I’ve been to, and now my University I love. I love the people; there are lots of scumbags too… But they’re everywhere. I have lots of friends, I go to pubs and clubs but never got into trouble or witnessed any; it’s a matter of entourage, I guess. The buses I love, I love that brits enjoy their tea so much, that they always send cards on special occasions, and so many other things I’d like to keep on listing! I know I’m not native but one of the hate motives behind the above comments; however, I get truly heartbroken every time someone talks bad of UK before getting to know it better or without placing in balance those other million good things about it too or… because media says so.
Sorry to break it to you but you’ve just described most countries in the Western world. Good luck if you think it’s much different outside England.
Let us not forget the fact that speech and expression have been severely limited due to politicians being shitty little asshats who are afraid of butthurt dingleberries AND, my pet peeve with the UK, if you fight back against a mugger/rapist/etc. then YOU could very well be arrested. It depresses me that the country that gave me Doctor Who is capable of such malarkey!
I have spent 4 years in the UK and for me, regardless of the charm, the decency and kindness of the older generations, the UK general population is the exact opposite of the polished, well-mannered and, most importantly, highly-educated stereotype it somehow managed to retain for decades. It is massively class divided, massively ignorant, albeit retaining the famous sense of humour – well done for that. The higher education… where do I begin? More than 150 universities charging the very same, increasingly hefty rate for drastically different quality of education. Access to Master’s in particular, favours offspring of the rich and the entitled whereas a degree in general, unless from Oxbridge and one or two other institutions is a waste of time and money. The value of higher education is in general underrated. Young people indeed lack some basic knowledge about the world surrounding them. The drinking problem is undeniable, particularly because it is not really an act of desperation, but a social norm of having a good time – to my understanding passing out in your own vomit is not the definition of a brilliant night out. If I said so many lack class, I’d be told the poor have no access to such thing. But think about it, is this the direction you want the country to keep moving in? The London riots were the best indicator of these many problems – the youth looting because they wanted a better gadget, a fancier pair of trainers. Where else in the world would people loot on such a scale unless they were hungry or opressed?
Wait, wait, wait..! Almost everyone here is talking about negative aspects racial inequality, security issues, expensive life etc. First of all I am not British but living for just one year in London (as an international postgraduate student) has made me absorb so much about British culture and thought. I would like to sum up my observations here:
British have God-gifted patience. Now this can be seen, as a decent non-biased observer, along the long queues at tube stations (e.g. the Monument or King’s Cross St Pancras). Another example is when a new Iphone is about to be released! People patiently queuing up outside the Apple stores and some have even slept the whole last night in the same area!
There is security. Yes it is, I remember going to the ATM in the one of most “insecure” areas in London such as Shadwell or East Ham and I am talking about early morning hours e.g. 2 am. Thanks to the frequent Met police roams and cameras.
Above all I experienced a warm welcoming attitude, freedom to approach anyone and expect a bit of respect. Yes, I did see the “Chavs” but unfortunately of a more violent type. But I would add that they didnt look like real Brits from what I saw and the stories I’ve heard.
I was married to a second generation Brit (now ex) and after watching stuff on tv from there, what I hate is they are think they are better than anyone else, always right even when they are wrong and are so easily talked into doing anything especially if you “shame” them into it, it’s unbelievable. The idiot I married would give a stranger anything but wouldn’t give the time of day to his wife and still won’t to his own daughter. They are weak which blows my whole allusion of them. Oh well, I guess everyone is going down hill fast these days.
I love you magnificent fogbreathers. You sound more and more like Americans every day, what with your racism and general lack of appreciation for anything you have. Brings a tear to this old yankee’s eye.
I’m American and can wholeheartedly say I’ve never spent more than an hr. with a British person I’ve ended up liking. Incredibly pretentious overall : they scoff at big city America whereas they turn their nose at smaller, more modest folk. I can’t think of anything positive to say after 40 years of dealing with them ( even in the US). They have a good command of the English language, but that’s about it. They really are rude and are basically the Americans of Europe, which is not at all a compliment. Chauvinistic and homogenous. Their men are the worst.
I am an American who lived in London six months and I would hate to burst your brits bubbles, but England aint half bad. America has far more violence than the UK, believe me, we have our guns and we aren’t afraid to use them! Sometimes I think I will go crazy in the USA because hardly a week goes by without me having to hear about some horrific mass murder. Here there are huge loopholes to getting guns without background checks, you can have semi-automatic assault rifles without any sort of checks. Its insane! And yes I know shooting happen in the UK but they are far more rare. If you live in the USA, you are four times more likely to get murdered and 35 times more likely to get shot than if you live in the UK. I know this is true everywhere but sometimes I think that everyone in our government literally just cares about money, money, money. Everything caters to the rich and the middle class is shrinking. We have very good schools here, but good luck paying for them. At least in the UK the school costs are manageable. And yes, I know the NHS sucks but at least you have the choice of maybe getting something for free or going private. But don’t get me wrong I LOVE america- I am not saying my country is perfect anymore than you are saying England is, I am just giving you some honest facts here. By the way, the weather here in NYC sucks way worse. We have bitterly cold winters that last most of the year….I was praying for the London winter when it was still cold in NYC in May…MAY!!!! I am not even kidding. England isn’t as grey as you think it is either, is has twice as many sunny days as Seattle. My point is, the grass always looks greener from the other side of the Atlantic. While it’s easy to think think that the US might seem better and cheaper, we have our problems too. There is no perfect place on the planet, every country/culture has it’s positives and negatives:)