I’ve had a number of discussions recently about Britain and what Britishness is. The current issue is what makes a Brit a Brit, and whether or not it is compatible with being English or European. Mrs G (an American) is also having to teach British Values (democracy, freedom of speech, respect for the rule of law) that are not unique to this island.
Other friends have commented on certain aspects of British life, is it that all our food is bland and boiled (both of which I refute, it’s hearty and fried)? What about the way we look at class, or is it the fact that as a nation we are able to laugh at ourselves (a trait that only seems to be shared by Canadians, Australians or New Zealanders – perhaps having the Queen as Head of State gives oneself a good dose of self-deprecation).
What better way to look at it than with a list of things that seem to be Britannic specialties. So grab your warm beer and Union Jack bowler for, in no particular jingoistic order, my list of what I consider to be our most famous institutions: