November 21, 2004

TYPICAL BRITON IDENTIFIED

An AFP caption:

A British hooligan in the streets of Belgium. The typical Briton is polite, witty and phlegmatic, but lacks a certain style and has a dental hygiene issue while having an occasional drinking problem.

(Via reader Richard Compton)

Posted by Tim Blair at November 21, 2004 10:09 PM
Comments

what is that from, the "AFP's Species of Europe, And How To Recognize Them"?

how nuanced.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at November 21, 2004 at 10:31 PM

That's so funny! I think a British person must have written that caption!

BTW there's a new word "Chav" that's easily used to describe this fine specimen of "Britains Burgeoning Underclass"

Check out http://chavscum.co.uk/4images/details.php?image_id=1055 and http://www.fat-pie.com/chavs.htm and see what I mean! Chavs are the end return on the welfare states investment in failure!

Posted by: Rob Read at November 21, 2004 at 11:03 PM

That's exactly why I love the bastards, I can't help it.

Posted by: gaz at November 21, 2004 at 11:15 PM

Brits being lectured about dental hygiene and drinking habits by (drum roll, maestro): Euros!

These guys are gonna make one HELL of a hyperpower, if we could all live long enough to see it.

Posted by: geezer at November 21, 2004 at 11:29 PM
what is that from, the "AFP's Species of Europe, And How To Recognize Them"?

It's probably either from the Grauniad's "Operation Turn Clark County Republican" letters page, or plagiarised from the press release of an Austin Powers movie.

Posted by: Clem Snide at November 21, 2004 at 11:38 PM

"Lacking a certain style" didn't seem to be too much of a problem for les Belgiques in 1914.

Then again, they weren't influenced by a certain long faced Seppo with "European sophistication and shades of nuance" when the Huns were invading.

Posted by: Pedro the Ignorant at November 21, 2004 at 11:42 PM

"A French diplomat in the streets of Brussells. The typical Frenchman is arrogant, treacherous and cheese-eating, but lacks a certain moral clarity and has a semitic-sympathy issue while having an occasional selling-arms-to-fascist-thugs-whilst-taking-bribes problem."

While we're stereotyping.

Posted by: fidens at November 21, 2004 at 11:48 PM

I think the caption is based on a survey carried out by BBC News here, where a panel of people from a few different coutries thought that Brits were cleverly humorous, polite, proud but also hooligans when drunk. It's a bizzare caption though with no context, anyone would think they didn't like us...
However as some of my fellow typical Brits like to sing at sporting occasions 'No one likes us, we don't care' although in a slightly more polite and cleverly humorous way.

Jon

Posted by: Jon at November 22, 2004 at 12:02 AM

The British generally understand the concept of washing once a day...unlike some other European countries we could name.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at November 22, 2004 at 12:45 AM

The British annoy all the right people.

'Nuff said!

Posted by: Rob Read at November 22, 2004 at 02:05 AM

News item:

British scientists said on Wednesday they had been granted permission to clone human embryos for medical research, but a report from the journal Nature concluded that cloned humans from Britian would still suffer from poor dental health. Reseachers at the University of Newcastle in northern England acknowledged the problem, but asserted that at least their clones wouldn't suffer from excessive body hair like French clones.

Posted by: Bruce Rheinstein at November 22, 2004 at 02:20 AM

The British may lack a certain style, but once you've seen the Memlings there's not much left to do in Belgium before dinner

Posted by: rexie at November 22, 2004 at 02:58 AM

From Rob Read's link:

Welcome to ChavScum

Chavs, Neds, Townies, Kevs, Charvers, Steeks, Spides, Bazzas, Yarcos, Ratboys, Kappa Slappers, Skangers, Scutters, Janners, Stigs, Scallies, Hood Rats, whatever you know them as, this site is about them, Britain's peasant underclass that are taking over our towns and cities!

Kappa Slappers?

Posted by: Spiny Norman at November 22, 2004 at 03:04 AM

Kappa Slappers?

Sounds like an anti-fraternity gang, Spiny. Can't say I blame them Brits. The only fraternity that I even considered joining in college was "I Felta Thigh".

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 22, 2004 at 03:35 AM

Kappa Slappers?

Slappers wearing Kappa. Shell suits, training wear etc. Waynetta slobs.

Posted by: Will at November 22, 2004 at 03:36 AM

Ok Will, I get it. Like Hood Rats, they're wearing the ubiquitous hooded sweatshirts. How funny: when I was in "skool" only geeks like me wore those things.

Oh! what hath MTV wrought?

Posted by: Spiny Norman at November 22, 2004 at 04:05 AM

One thing I find odd about the chavscum definition is their supposed right-wing politics; in the US the "chavs" here are decidedly anti-Republican, because the GOP reminds them too much of their dads' bitching about "getting a f*cking job"

:^/

Posted by: Spiny Norman at November 22, 2004 at 04:16 AM

I belonged to Tappa Kegga Bru.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at November 22, 2004 at 05:03 AM

Don't forget the good old British phlegm (hawk! spit!). Thats phlegm (hawk! spit!) - the ability to spit in the eye of the invader or the invadee....anyone want to tell me the POINT of Belgium? I served at HQ NATO for 2 years and have still to work out what happened? Its like a blurry memory...

Anyway must dash - off to brush my teeth

Posted by: dave t at November 22, 2004 at 05:05 AM

Wasn't it Wellington who said something along the lines of, "I don't know what they do to the French, but by God they frighten me"?
Come to think of it, that was in Belgium too.
Same old. Same old.......

Posted by: Boss Hog at November 22, 2004 at 05:37 AM

Spiny,

By my count, you Britons have about 17 different names for them.

In the U.S. we only need one: Punks.

Posted by: David Crawford at November 22, 2004 at 06:12 AM

Strange that the National Health Service has not improved their teeth.

Posted by: Rafe Champion at November 22, 2004 at 06:23 AM

David Crawford,

Agreed.

Except I'm an American. Born and raised in SoCal; I just happen to be a fan of British humor (beyond Monty Python).

:^D

Posted by: Spiny Norman at November 22, 2004 at 06:25 AM

The typical Frenchman has an unjustifiably high opinion of himself, would rather buy Pont l'Eveque than a bar of soap, hasn't been any good at shooting people from other countries since Austerlitz and is unusually subservient toward Germans.

Posted by: Christopher Johnson at November 22, 2004 at 06:30 AM

No generalization is worth a damn, including this one (Churchill?), but

my favorite stereotypical Brit was a man I knew who had gone through two inheritances, two lost yachts and two crashed Ferraris and was waiting for a third inheritance from his gay Viscount uncle. Seems he was keen for more adventures at sea and on the highway. He was charming, indomitable and completely useless, and had an occasional drinking problem.

He had nice teeth.

Posted by: francophobe at November 22, 2004 at 06:49 AM

"while having an occasional drinking problem"

!!!!??????

Really - the only occaision I've had a problem drinking was during a stopover in Kuwait.

Posted by: Giles at November 22, 2004 at 07:10 AM

Giles, you should have stayed at a British concern in Kuwait. For a year, my husband ate at a British Officer's Mess in Oman and never had a problem with occasional drinking. Meals of gin and tonic were served up with a little curry, morning, noon and night and every day of the week.

Posted by: british spirits at November 22, 2004 at 07:28 AM

It seems that caption is meant to accompany this article about a study of people in Chicago, Milan, Mumbai and somewhere in eastern England to find out what their stereotypes of the typical Briton are.

Posted by: CB at November 22, 2004 at 07:31 AM

Imagine being panned by a country divided between antagonistic groups called the Walloons and the Flemish (Phlegmish?) Just call all of them Belch. (My son was in Brussells recently and was struck by the number of roving street gangs.)

Posted by: Crazy Chester at November 22, 2004 at 07:33 AM

...and the "occasional drinking problem" is unknown among hooligans. There's no drinking problem, only a stopping problem.

Posted by: Crazy Chester at November 22, 2004 at 07:35 AM

What a disgraceful slur,"occasional" indeed!

Posted by: PeterUK at November 22, 2004 at 07:50 AM

They don't have a drinking problem; they can't get enough of the stuff.

(To paraphrase Denis Thatcher)

Posted by: Butch at November 22, 2004 at 07:53 AM

But, PeterUK, your posts at Roger Simon's are terrific. No hazy, slurred utterances there!

Posted by: A at November 22, 2004 at 07:57 AM

In one of my favourite European cities - Bruges - it's quite usual to see well-dressed sober men urinating in public in broad daylight. So we all have our little foibles. Or as Benny Hill used to say "You're a-peein'!"

Posted by: cuckoo at November 22, 2004 at 08:09 AM

Boss Hog,
Wellington was referring to the generals that London sent out to serve under his command in Spain. The majority were not, how shall I say, the most accomplished practitioners of the art of war, and at least one was insane. Apparently, the fact did not hinder his rise to general officer rank.

Now his main problem with the Belgians was a marked tendency of the Belgians to run away when the French got close. They had their reasons, but the fact did not endear them to Milord Wellington.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at November 22, 2004 at 10:04 AM

We don't hear of illegals risking their all to flood into Belgium.Just for starters their reputation as a paedophilia prone country with government involvement does not endear them to anyone.

Posted by: nrash at November 22, 2004 at 10:20 AM

The typical Briton is polite, witty and phlegmatic Then why are all the ones I meet in New York and LA such shrill, bitter and sarcastic wankers?

Posted by: richard mcenroe at November 22, 2004 at 10:25 AM

Maybe it's because we serve our beer too cold, Richard. For whatever reason, I hope we can change the situation and get those other Brits in, because we could always use more mannered men with wit and phlegm here in the States.

Posted by: anglophile at November 22, 2004 at 10:39 AM

"Then why are all the ones I meet in New York and LA such shrill, bitter and sarcastic wankers"

they're liberals

Posted by: Giles at November 22, 2004 at 10:40 AM

Think Jesusland, Richard. That's where the polite ones are going, no doubt.

Posted by: anglican holy roller at November 22, 2004 at 10:53 AM

Altogether now, lets join in harmony for that old hooligan spiritual:

England boys, we are here
Shag your women & drink your beer

Posted by: Lurker at November 22, 2004 at 12:50 PM

but also hooligans when drunk

I begin to understand the crucial role of rum in "rum, sodomy, and the lash."

Posted by: chuck at November 22, 2004 at 01:19 PM

"Then why are all the ones I meet in New York and LA such shrill, bitter and sarcastic wankers?"

They like to fit in with the people around them.

Posted by: Warmongering Lunatic at November 22, 2004 at 02:24 PM


A British backpacker on Bondi Beach. The typical Briton is scruffy, always whingeing and scrounging and is generally dull except when drunk when he becomes loutish, has little sense of style, and altogether is completely boring.

Posted by: mr magoo at November 22, 2004 at 03:56 PM

Reminds me of Lois Griffin from "Family Guy": "The British are a lovely people. Not physically, of course, but on the inside."

Posted by: LB at November 23, 2004 at 02:20 AM

Michael

The Iron Duke was referring to his army with that quote. Another one by him:

"We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France."

Posted by: Pete_London at November 23, 2004 at 09:47 AM