All that is wrong with the world…

February 1, 2012

Why I don’t like the UK

Filed under: Travel — Tags: , , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 3:14 pm

I don’t like the UK. I have lived there on and off for a combined total of maybe 2 years. The people are fine but it is just little things about the country that I find unnecessary, annoying or in some cases frustrating.

First, the culture. The tendency to be excessively polite which results in white lies. Saying you have plans to get out of something rather than just stating it directly…pretending not to be home when salespeople come round..all people do these things but I have the impression that it occurs at a much higher rate with British people. Or to put it simply, British people lie more often because they think it’s nicer to do so. Then comes the stupid slang. Calling the BBC the ‘beeb’…words like shag, snog, numpty, referring to all vacuum cleaners as hoovers…spelling ass with an ‘r’. I find all of that mildly irritating for no good reason. I know dialects evolve in different ways but I subjectively I feel much of the slang in the UK is just…silly.

Not to mention the people who call everyone mate even when they clearly don’t know or like the person. The overuse of the word ‘well’ such as “keep well clear” as opposed to simply “keep clear”. The overuse of ordinary words such as marvelous or brilliant when things are not at all marvelous or brilliant. Calling the main street in every city the high street. Again I can’t make any argument why it’s bad, I just look down on it.

Then there are things that tend to get less subjective and more objectively annoying. The comedy they gave the world…fucking Mr Bean. They almost redeemed themselves with Peep Show. Sorry to say that I think shows like Spaced, Monty Python, Faulty Towers and and The Mighty Boosh are vastly overrated. The tendency of Britons not to consider themselves European. The ridiculously oversized power plugs. The love of warm beer. The food…god, the food. Blood sausage, crappy little sausages..hash browns…haggis..spotted dick. Gah.

The censorship of films, music and the Internet. The continued and excessive harassment of photographers by policeman who don’t understand the law. Having a house of lords and a house of commons as opposed to a more neutrally named upper and lower house. Judges who employ “common sense” which is dangerous. Excessive surveillance. Britain has been having a lot more serious problems recently. Having to pay for restrooms in some public places such as bus stations. Having to pay a TV license just for owning a TV (I know it supports the BBC but that isn’t the way to go about funding). The one way extradition agreement that allows British citizens to be extradited to the US. Putting someone in jail if they can’t reveal their encryption password, assuming they can but won’t.

Aside from the things I just think are silly, there is too much that is actually worrying or intrusive for me to live there. It isn’t a place I would want to live and certainly isn’t a country I can respect. As far gone as the US is in some ways..it doesn’t have the problems listed in the last paragraph.

23 Comments »

  1. Well I guess if you dislike it so much it’s good you don’t live there.

    Comment by Paul Andrew Russell — February 1, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

  2. You are of course entitled to your opinion, and I have to admit I agree with a lot of what you said as as an English girl born and raised… that said I don’t think it’s necessary to be so entirely negative. All countries have their problems – I live in Lebanon now and there are many things here that are far from perfect, but there are also lots of wonderful things. The same is true of Britian and any other country for that matter. Maybe if you really can only see the negative things you should think a bit about what that says about you, not the UK. If you are unable to “respect” an entire country how do you expect people to respect you?

    Comment by indiaphare — February 1, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

    • Indiaphare, thanks for your reply.

      I should be clear when I say respect the country I mean the government and not the population, although the population to an extent given that they think these things are ok.

      As for the positives of the UK…I guess I think they are generic positives, which are common to many countries. Which positives would you say are unique to the UK?

      Comment by allthatiswrong — February 3, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

  3. To each his own. But if I had to choose between UK and US – UK hands down.

    Comment by cruisesurfingz — April 26, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

  4. This is my first visit to your site – and last. Dear Lord, you are such an over opinionated arsehole. You’re what’s wrong with The Internet – another small-minded individual who thinks their opinion is of some unique, higher value. I can’t believe I wasted so much time reading you’re shit – I would advice you to put your time into something more constructive, but considering the manner in which you conduct yourself online I get the impression your just a total write off.

    Comment by Your Biggest Fan — June 15, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    • If something I took 5 minutes to write had such an effect on you, that I wouldn’t say I’m a total write off. On the other hand, you posted purely to insult someone giving their opinion, what does that say about you?

      Comment by allthatiswrong — June 18, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

  5. I lived in London for a couple years too. The Brits were polite though distant and the Aussies were fun party animals who made good friends. That is the view of me as a commonwealth-er sharing an office with tired and stressed out POMS and sharing bedrooms with excited and energetic antipodeans.

    Moving out into the country side I was immersed deeper in UK life and there were few foreigners around. I found my bosses some of the most horrible people I have ever met, my co-workers among the best friends I’ve ever had, my clients as very nice, mostly sincere and the guys at the pubs fairly long winded and bored, until you let them buy you a beer. To be honest, I have met far more Canadians who fit the “polite” label you mention and far more Spaniards who fit the “white lie” label … though there are loads of asshole Canadians and many sincere and direct Spaniards.

    I left the UK and run into Brits fairly often while traveling. They are often party animals in their early 20s (SCAVS who have gotten into backpacking), mid 20s (gap year) later 20s (stag party). They are funny, tend to keep others awake in hostels, throw up on dance floors, get in trouble with bouncers and are pretty hilarious all around. And of course, there are those who don’t fit these roles and have made some of my best traveling companions.

    Finding food that could compete with Mediterranean fare in the UK is not easy, but there are a few dishes that shouldn’t be missed. Rabbit Pie, a good homemade Yorkshire pudding that hasn’t deflated, a Cornish pasty sold by a dirty street vendor in Falmouth, aged cheddar and a yeasty crumpet with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

    I actually find London one of the more difficult places to generalize about (as with all of the so called “global cities”). My impression of the UK has changed a lot, and most of the negative ones have either been contradicted by opposite experiences or simply don’t seem like such a big deal anymore. A few negatives about the UK that ought to be taken seriously IMHO are the rough neighbor-hoods in North East London and in the Northern cities (seriously, enter at your own risk). Hi-speed internet has still not reached many large communities and that your snot turns black if you spend too much time on any London street.

    No one who has lived in London has ever come close to taking advantage of all the chances on has to party, see art, dance floors, theatre/opera, markets, green space, music, random parties, history, sports and it never need be expensive or intimidating. Anyways, a different perspective.

    Comment by Davis — September 20, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

    • Hey, thanks.

      Some people are taking this as a hate thing against the UK but it isn’t. I enjoyed my time in the UK, I just couldn’t live there, it all get’s a bit much.

      The pubs still close early there though, right?

      Comment by allthatiswrong — December 11, 2012 @ 4:47 am

  6. Why bother leaving the US if you can’t get used to the idea that other countries have slight differences. It sounds like maybe you should just stick to not living anywhere else and to be honest MATE I don’t see anyone being too bothered about that in the UK.

    Your post wasn’t balanced, intelligent or insightful. Just insulting and makes you look like the American stereotype of thinking your country is the centre of the earth.

    There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with most of the ‘irritants’ you listed, e.g ales being on offer in pubs, you can get cold beer and lager in every pub as well. It’s just the fact that you are allergic to anyone else’s culture.

    I could easily swipe down most of your points, for example how can you complain about paying £99 for the year for a TV license instead of watching ads on the BBC, when you consider the price for healthcare in the US. But as your post proves, opinions are like arseholes (yes with an ‘r’), everyone has one.

    Comment by Hannah — February 23, 2013 @ 10:43 am

    • One thing I find funny, is that while you attack me personally, all your insults and attacks seem to be based on the assumption that I am American. That isn’t the case, and I have no idea why you would assume that. It’s a baseless assumption and takes away any credibility your comment may have had.

      On a separate note, I am not criticizing the UK. You don’t have to be defensive. I was listing some things I don’t like, that’s all. I’m sure if you travel and go to countries there will be things you don’t like. If you went to my country and listed things that you didn’t like, I wouldn’t feel the need to defend them.

      Some of the things going on in the UK are very troubling, and they are far more than irritants. The TV license tax is ridiculous, and a lack of ads is not a justification. More than that, the jail laws for not providing an encryption key, the problems photo journalists face from police…it’s becoming a totalitarian state, which is ridiculous. The UK could learn a thing or 2 from the 5th amendment…

      Comment by allthatiswrong — March 3, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

      • Well firstly apologies for getting it wrong that you are from the US. I could only assume as you mention the US in the last paragraph as a comparison. In fact that is the only country you compare the UK top so it makes perfect sense that I would assume that. As your article is a completely rude and unbalanced attack on British traditions and ways I think it is spineless to not reveal your own country when attack someone else’s as at least that might give others something to compare it to for a more balanced debate. As your entire purpose is to slate the UK I find the whole thing abhorrent and pointless.
        I stick to everything in my comment still and it absolutely does not make my point any less.

        Paying a tv license is not ‘ridiculous’, the BBC is a far superior media source and we are lucky to have such an excellent broadcasting company. Despite its flaws, the documentaries and programs it produces are fantastic and compared to a lot of American and Australian TV at least, it is a lot better.

        I don’t see the point in your blog at all, the one about ‘bogans’ in the UK is sensationalist, uneducated and something even the Daily Mail wouldn’t post. It’s just generalised rubbish demonising the working class. I won’t bother replying again because I seriously think you need to read a lot of books and remove your head from your arsehole before you go around posting more insulting rubbish. Good day.

        Comment by Hannah — March 3, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

        • Wow. You start of apologizing and admitting you were wrong, and then in the same sentence twist it around and take it back. Well done.

          Paying for a TV license is absolutely fucking ridiculous. You are being taxed on private property that you own. If you notice, I am not attacking the BBC, but the implementation of a TV License. I actually wrote a blog post just about that. It would be one thing if it were a BBC Tax, but it’s not. It’s a TV License. If I just have a TV to play Xbox and never watch the BBC I still have to pay for it. A tax on a private property that resides in your home is ridiculous, no two ways about it. I’m glad such absurdity has so far been restricted to Europe.

          You then say I am attacking British traditions? Really? Get over yourself. The main things I mention in my post are slang and media, neither of which are traditions. I then attack some of the policies of your government, and rightly so. Every country has problems, and I commented on some of the ones the UK has. A civil response would be to agree and say it’s a shame, not to get defensive and act as though you’ve been personally attacked because someone didn’t like your country.

          How you stretch my talking about bogans in the UK to an attack on the working class I’ll never understand. As a hint why that’s absurd…the working class tend to work to support their families and sustain a basic quality of life. They don’t work as little as they can and spend the rest of their time doing drugs and being loud and obnoxious.

          Finally..this post is not insulting. You chose to take offense, because you’re just not that bright; or because you didn’t bother to read the post. I’m guessing the former, since your first response was insults and baseless assumptions. There is nothing wrong with posting this opinion., it isn’t insulting. If you disagree, that’s fine. If you choose to take offense at someones opinion….I have to wonder why you don’t have better things to do.

          Comment by allthatiswrong — March 4, 2013 @ 2:12 am

          • I wasn’t going to bother replying but I thought you should be made aware of two basic facts which make your point useless:
            The tv license is the main funding that the BBC has. The BBC used to be the only broadcaster on TV years ago so TV pretty much equaled the BBC.
            Also, you do not have to pay for a tv license if you do not have it tuned to the tv channels, if its just for playing games then you don’t need a license. It’s on the website.

            You’re still a knob.

            Comment by Hannah — March 4, 2013 @ 3:03 am

            • You’re showing your ignorance here. I suggest reading the article I wrote about TV licensees. Essentially, if you can receive the BBC, you have to pay for it because it is treated as though you make use of it. Again, it’s ridiculous. Call it a BBC tax or something…don’t tax people on their personal property.

              Comment by allthatiswrong — March 5, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

              • I honestly think most british people dont care about the tax nor do they find it rediculous. If you have a tv, pay the tax like everyone else. If you cant stand to have a tv and pay the tax, then live in another country without such gross violations of human rights. No one cares about bbc tax except dossing temp residents.

                Comment by davis — March 5, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

  7. This thread has gotten bizzare. If you have problems with the uk, then adress them from an objective point of view. Show that you care about the brittons and a concern for an open society. If instead you whine about the place from a pom point of view, no one really gets anything out of it except agreeing with you negative complaints or just getting offended.

    Comment by Davis Goodman — March 3, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

    • There isn’t any cause to be offended though. I even say that I can’t make an argument for why a lot of the stuff is bad, it’s not, it’s just different. I just happen to not like it. If people are offended by me not liking something, then they have issues.

      Comment by allthatiswrong — March 4, 2013 @ 2:01 am

  8. 100% agree with the OP. been living in the UK for 8 years, so far. I am a student in my mid 20, and all I can say that I have seen it all. Absolutely disgusting people, judgemental, boring, distant ( thank god my nationality is not english, and i was not born here). Havent been able to make friends, due to the mindset of the people here – get drunk, do drugs and waste time.
    This place is going downhill, but it aint gonna take me with it!

    Comment by A — April 6, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

  9. I’m originally from Finland but have lived in UK for 2 years now. I really agree with most of the things you said. Wish I had found this few months ago when I considered myself as a weirdo and blamed myself for not settling in to UK. I’ve come up with a conclusion that English people love making things awkward. When I started uni, lots of my course mates added me on Facebook – however, they turn their heads or ‘suddenly’ take out their phones when they see me IRL. I usually love random conversations with strangers and that’s how I’ve made friends while I’ve been travelling. In England, that would be creepy. Even though saying ‘sorry’ all the time is polite, I guess it’s also a way to avoid social awkwardness.

    I’m not even gonna say anything about the British lad culture or the girls who talk about celebrities and X-factor and wear tiny dresses when it’s less than zero degrees outside. Or the food, weather or general arrogance towards the EU.

    I wouldn’t say the whole Britain is sh*t – I love the countryside, London and the international ‘buzz’ of my uni. There are some lovely, sweet and genuine people here too. It has just been revealing to realise it’s not my kind of country and I’ve decided to move out as soon as I’ve finished my degree. I’m so glad I’m not the only one!

    Comment by Anna — July 23, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

  10. I actually don’t dislike thing nearly as much as the author…well, maybe the food is atrocious, but you can always eat Indian take away. I have found that the English do not necesarily speak very good English and very often use clumsy or overly complicated constructions to say very little.
    They overuse the word got, as in I’ve got sixpence. Who needs it? Don’t they know the verb to have? I don’t have any turns into the fussy sounding ” I haven’t got any.” Their slang is so thick that one wonders if they’re speaking English at all.

    Comment by Ronald Lemley — November 7, 2013 @ 2:47 am

  11. I live here over a year. I am so sad here. Terrible food. When I order a salad, most of the time I don’t get dressing or something what reminds dressing. Sugar and vinegar is in everything. Fruit and vegetables are packed in separate plastic bags. After shopping my bin is full of plastic. Sad:( Their hate to Eastern Europe and Americans is sad. They teach untrue at schools – mostly sth download from the internet without proper knowledge base. Kids are aggressive, mean and spoiled. People drinking so much that i haven’t seen in any other country in the world. Women wearing ridiculous dresses and shoes and way too much make up – no dignity and respect to themselves. People are dirty, don’t shower and definitely don’t wash hair everyday. People putting make up, filing nails, using perfumes on the public transportation. No manners at all. Trash is everywhere. People are throwing up and peeing on the streets. Despite a small amount of good things in the UK I am very upset I live here.

    Comment by f — September 1, 2014 @ 4:03 am

  12. I agree to this.based on my experience.. I had traumatic experience with Britons.. As much as possible i dont befriend them or trust them . . They are lairs and lots of them are good playing fake… Expressions like “brilliant” even it is not.. Nothing is perfect in this world.. But i still believe that not all britons are the same… But for me, i would have a second thought to have new brit friend… I still prefer to have friends who are honest to themselves and the people and they co exist with the reality…

    Comment by Tyrowr — March 5, 2015 @ 2:55 pm

  13. UK does not have sun, it’s shit. All go fuck yourself now. Period.

    Comment by ubaduba — April 12, 2016 @ 4:56 am


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