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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

Reasons why people might dislike the UK

"Reasons why people might dislike the UK" by Vexen Crabtree (2004)


True or False:
1) British people love to criticize America, but find it difficult to criticize their own country
2) British people are incapable of criticizing their own country
3) British people are hypocrites

4) Americans are evil

Fill in the blank:
I am a(n) (type your nationality here)

1) Very very untrue. Brits loves to criticize their own country, they're experts at it. Secondly they love to criticize Europe. Only when forced to by USA media or the news will they bother to criticize the USA.

2) See 1.

3) Most people are. Brits too.

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Aren't there any self-respecting Brits out there to take issue with some of the more embarrassing negative contents of this site? My God, the negatives seem to far outweigh the positives here (as determined by assessing the amount of space dedicated to each).

Also, where are all the British critics? Are there any British citizens out there who feel Vexen has hit the nail on the head, as far as the negative side of Britain is concerned?

Personally, I don't think British people like to air their dirty laundry in public, especially on a website that might be read by outsiders. I've visited one negative website about Britain (as mentioned by Vexen), but, to be quite frank, it wouldn't have drawn me (an American) to it, had it not been for the "Why Do People Hate America" page and the link via Vexen's site. By contrast, we Americans scream and yell all the time about how stupid our country can be (contrary to popular belief, we do spend a lot of energy criticizing ourselves). What gets under my skin is the fact that British people love to criticize America, yet when the opportunity arises for them to criticize their own country in an open forum (and possibly attracting anyone), they remain silent. Maybe if Vexen's site was dedicated solely to the British, British people would feel comfortable enough to squeak out a response or two.

Personally, I thought the comments about the utter stupidity of British people to be correct. I've run into quite a lot of them during my stay here (about three years now). I've had to "dumb down" my conversations so much I don't want to talk in public anymore (and I came to this country with no negative feelings about Britain). I'm so sick and tired of watching stupid kids, happy in their projected ignorance, walking down the street in their football shirts, yelling and throwing all kinds of shit at each other. I'm also tired of trying to go to pubs where I just watch people get more pissed (for the Americans out there this means getting drunk) as the night wears on (at only 10pm in the evening). In addition, do you British people think you could wait to throw up at home or do it in a rubbish bin instead of vomiting all over shop windows, bus stops, side walks, public benches, and/or yourselves? This just adds to the "stupid" image. Furthermore, could you British people, on your nightly alcoholic romps, throw your chip shop rubbish in bins instead of just throwing the half-eaten portions of it in the street? This too adds to the "stupid" image.

I'd also like to add the "Rude British Traveler" to the list of negatives on this site. I don't remember reading that particular comment here, but I could be mistaken. Every time I cross the Atlantic to go back home, I seem to run into or sit next to rude and obnoxious British travelers who demand (not ask, mind you) better service, and complain about all sorts of things. I ran across this, surprisingly, in the BBC and found it to be true.

Thank you

Brits spend most their lives criticizing their own country! This site will not gain many hits from Brits because it's merely common sense, stating the obvious, for many Brits.

Also... if you noticed... the site was only launched recently so has very few comments... whereas my USA site was launched in 2001.

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Re: United Kingdom

http://www.shamedagain.blogspot.com ....Doh!

What really irratates me about the Bristish......

I hate how the british are always complaining about britain!!! People don't know how good they've got it!! Having lived in various countries around europe, the americas and africa i have realised how good the UK is. The british complain about the weather, how stamp prices have increased by a penny and how the train was 5 minutes late. While people in Nigeria, where i lived for 3 years, don't seem to complain about anything of equal importance. Of course the british do complain about serious things too particularly politics, where i think they are the best in europe at keeping the government in check(eg the hutton inquiry).

God i do rant!

Also in my experience of knowing many nationals around the world i have found that many have different views on the british empire. Some say that they are excelling in independence and are pleased about it. But on the otherhand i have met many, particularly in Africa, who wish the british had either never left or had not left when they did. I had a few Kenyan friends who wish Kenya was still British, much to my surprise. They say that since independence Kenyan governments have been corrupt and absolutely useless and poverty and standard of life have decreased since Britain left. They also say that the only people who really wanted the british out were power-hungry and romantics.

