OTF Party: What Makes/Made Us Quintessentially English/British?

And the height of civilised living.

“Being British is all about driving a German car to an Irish theme pub to drink Belgian beer then going home buying an Indian takeaway to sit on a Swedish sofa in front of a Japanese television to watch American shows and all the while being suspicious of anything foreign”.


The above quote, although intended as an insult, captures part of the British psyche brilliantly. We have the self-confidence to absorb new ideas. However, it is one part that misses so much more of what makes/made the English/British people the most civilised (maybe the Japanese excepting) people to so far walk on this Earth.

I know everywhere has very civilised people, but here I am talking in generalisations, civilised values seemed to reach far further down the classes in our society than anywhere else.

And I use British here rather than English although I do not know if our Celtic friends see things a little differently. Also many peoples that have moved into the country over the centuries (I’m ¼ Italian) may not be the full English but have readily taken on the values.

I use make/made as I feel we are quickly losing what has made us so special, and at the end I give my thoughts on how we get it back.

Forgiveness is asked for it being somewhat rambling and veering off point in places. I’ve spent too much time procrastinating over it.

So on with the article. It is an article that looks at the soul of the British. So let’s see what makes us truly different. Then I discuss what values we really need to fight for, why they create better people, and why they are essential to a prosperous society. Without this as part of a political movement we haven’t the emotional tug to pull through the economically necessary decisions.

So what makes us unique?

Seen from abroad as much as in ourselves below are some factors that are uniquely British.


We have the most cosmopolitan attitude to food in the world. In London you can eat just about any cuisine under the sun. We are also remarkably served by Mitchellen-starred chefs that have given us a leading role in coming up with new dishes.

Many of our favourite dishes are our own take on other foods. Carbonara and Tikka Masala being two. However, we do have our own national dishes that are part of our psyche and recognisably English the world over.

We have bequeathed the world the glorious fry-up that starts a day like no other. This article will not debate what makes a true fry-up as there are some regional differences. One no-no though is avocado on toast!

Also, it is still tradition to have a Sunday roast although more often than not it is at a carvery or supermarket cafe nowadays. It is the one meal at least where the family comes together.

Finally, no longer the Friday night staple, but still often enjoyed when visiting the coast, is fish and chips.

Honourable mentions can be made for say shepherd’s/cottage pie, steak and kidney with dumplings, and toad-in-the-hole, and there are many regional foods/dishes too; but these are no longer institutions for the masses.

And secretly I believe the rest of Europe acknowledges that the British sausage is the best of the lot.

Drinks-wise, we have builders tea and Burton-on-Trent bitter which are steadfastly English. Guinness and Scotch being among Celtic badges of honour.

Other than not eating enough together as a family these days, our food, although under some pressure, is not going away anytime soon. That part of our identity is safe, as is our enthusiasm for new dishes.


Go back two to three hundred years and an Englishman’s behaviour was reviled across Europe and for good reason. We were drunkards having children out of wedlock and poor hygiene. Funnily enough, it was a time of substantial welfare imposed on local authorities.

So what is the (dated view) of the English abroad nowadays?


One of our national sports. When waiting we naturally form queues to access any service, be it a bus or in a shop, or to use a slide in a playground. No one else does it like we do. This is all from a natural sense of…


When you have to earn your own way you have pride in what you’ve achieved. It also takes voluntary cooperation and for that to work everyone has to play fair. This leads to…


We were the least corrupt country on earth and exported that to the Anglo-Saxon world (NZ, SA, AUS, Canada). The upstarts that set up the USA had this in mind too, but it never quite permeated down as hoped. Even now our politicians are laughed at by the rest of the world for being almost uselessly corrupt. These have gone downhill in recent years, with a significant concern, for instance, over wealth created via COVID and illegal immigration.

Anyway, in order to survive in an honest world you need to have…


Famous for taking hardship in our stride (tis but a scratch), keeping a level head and not panicking. We could overturn amazing odds to come out on top.

This elevation of our character allowed us to feel that…

Private knowledge of a job well done was enough

No need to shout about how good or benevolent we were, we kept it to ourselves, even refusing to have it acknowledged on programmes such as ‘This is your Life’. Self-knowledge that we had acted well was satisfaction enough.

This is one area where we have completely lost it. We have to display ourselves for all to see. Not just good deeds but identity and how we are different to everyone else. And that these differences, we are told, should be applauded regardless.


As a nation, we have been a freer people than most on the globe. Especially since religious freedom in the seventeenth century allowed people to follow their conscience. I believe the non-conformists were a great driver of our mindset, often holding themselves to higher demands of self-discipline than the state Anglicans.

The other great benefit for the common person was the jury system. Introduced more by luck as a practical measure than for any intended benefit. Although it hasn’t prevented the blob from going after individuals and taking them down (for instance, the Tudors took out the Plantagenet line one by one on trumped-up charges during the reigns of Henry VII & VIII), it has prevented state-wide oppression of us.

Live with a clear conscience and your peers would see that the state couldn’t do too much to you. It is thanks to the jury system that we don’t have to present papers on request, ID cards that change the nature of the relationship between person and state.

This is under attack big time. Fixed penalty notices where you are guilty unless you can make the effort to prove your innocence for the cost of doing so. Also, there are moves to reduce the jury system from more cases to be more ‘efficient’. Digital currencies, cameras everywhere, 15-minute neighbourhoods. The blob now treats us like children – and we act more like children.

The Arts/Education

In the nineteenth century, something amazing happened. A very backward country suddenly pulled itself up and became the driving force of the greatest empire ever the British Empire. I refer, of course, to Scotland. I have read that the spark that lit the fire was the hanging of a chap that while drunk had criticised the bible. This brought outrage and it became a thing to debate theology and with it everything else. Maybe their closeness to France at the time may have also been a factor?

Anyway, it became beholden to Scots to educate themselves and they led the world. Note this was not state education but whatever interested them or whatever they worked at. They didn’t need to know the six wives of Henry VIII to build a better engine, ship or bridge.

With state education that advantage has been slowly eroded as people who think they know better have decided we are better off indoctrinated. However, until the eighties we were turning out very able people who could become world leaders in industry, and also the arts. Our Isles’ dominance of music was no accident and well-crafted music and lyrics made worldwide stars of many a musician.

Nowadays that seems to have been lost. Not just in the quality of the music and lyrics, but the subject matter is humourless and all about identity of the self. At its worst it is also disgusting in its portrayal of women. This music doesn’t feel at all good and is a sad travesty from what had gone before.

It is a similar story with drama. Listening to Paul Temple radio casts, there is pace, clear diction and every line moves the story along. Until the 1990s British TV was generally proclaimed as by far the best in the world. Now we have woke self-doubt and political activism where none are asked for.

Often scripts are protracted, made to fill twice the space needed. Very little drama doesn’t feel slow. With streaming being dominant it should be the opposite, they no longer have to make programmes of a certain length. No reason to not have a fifteen-minute episode followed by an hour plus one if the story warrants it.

Sense of Humour

Comedy has gone from clever people with a play of words to lefty wokists, whose idea of humour is to call everyone that doesn’t totally agree with them as racist or Hitler. The steam let-off valve is no longer allowed to operate. This allows us to laugh at our oppressors and feel less downtrodden for a bit, before resuming our lives.

Everyone until recently was fair game – which brought some down to size, not necessarily a bad thing and maybe another case of not letting people get too prideful? The Yanks would never allow celebrities to be cut down to size in the same way.

One instance that perfectly highlights this is Ali G’s interview with the Beckhams. He didn’t hold back but they took it with good grace and afterwards a lot of the nastier stuff about Posh went away and they were both respected more.

