Social Question

Mat74UK's avatar

What makes Britain Great?

Asked by Mat74UK (4649points) October 18th, 2010

In your honest opinion what makes Britain warrant the title “Great”?
I understand the majority of you will not be British so please post whatever first sprang into your mind when you read this question.
Is it the monarchy maybe inventions or even our ability to integrate and absorb other cultures into our own.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

51 Answers

nailpolishfanatic's avatar


That’s what came to my mind.

p.s THEIR ACCENT!!<3<3<3<3

ragingloli's avatar

Nostalgia towards the time when they still had their empire. Now they have nothing.

diavolobella's avatar

These are all probably major generalizations, but at least they are complimentary ones:

The architecture, literature and arts
The friendliness, wry good humor and admirable sense of pride without arrogance
The politeness
The beautiful countryside
The funny television comedies and clever advertising
The music
Agatha Christie and Jane Austen (for me particularly)
Ant and Dec. :)

Aster's avatar

The people, the heritage, the countryside and food come to mind.

chels's avatar

Cheese on toast.
Beans on toast.
Lots of tea.
The country.
Words like “fiver” and “tenner”. and pretty much any other silly words they use.
Calling Indian food “curry”.
Town names.
The people are lovely.
The weather which I happen to love, thank you very much.
Overall lifestyle.
Colour – Favourite – Tyres – Etc.
The landscape.
My fiancé ;).

I could literally go on for hours, but I shall stop here.

Judi's avatar


Jude's avatar

their humor
they’re not the U.S. (kidding)
beautiful countryside

diavolobella's avatar

Oh yes, I’d like to personally thank Great Britain for Alan Rickman, Colin Firth and Rufus Sewell. LOL

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

O England! model to thy inward greatness,
Like little body with a mighty heart,
What mightst thou do, that honour would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural!
But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out
A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills
With treacherous crowns
...that,and they have a really big clock XD

nebule's avatar

I’m struggling to think of anything original

But I guess it’s great because I consider it home
It’s a beautiful place with some beautiful people
My family are here
We have still have a bona fide little sweet shop up the road
We have the NHS
and for such a little place a lot of talent comes out of it

TexasDude's avatar

Well, the Short Magazine Lee Enfield did for a while.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

The musical talent that comes out of there, architecture, humor, I love the accent, London.

Mat74UK's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard – Very clever I suppose this did too Martini-Henry

Mat74UK's avatar

I would love to know which accent you are all referring too!

TexasDude's avatar

@Mat74UK, I was actually debating whether to post the SMLE or the Henry. Great minds, I tell ya.

Winters's avatar

Tho Who and the Rolling Stones, need I say more?

diavolobella's avatar

I’ve said it once already, but I swear I enjoy watching British television commercials so much that I have some bookmarked on YouTube. The Christmas ones are the best. The humor is terrific and everything looks so much more festive than anything you see on the TV in the States. Not to mention the food porn.

Exhibits A, B, etc.

Judi's avatar

OH, and Eddie Izzard

Winters's avatar

They have what is currently considered to be the best tank in the world, the Challenger 2, so I guess that’s got to count for something.

And unlike what @ragingloli said, they are still fairly involved in the world with their Military spread through several countries, permanently. In a sense, they’re still very much an empire.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Providing Hollywood with actors to play the bad guys.

Lightlyseared's avatar

The ability to provide a world class army on a budget smaller than the average football team.

ucme's avatar

I asked myself this question a lot when I was a kid. I mean Great!?! A history teacher gave me the best answer I could ever be given…......... Oh you want to know what he said? Oh okay then, he simply said. Don’t ask why, just know that we are. Grrrrrrrrrrrreat!! As Tony the tiger would have put it.

ragingloli's avatar

The best tank in the world is the Leopard 2.

mammal's avatar

Britain is not great (and how the Empire poisoned everything)........

Britain is not great, it just is however i’ll give it a go

the countryside is wondrous, Particularly Cornwall

Shakespeare of course, and Blake and George Orwell.

David Hume.

Oliver Cromwell???

For popular music post 50’s Britain produced the most innovative, influential bands, but obviously not without American help. The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Smiths, Radiohead, Bowie, Brit pop, etc… love them, hate them sick of them, commercial or otherwise they still get listened too, pondered over and over again for the last 40 odd years.

Some great movie directors.

Pubs are good.

The NHS is pretty amazing, even though it is creaking these days.

Oxford and Cambridge.

The Criminal Justice system is pretty good and pretty fair.

Strict gun ownership laws.

Cricket, Soccer and Rugby.

Last and by no means least the BBC and Channel 4.

Having said all that, i don’t like Britain. But that is for another thread.

oh, i guess the SAS, although i hate their legacy and mission objectives, you can’t deny they kick ass.

