Attitudes and Values.

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Attitudes and Values

The English are governed by a simple set of attitudes and values to which everyone pays lip
service, whether they believe in them or not. There is, however, one exception to this rule and
that is:

Common Sense

Common sense is central to the English attitude to almost everything in life. It is common sense
to carry an umbrella in case of rain. It is common sense not to sit on cold stone (which bestows
haemorrhoids). It is common sense to wear clean underwear in case one is run over and taken to

In fact, it is common sense and thoroughly English never to be wrong-footed in any way. To fall
foul of changing circumstances is inexcusable. One should "be prepared" at all times.

For the English, common sense is part of the historical imperative. It was common sense that
beat back the Armada and won the Empire. The lack of it caused the Fall of Troy, the French
Revolution and almost any other foreign debacle you care to mention.

It is common sense that sets the English apart: they may look silly in their plastic macs on the
Riviera, but the last laugh will be on them if the Mistral comes early.

Of course it does not always work; sometimes germs do get through despite their efforts. Then,
as well as looking ridiculous, they sport that archetypal affliction, "le sang-froid habituel des
Anglais" - the English person's usual bloody cold.


Belonging is important to the English. Individuality is all very well, in some cases it can be

commendable, but, on the whole, being part of a team is their preferred situation and they are
never happier than when they are surrounded by a group of people with whom they either have,
or affect to have, everything in common.

This urge for togetherness manifests itself in many ways. Historically its most obvious symptom
is found in the English devotion to the class system which is central to the whole English way of
life. Its importance can hardly be overrated and it should never be dismissed. It is the unseen
joker in the pack - the card that negates or validates the whole game of life and turns winners
into losers and vice versa.

The class system is a reflection of the fierce competitiveness of the English. For whilst they
believe that, as a a race, they are superior to every other nation on earth, they have a surprising
need to establish their individual superiority within their own society. They do this by
manoeuvring themselves into cliques in whose coiftpany they feel comfortable. On...
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