Younger people, especially those that have worked/studied in the UK, have often remarked about our unique and zany sense of humour, sense of self deprecation – and they love it.

Not sure where it has come from but Robin Hood was known for having merry men. My guess is that the freedom to criticise authority and mostly get away with it is a big part of it. And that we got away with it has to come from a self-confidence of the blob at the time. Also, as a group, it is expected that people within it should be grown up to take micky taking in their stride. To not do so is seen as very low status.

To bat off offence – even if banter, without sulking or resort to violence is very civilised and has allowed a more peaceful society. It is another facet of resilience and coping with hardship when necessary.

Humour changes and some targeted humour is no longer deemed funny, but this is because the stereotype no longer works. And societal pressure keeps boundaries in place – rules from up high only encourages widespread subversion of that and drives nastier humour underground.

British humour is very much at risk. The wokists cannot take criticism, they despise our thicker skins. They misunderstand humour as hatred, don’t get the steam release valve it provides, and it is a target under their desperation to curtail free speech. Also, we have always been big on innuendo and euphemisms. Shakespeare’s plays were closer to Carry-On films than elitist dramas. The blob sneers down its nose at this and cannot allow it.

Understated elegance

We didn’t need to be flamboyant and over the top. We learned to be very subtle and show off by being elegant in the most understated way.

This is because character was of more importance than image. This is disappearing fast as people feel they have to force an individual identity onto everyone else, something which beauty often takes a distant second place to.

Even when it came to our cars we used to have darker tones suggesting sophistication such as British racing green instead of lurid red, which squeals look at me – my ego needs massaging. Also go back thirty years and if you had made it you drove a Range Rover, not a Royce. The very epitome of Britishness but still too brash for those that didn’t need to shout out that they had made it.

We used to appreciate delicacy and subtlety. Now we have been brought down to the rest of the world in looking for brashness and crudeness and more extreme is the order of the day.

Famously, clothing. The well-made suit. The Italians are Johnny-come-latelies but have equalled us in making an understated statement in elegant menswear. Nevertheless, a Saville Row suit is the gold standard for menswear around the world.


Not sure our nonconformists feature outside the Anglo-Saxon world. Possibly the driving force, often stricter than the Anglican church. Required betterment of people for its own sake, not because the state insisted on said behaviour. Again there is that theme, people driving themselves rather than being driven. Our own created brand of Christianity was merely the vehicle by which it was achieved.

It is also important to look back on the strengths it gave us and see if we cannot at least learn from it without the recourse to God. The stoics do a good job on a similar basis. I’m not an expert but to me nonconformists were Stoic in their nature.


We just like talking about it. Probably an easy topic to ensure politeness. Our variability giving a good chance for a discussion.

So what do we need to fight for and why?

What’s gone wrong?

Why do people act less civilised? What drives people to debase themselves? In one word: Socialism. People seeing others get the benefit of others’ labour. It has been shown that communities will fail and all die rather than the industrious keeping it all going for their own survival if there is no benefit over others from doing so.

At the economic level, fairness can work both ways. It can force people to improve or it can drag people down. People will naturally look to balance fairness out. If you are rewarded for hard work, people will ensure that happens and people are supported. If you are rewarded for not working then people will seek fairness in that regard and will drop to a similar level.

Let’s have a look at a few areas that come to mind.

Treat people like children and they will act like children

Emotionally the effect a government can have on the mental well-being of a country can be profound. Taking the role of a nanny means that people no longer feel as answerable for their actions, they start acting like children. The more they do the thinking for them the more childlike they become. All but a few are innately unable to sort their lives out if they have to. It can seem a bit scary at the time for a young adult making their first steps, but once you’ve done the annual routine a few times, they are fine.

Welfare and dependency

As well as making us more childlike with welfare, there are always grey areas. There will always be those that seek to game the system for maximum reward, and in many cases, for those people it is the best course of action to take. Others will see this and will see no wrong in cutting corners to get their fair cut from the government which leads to general low-scale fraud and also corruption.

Divisive and identity politics

Instead of saying we are all the same, we are now expected to be part of narrow tribes, tribes with a grudge against the rest. For all the talk about diversity and inclusion, what is preached is diversity and exclusion. We are actually, on the whole, a very inclusive country, attitudes have changed massively as cultural strangers have become better known. Yet it seems the blob would have us believe that we are far worse people than those that have gone before. We have attempted mob rule by all sides clogging up London every weekend trying to drive policy by intimidation rather than reason.

Bad Education

Children are now indoctrinated, they are taught to be child-like adherents rather than independent. They are told not only to not think for themselves but to believe ideas that do not hold up to scrutiny.

Also we have governments that believe that people sitting at a desk on an average wage are more worthy and superior to practically minded people on far more money, so that most children leave their communities at 18 and all join up together. In fact without going to university, a lot of life is now withheld from you, so it is the only realistic way for many to get ahead.

This has left not just small villages, but even good-sized market towns hollowed out of their brightest and best.

There is no longer education in being a better person to oneself. This was instilled weekly at church, and community pressure ensured that those that did not attend naturally acted in a similar way.

Loss of community

With loss of community we lose social cohesion. Knowing everyone around us means we know if something is wrong. Also we all know the bad actors to look out for.

International influences and technology

All the more reason for educational defence against these pleasure-dependency dangers. Our phones have turned our world into a six inch screen. It is a major part of my life. We need to work out how to use smartphones as our tool, rather than becoming a tool of the people controlling the technology. It sets us up to be entertained, making us fight our self-discipline and lead a more involved life. We haven’t yet got control of our TVs yet though!

Also less civilised behaviour from around the world has encouraged us to see this as the norm and lower ourselves towards the same level.

This has led to a big lack of interaction, and with it civilised behaviour.

Emotions about everything

It started with Diana. All of a sudden the nation lost its reservedness and anything that can be put in front of the public can now get irrational, over emotional responses. We are no longer stoic, we are told to feel pain and expect support.

Now we cannot get discourse on TV without people shouting over each other, unable to keep points short. Audiences baiting rather than applauding.

This has enabled us to become better sheep and to be herded over the cliffs should the blob wish it.

How to get it back

We need systems in place that will in themselves go a long way into making us again a polite society. Socialism in all its forms seems to do the opposite. The more your life is controlled the more childlike you become.

Taking education and welfare away from the state is a start. No one has got it right, parents will have better ideas, occasionally they get it badly wrong but less wrong than the blob. Independent education also needs a large element of instruction in self-improvement and resilience in the face of struggle. And for boys at least, that would include some martial arts training.

State mandated shortcuts to success should be removed from society. Regardless of race, faith, or sex, one should have to succeed on merit. Otherwise, if some can take shortcuts in life, fairness will ensure others will find ways to bring balance and that leads to a more corrupt society.

Being allowed to commit our own downfalls. We can’t live forever, quality has to be the main part of how we live our life. If enjoying cigars and alcohol is your enjoyment then good luck to you, just accept the consequences.

Finally reversing fixed penalty notices and reinstating trial by jury when it has been taken away is another part.

This is the aim of the Own Two Feet Party

No one wants the food of the 1950s, to be stuck with music from the 1750s, or the clothes of the 1350s. Things move on and societies do change. Taking on what we like from other cultures isn’t cultural appropriation, that is another phase invented by the race baiters that want us cowed. We should proudly do so again.

Not surprising for a party called the Own Two Feet Party, we make it an ambition to be the ones in society that gives rather than takes – it really is that simple. It is not just just about economic prosperity and defending against invaders and criminals. These measures will also eventually bring about the genteel British citizen that made this country great and a joy to live in.

Next Article

My next article will look at what a sustainable population and economy should look like in the abstract. I believe it totally skewers what all the parties are doing at the moment. After that I really need to launch!

© Jerry Mandarin 2024