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Are we really “Rude Britannia” ?

Posted by Big John on October 11, 2011

So we Brits are not as rude as we think we are according to the findings of an investigation carried out by social science ‘think-tank’ the Young Foundation. 

Well I’m not so sure that I agree with them about our standards of civility, for although it is possible to come across someone who still says “please” and “thank you”, gives up his seat on the bus, holds the door open for you, or even raises his hat to a lady; it is more likely, on an average day, that you will encounter litter louts, foul language, queue jumpers, texters in a trance, finger waving drivers and iPod ‘zombies’. Not to mention grunting teenagers, surly shop assistants, offhand officials, bolshie bus drivers, impatient pillocks and, of course, grumpy old gits.

OK, so I admit that I fall into the last category, but, nevertheless, if you ever come across that “someone” I first mentioned it could well be me, or perhaps some other old codger who was brought up on the Wykehamist motto  …

…   “Manners Maketh Man“.


3 Responses to “Are we really “Rude Britannia” ?”

  1. There is another saying: “It cuts both ways”. When I was a shop assistant and then a library assistant, I took care to talk to my customers, to smile and say “Thank you.” Some people would remain taciturn and you need to respect that (you don’t know what problems they may have) but often they responded and left the shop or library with a smile on their faces.

    When I go into a shop or the doctor’s reception, I don’t just wait to see how I am treated: I smile and say hello and then speak as pleasantly as I can. The results are often gratifying, not only on the occasion but later when you return because you find you are remembered.

    It’s very easy to moan about the churlishness of others and forget to be pleasant and polite oneself.

  2. Red Baron said

    It is an interesting topic Big Man, in the fact that one has to assess whether the commentary put about by the politicians and the media has some agenda in its portrayal. Yes one does encounter much incivility but I’m not convinced it is vastly more than it has always been. Furthermore comments such as “Rudeness is as bad as racism” show the utter contempt for vast sections of society by one who would prefer the serfs keep a civil tongue in their heads when tugging of the forelock. There is a definite mistrust of the younger urban people and this indeed very often feeds their mistrust back, why should a 16-year old black youth in SE London be civil to a pampered ponce who is just freebooting around his manor for quick votes and photo opportunities?

  3. Big John said

    “It cuts both ways”. Very true ‘Tiger’, as I well recall from “doing time” behind a shop counter. 😉

    “pampered ponces” should have been included in my list ‘Baron’, as should ‘toffee-nosed twits’, ‘pompous politicians’ and ‘rowdy royals’, although it would be unlikely that you would meet them “on an average day”. 🙂

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