The british are also the most popular country in the world according to international surveys. Even the french are starting to warm to them. And in land disputes, such as gibralter and the falklands, the people of the countries that claim them could not care less about it. It is only the governments of these countries that care.

Re: What really irratates me about the Bristish......

Oh Hi, It sounds like you and Great Britain need to get a room somewhere, since you two are so in love. Maybe we will get to see little Great Britains running around in nine months. Oooo, I can't wait for a return to the good old days of British Imperialism. Those little brown-skinned people never had it so good. They were speaking gobbledygook before you educated them. They were naked before you clothed them, and they were all going to hell before you and your European friends came to rescue their souls. How dare those little blackies not show Great Britain the proper respect. You even showed those crazy fucking Chinamen how to have a good time in the nineteenth century.

God do I rant!!!

The British have had almost 100 years to justify their actions during their time in the sun. Murder gets a lot easier to justify after a few seasons. I'm sure you'll find mixed opinions from people living in the former colonies. Maybe you'll even find some negative comments about Great Britain too. But, I'm sure the BBC can always just discredit them by putting a spin on a story to make those people look like they are just buying into Third World government propaganda. Maybe you Brits have been pre-programmed to think a certain way. Maybe you have good reason to bitch and moan. Maybe you should bitch and moan about more important things. Maybe your African friends are just humouring you!

Are the British people really putting enough pressure on their government? It sure seems like they are, doesn't it. Perception is sometimes different from reality.

page titles

another blatantly common trait of the english nation is the arrogance with which ye present yerselves, even this web site which is clearly striving to gain an honest reaction to brittish culture; your inclusion of Ireland in the Internal problems section and lumping them in with wales and scotland(actual UK members) is a highly arrogant mistake made by brittish everywhere. The Irish Republican Army defeated the imperial colonial power that was your government over 80 years ago, the irish executed all but one of your governing generals. the result was the formation of the Irish Republic, an internationally recognised sovereign state with no ties to the United Kingdom aside from our northern counties which are now devolved and considered English soil. maybe someone could expain this to the brittish nation, the sovereign southern Republic has no ties with the uk and is always going to be taken as an insult when the brittish yob culture don't make the connection.

Re: page titles

brittish? Dyslexic!

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Hello, My name is Mr Eamcat and I am English.

I'm not an academic, just an ordinary person with a mediocre education. What I say is what I see from my position in society.

There is a fundamental attitude problem amongst the English today:

Most feel confused and let down by a Government with it's own agenda, one that does not on the whole match the requirements of the people.
The Government is opposed to public referendum, preferring to let overpaid and 'above society' politicians make decisions on behalf of their constituents. 'That's why they are appointed' I hear you cry, and yes, you'd be right. One problem - many MPs live outside their constituencies and have very little to do with them and the people. There is a very real feeling that they are above dealing with the public that are meant to represent. It's only the very rich and hence highly educated members of society that get to interact on a frequent basis with their MP - here lies another main danger - the very rich hold themselves above general society too, making altered perception of what the public wants and need only too real.

Politics isn't the only cause of angst in England.
Our education standards are appalling, leading over the last three generations to decreased general intelligence, respect and national pride. Our social structure is breaking down and we actively encourage a benefit-dependant society.
Our National Health System is getting progressively less supportive.
There is a strong undercurrent of a national hate, we can see our nation crumbling around us, becoming a shadow of it's former self - and that creates a sense of worthlessness and despair - a sort of National Depression.

Our opinion of English culture is taught to us by our parents and peers, not the education establishment.

If we were to generate a belief in national pride within education, try to teach children to respect their country and countrymen, that would have a knock-on effect for the next generation, we could generate a culture change that could pull us out of this negative miasma that we all seem to be caught in.

Baseball Hat Ban

Apparently, England now has a ban aimed against local street "tuffs" that makes me feel unwelcome. You see, I'm an evil American living in England. If I don't get harassed for my accent, I now get harassed for wearing my cultural dress (my baseball hat). I regularly get asked to take it off when I go into stores, pubs, nightclubs, office buildings, etc.

But why wouldn't I take it off? It's just common "decency," that's all. Isn't it just polite to take it off and abide by the rules? The current social climate in England allows for all other kinds of semi-offensive dress: ear rings, tattoos, etc. But, they are making a statement: "I am an individual." Ha!!!!!!!

I like wearing my baseball hat because I feel comfortable in it. I must admit I'm a little homesick and my hat reminds me of home. But then, my culture is crap. I (personally, me, that is) regularly kill all kinds of people. I force my music onto other cultures. I am destroying the world, so I should just get used to being a target of hate. Right? Yes, you have got the picture, mate!

Although, I guess I'm up "shit creek" if I try to appeal for any sympathy. 7 out of 10 people I ask on the street are happy about the ban.

What's next England?

Banning Muslim dress? Banning Jewish dress? Can Amish people come over here and shop in stores?

Think about it.

God bless the Queen!

Re: Baseball Hat Ban

Your "apparently" is wrong.

Youths were using hoody+baseball cap combination to hide themselves from security cameras in a shopping center, and (as it is their right to do) they banned such clothing.

It has nothing to do with "cultural dress".

In Britain, it is civilized to take off your hat when indoors or when talking to people. That's *our* culture. It's polite. I don't know why. In your country, you have your culture, in our country, we have ours. When they clash, our country gets right of way in our country, and your country gets right of way in your country.

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This American Does Not Dislike The U.K.

I am very saddened by what I am reading here. And I am afraid that much of this must have been brought on recently by events in Iraq. And this is sad. I have posted to "Why People Dislike The U.S.A. " section of Vexen's website so I shall not repeat things I posted over there. For those few who may be interested, the posts are located on page nine, in that section. I will reiterate however, that I love my country, and will always defend it, so please bear this in mind as you read the following...

I feel, and have felt since before this war, that it was unjust and illegal. Facts are becoming ever increasingly clear these days, and my convictions towards the war is gaining more and more weight here in the U.S. among my fellow Americans. This is one thing. However, it is equally unfortunate, that we dragged many other countries down with us, based on lies told by the current U.S. Administration. Countries, such as the U.K, The Netherlands, Italy, Ukraine, Denmark, Romania, Australia, Poland, and many others. For this, (and I realize it is not nearly enough), I feel I must apologize for my country. We started this war unjustly, and now, unfortunately, we have a terrible mess on our hands. Having said that...

I also feel that much of this Anti British, Anti American, Anti European attitude is sometimes "misinterpreted" resulting from cultural differences. (I know that it DOES exist, don't misunderstand me) but OCCASIONALLY, it just might be due to a misunderstanding. Allow me to give a couple of examples...

I just returned from Europe in March and we visited a total of seven countries. While in The Netherlands, I found people approaching me directly, and speaking their mind in such a way, that to an average American, would be considered very rude. It was explained to me, though, (by a Dutch Friend named Pim) that this is "The Dutch Way" and I should not be offended by this. Once I got past that, and accepted it, I found the Dutch to be very friendly, and to be quite frank, very charming.

I had a different experience in Britain however. While in London, we were engaged numerous times about American Foreign Policies (something I am not very good at debating). I was confronted in a London pub and remarks were directed at me which I consider VERY racict (I am part Native American). I was called An ORIGINAL American Asshole (I think he just said "Ass"). Here is the part to pay attention to: While all this was going on, two of my British friends (Ian and Alistair) stood up for me and challenged this person to a fight. I convinced them that the best thing to do was to leave, which we did. But while some British people were attacking me for being American, other British people were DEFENDING me.

Please do not define an entire people by a nationality, or by the policies of a country in which they live. This is not fair. There are MANY good British citizens, just as I found there are meny, many good Dutch, German, French, Italian, Irish and Belgian people. It is so very important that we all remember that. I found that out while in Europe, and any Europeans who would doubt there are good Americans, should visit the United States. You will soon find that a great many of my people are warm, friendly, accepting and courteous people who will embrace you during your visit here, and continue to embrace you after you leave.

This American Does Not Dislike The U.K. (Con't)

[["There are MANY good British citizens, just as I found there are meny, many good Dutch, German, French, Italian, Irish and Belgian people"]]

I can see myself getting in trouble for this, so I better explain...
What do I mean by a "good British (or other) citizen"? Somebody who is decent and does not "pre judge" before they get to know someone. Somebody who would not say "Oh, I don't think I will like David, because he is an American, and I don't like Americans". Or, I could NEVER like Andrew, because he is British". I know there is MUCH more to being a "good citizen" besides that, but I am only pointing out the "pre judging" that seems to be going on all around the world these days.

Just as a side note, I have tried, very hard to learn more about the U.K., after returning home from Europe, to the extent that I am watching BBC America ruthlessly. I have watched (I think) all the episodes of "Absolutely Fabulous", "Coupled", and "Mr. Bean". And I am sorry, but I just don't quite understand British comedy. Would someone explain it to me? I have watched and watched these sitcoms, and while the shows are extremely cute, I don't get the humor. I know the British do not understand (or appreciate) American humor as well. I have read many comments about "Friends" and "Sex In The City" from British people. Hell, Sanford and Son has never even been aired in Britain. (Which is probably a good thing, Lawanda Page is obnoxious). And it was probably stolen from "Steptoe and Son" anyway. I am trying very hard though to appreciate your British form of comedy. I will continue to watch them. Maybe someday, this feeble minded American will begin to catch on!

Re: This American Does Not Dislike The U.K. (Con't)

Ha, ha...I loved your post. I've been saying the same thing now for three years. I've been living in the UK since 2001 (a week after 9-11, Sept. 18, 2001) and I've noticed the exact same shit. My life has been one big cluster fuck for three years. Thanks Great Britain!

Hey, they're not all bad, like you said. But, there sure are a lot of ignorant fuck heads over here! I hear the same shit over and over again. It almost seems like every fucking milkman, bar maid, school child, and businessperson, etc. has a fucking opinion about us. And, it's usually negative. I'd like to add that if you challenge people on something they’ve said, they really don't know what the hell they're talking about. Many enlightened British citizens just go along with whatever the hell the BBC says, which is exactly what they accuse us of doing.

Hey, for fun, take a close look at the different styles of reporting in France and England now, especially while Blair is acting as head of the EU. It should be a fucking riot as the two countries pick each other apart.

Take care buddy,
From an ignorant, tired, poor, and wretched American

P.S. We are just a step above child molesters in most Europeans’ minds.

It's A Small World After All...

[[We are just a step above child molesters in most Europeans’ minds]]

Stereotypes. That is what I call it. Stereotypes. All African Americans love watermelon, fried chicken and belong to gangs. All Native Americans are beggars, cheaters, liars and thieves. All European Americans drive Lincolns, live in big homes in Suburban America, or all European Americans are white trash. All Muslims are terrorists. All Jewish People are rich, greedy and self centered. All Arabs wear towels on their heads and ride camels. All homosexuals wear dresses and are afraid of confrontations. All Asians carry cameras and eat rice all day. All Europeans are judgmental, arrogant and hate Americans. All Americans are fat, have stupid sounding accents and could care less about anyone else but themselves. (I could go on and on...) Stereotypes. The one thing that will probably bring and end to the World; probably even before God has a chance to. Being a Catholic, gay Native American, LORD KNOWS I have been subjected to stereotypes. And they hurt. They hurt ALOT.

I am sorry, my friend, that you are being subjected to such treatment in Europe. I would not wish it on anyone. I must admire you though, for you are representing America to others. I had that chance a few months ago while in Europe. I tried very hard to speak the languages (at least a few phrases) and observe the customs of that country. When I did offend, it was not intentional. It was out of ignorance. I must admit, I met a great many wonderful Europeans on my trip (the third for me to that continent) and everytime I go, I make new friends, get a chance to spend time with old friends there, and soak up more differing cultures and viewpoints. But, even in Europe, I found, stereotypes exist. And it sounds as if you very well know that already. (Right now I am listening to the Prime Minister of Iraq speak about people getting their heads cut off in Iraq). I could easily come to the conclusion that all Iraqi's love to cut off people's heads. But that would be a stupid conclusion. And as an American, it breaks my heart to hear of such atrocities.

While in Britain, I met so many wonderful people. And many had better things to do than worry about if I was an American, or for that matter even care if I was. But a few did challenge me. Unfortunately, when I think about England, I think about those few upleasant encounters and forget all the wonderful ones. This is a stereotype. And it is a stereotype I must remind myself to erase from my heart. To my American brother who posted above, I admire you. And I challenge you to put yourself and your country in the best of light. I saw some of those things you speak of while I was there, and I very much understand what you are up against. But, in a way, you are our champion. Even if you manage to erase that American stereotype from just a few people's minds, you will have done a great thing for your people.

It's A Small World After All (Con't)...

One more thing...
I was watching the Discovery Channel today and they showed the Planet Earth from thousands of miles away. I was amazed. Absolutely amazed. I was shocked at how small this planet really is. I mean, from that picture, I could barely make out the Earth. It was like a small dot against a wash of stars, planets and black space. This planet is small, folks. And we all have to share it. Whether we like it or not, we ALL have to share it. And share it together. And we MUST find a way to get along.

(Please don't challenge me to American Foreign Policy. I am not good at it. I will say though, that I love my country. I will ALWAYS defend it. I love my People and I will stand up for them, even to death if necessary. And I love our troops. And while I disagree with this terrible, terrible war, it is not our troops fault. They were lied to. I will always support them. I must admit though, that my heart rejoices everytime a country yanks their troops from Iraq and sends them home. I am happy because I know at least they will be safe now, and out of harms way. I hope all the other troops come home soon, as well as our much beloved American Military).

But, whether we agree with the policies of each other's countries or not, we must try to get along as individuals. We will NEVER have Peace in this small, small world until we can at least begin to accept and love each other as individual citizens of this very small Planet Earth.

It's A Small World After All (Con't) Sheesh...

Just one more thought, and I PROMISE I will shut up...

It is just possible that each one of us could miss out on meeting the best friend in our life, no matter where they come from, what language they speak, what religion they are or what they look like... all because of a STUPID, STUPID stereotype.

It's something to think about!

David OUT!!!


Re: It's A Small World After All (Con't) Sheesh...

Hey David,
Yes, it has been very unpleasant for me here, and at times I don’t even want to leave my flat. Like I said before, there are many, many nice people in Britain too. I’ve had some wonderful experiences; so it hasn’t been entirely unpleasant. However, sometimes, the unpleasant experiences are the ones that stick out in my mind.

Many people in this forum, and many English people (not all but many), whom I come into contact with regularly (since I am a resident of the UK), have a tendency to stereotype, generalise, and lump us Americans together. When I moved to the UK, I had no negative pre-conceptions about English people, or their culture. I was just happy to be here. After being in England for about three weeks, I noticed I was having the same conversation, over and over again (i.e. America, and why we are so stupid). That was three years ago, and I still feel that way.

To me, this is the same mentality—the same logic—that drives racism. I can’t tell you how many times English people, strangers, have started to discuss the situation in Iraq by making personal accusations and attacking my character, as if I know G.W. Bush personally and carry on a dialogue with him on a daily basis. Many British people like to use the word “YOU” a lot, when making statements like, “You killed thousands of people in Vietnam, Iraq, etc.” Just to set the record straight for any one else reading this, I do not know anyone in the White House. I never have. I personally marched in at least two US anti-war protest movements (in the UK, 2002-2003), and am extremely active in other US political protest campaigns.

My beliefs simply do not alter the fact that I am guilty of one thing—I had the misfortune of being born in America. My guilt, I know only too well, since in April 2003 I had my nose broken as I was walking outside of a pub in my city (which I will not name, but to give you a clue it’s a southern port city near the Isle of Wight). Since I had never seen the lads before in my life, I believe my only offence was that I had an accent. Also, they were making Rocky IV references.

As far as verbal abuse goes, the jokes, questions, comments, subtle remarks, etc. come from all walks of life. I’ve witnessed professors making blatant anti-American remarks in class. For instance, when discussing where something is geographically, a professor might say something like, “And for our American friends, its here, while pointing to a map of Africa.” The stereotype is that Americans don’t know where the hell anything is geographically. I hope you can see that I have no control over when and where these types of things happen. They just happen. Standing in line at Asda, for instance, some kid overheard my accent and asked me why we play feminine sports.

Every milkman, businessperson, school child, old person seems to have an opinion about us and it’s mostly negative.

Oh, and by the way, it seems to be socially acceptable for people to hate the US. European nationalism is not dead. It’s still very much alive and well, just watch an international football match and you’ll see what I mean.

Unfortunately, because of the anti-US thing, I have no social life anymore. I must admit I used to try harder (for about a two year period, 2001-2003). Now, I just don’t give a fuck. My experiences in Great Britain have fundamentally changed my life. I find it difficult to look people in the eyes, and I am deeply, deeply ashamed of my country. I’ve heard so many negative things about the US (especially in the news) I just find it difficult to remember what it was like at home, without the negative spin.

Am I pathetic or what? It’s a mice place to visit, but unless you’re a blueblood, England can be a cold place.

I’d like to say it again, my experiences in Great Britain have fundamentally changed my life.

From< The subject of Mrs. Trollope's book

P.S. If you'd like to discuss this in more depth, there's got to be a way to do it without me having to reveal my email address.

Wow! That Sounds Really Bad...

[[You see how easy it is to fall into the trap (and I used to embrace PC...my flub (above, by saying "most") is just one more thing to be ashamed of)]]

I too dislike Political Correctness. It has its' good points, but it has been taken to extremes in the United States, to the extent that it can be absolutely ridiculous.

I am sorry to hear that things are that bad for you over there! Are you able to move back to the United States? Or is there a reason you must remain in Britain, such as a job? I must have "lucked out" while I was over there. Other than a few incidents, I didn't really have any trouble. Of course, attitudes change quickly, and perhaps things have become more hostile towards us in recent months. I hope not, but I suppose it is entirely possible.

You are welcome to email me at davidindy1@aol.com if you like. I am not sure how much I can help, but I am a good listener!

Hang in there. I hope things get better.



Here's another take on the situation with Gibralter than that they're all happy to be British. A Gibralterian friend of mine explained it thus.
Most of them speak Spanish. He himself considers himself Spanish rather than British, but this was not to say that he wants to be under Spanish rule. Most Gibralterians remember stories about Franco from across the border and would rather be under a fairly benign and remote colonial rule.
To complicate the situation further, Mike supported the Argentines during the Falkland War on the grounds that while he despised the brutal Argentine junta, Spanish people needed to stick together.

(I am sorry I did not post this sooner. I was out of town and away from the computer)

This week, our British brothers and sisters were attacked in a heartless and very cruel way. We Americans, stand solidly beside our British friends in this time of uncertainty. Here in the Midwest, Masses are being offered, and prayer services and vigils being held for the victims of this atrocity, and for the British people.

We Americans know that the British will rebound. The British braved the Blitz in the early 1940's. They survived the terrorism of the IRA. And they will emerge triumphantly from this too. But, in the meantime, please know that we Americans are with you in spirit. And to borrow an idea from the French just after 9/11 and President Kennedy when speaking to the people of Berlin, "Today, We Are All British".

We love you and pray for you... and we are with you.


Re: Condolences

cheers, and now a month after or so most people have already forgotten and it is hardly ever talked about. also i would like to add to this that the americans who have been to england and had negative discussions about americans and america in pubs etc, i think that this just really a way of making conversation and if you met these people a day later they probably wouldn't talk to you about america again its just a good way to stop there from being an uncomfortable silence and past the time, even i have done it or i ask a million and one questions about their country ranging from food to animals.

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