Jude's avatar

“What makes Britain Great?”


lloydbird's avatar

Britain is the source of peace and understanding for this world.
Ok, we have some braggadocious offspring (America,Canada,Australia,New Zealand), and lots of admiring and admirable, long lost adoptees (India,large parts of Africa, Asia,Indonesia and China etc.), but you all love us, and you know it. And the feeling is mutual.

flutherother's avatar

Did someone really say Ant and Dec?

diavolobella's avatar

@flutherother Yes!!! I did!! I love them. I can’t help it.

Mat74UK's avatar

@diavolobella – Really Ant and Dec AKA PJ & Duncan

diavolobella's avatar

@Mat74UK Yes. Don’t make me have to post “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!” LOL

@flutherother I have no shame. They are adorable.

Mat74UK's avatar

@diavolobella – Already posted!

Kardamom's avatar

These are things that make it great for me, in no particular order:
Alan Rickman
Patrick Stewart
Libera Angel Voices
The Beatles
Charles Dickens
English Period Movies (especially the ones on Masterpiece Theater)
British accents from all regions
The Union Jack flag (very good graphic design)
Indirectly—Austin Powers
Charles Shaughnessy (the Dad from the Nanny)
Emma Thompson
Good manners
Helen Mirren
The spectacle and history of the monarchy
Davy Jones
Bubble and squeak
Double decker busses
Rosamunde Pilcher
Jane Austen
Clotted cream
The English countryside
Anthony Hopkins
The Rutles
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Waiting for God
Keeping Up Appearances
The author James Herriot and all of his “All Creatures Great and Small” series of books
The TV adaptation of Jame’s Herriot’s books starring Christopher Timothy and Robert Hardy
James McAvoy
Tea the drink
High tea, the meal
Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer
Judy Densch
The Tower bridge
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Westminster Abbey
The theater district in London
Sherlock Holmes
A ploughman’s lunch‘s_lunch
Watercress sandwiches
The Barchester Chronicles
Anthony Daniels
Maggie Smith
Robin Hood

diavolobella's avatar

@Mat74UK DOH! Didn’t notice the linky. How about this?

Kitty, kitty, kitty….lol

Mat74UK's avatar

@diavolobella – Class. Along with Ram Ray after they left!

risingonashes's avatar

I love everything about it! The music, pub scene, and beers are probably my favorite three things!

OpryLeigh's avatar

The interesting (if a little bloody) history
The royal family (I’m a fan though I know many aren’t)
BBC Comedy
Cups of tea (the worlds most comforting drink at times!)
Fish and chips
Cheese on toast (@chels sometimes, cheese on toast is the only solution)
Covent Garden
Michael Palin

But most of all, the thing that makes Britain great for me is the beautiful countryside of Scotland. If there is a heaven, I won’t settle for anything less than the Highlands.

chels's avatar

@Leanne1986 I <3 cheese on toast.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@chels I hope you add a little worcestershire sauce to the cheese!

bob_'s avatar


chels's avatar

@Leanne1986 Richard usually adds it to the beans :)

OpryLeigh's avatar

@chels Now that’s a real man.

Winters's avatar

@ragingloli Some people say the Leopard 2, some people say the Challenger 2, I just gave this question the benefit of the doubt on this one. I personally think the Leopard 2 is the best, but I’m wondering how the M1A3 Abram will rank once it comes out though I’ll probably be able to find out for myself.

aprilsimnel's avatar

BOYS! Um, I mean: Great Britain has some very attractive men, IMO. Especially in Scotland ;)
Bubble n’ squeak, yeah.
Zadie Smith!
The Beatles. Only Britain could have produced John Lennon.
Hell, even Pete Burns. Could you imagine a guy like Pete Burns being famous in the US? No. He would be laughed off the street.

And everything everyone else here has said.

weeveeship's avatar

Manchester U.

(Though I am more of a Liverpool fan. Too bad the Reds are doing horribly this year…)

ucme's avatar

@weeveeship Yeah & looks as though Shrek…...Rooney may be on his way too!

meiosis's avatar

Real Ale
Tree Preservation Orders
The Lake District
Chicken Tikka Masala
Village names
Jay-walking is not a crime
BBC Radio 4

<pedant’s corner>
Brittany (known in the past as Little Britain) is what makes the island of Great Britain warrant the prefix great. It’s a geographical term.
</pedant’s corner>

meiosis's avatar

@diavolobella Not a Christmas ad, but a classic one nonetheless – Marmite Date

flutherother's avatar

In one word….... Scotland!

escapadesofapoet's avatar

In one word….Order. Try leaving the UK and coming to the Far East. I’m in China now an i miss the order and control of the UK. Resented it when i was there but now understand why it is so important.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther