Friday, 5 December 2008

What is wrong with England?

I often get the urge to post on the disastrous turn English culture has taken over the last few years, but I often lack the time to create a post adequate to the subject matter. The same applies today, alas, so I will just post some thoughts and an article from the BCC News that is, tragically, typical (if somewhat extreme).

In England they're called "lager louts," young men and women who go out on the town and drink themselves into a stupor. In my small town of Taunton, Somerset, you can barely walk through the streets after 10 p.m. on a Saturday night without being accosted by gangs of leering youth, shouting, fighting, puking, and "pulling" whatever skirt they can get their hands on. It's gotten so dangerous that people I know no longer trust themselves to walk through town on their own. I left a long time ago, but when I was at school I got "started on" a number of times for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I recently had a visit from the States. I wanted to show them a bit British culture, so we went out on the town and even I was shocked by the depths to which we have sunk. Every single pub turns into a disco, in which half naked women dance in ways reminiscent of a strip club. In the street were gangs of girls going about shouting to gangs of blokes. One walked into the middle of the street and pulled up her skirt to greet a passing fire engine. The driver whistled and a youth yelled "you fucking slut." They loved it.

Am I being a prude? German media has regular articles on contemporary British culture. Here's one, translated as "Drunk, fat, and addicted to Television." The worst thing is, their information is taken from the latest Lonely Planet Guide. We are, apparently, addicted to celebrity TV, Internet porn, and alco-pops. I'll spare the statistics.

This is one of the reasons why I'm far happier living in Germany than England.

In any case, what inspired this mild rant is the latest news on the BBC: Farm Students in Village Rampage. Here are the details:

Students from the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester were forced to pay a Cotswold village £6,000 damages after going on a drunken rampage.
Sharyn O'Flynn from the Black Horse said: "They ruined our village, they raped our village.
"They trashed the fence, smashed it down, they turned the picnic benches upside down.
"We lost about 120 glasses, they threw them, the whole of the lawn is covered in shards of glass.
"They broke furniture, they urinated against the bar, they stole bottles of port, vodka, everything that wasn't fixed down, they ripped off and took with them.

"They trashed the village, they stole paint and poured it across the village."

I'll be back in Taunton this Christmas, this time with a couple of German friends on their first ever visit. Let's hope the Brits do me proud!


Anonymous said...


I'm not English, but, having read your post earlier today, I thought that you might be interested in this articlein today's Tablet.

Phil Sumpter said...


thank you for taking the time to point this out to me. I have delayed in responding as I wanted to read it properly, but it's taking so long I thought I'd let you know now I still plan to. I looked at the first paragraph and I think I will agree with him, i.e. we are suffering a kind of religious problem. Looks fascinating!