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What does being british mean to you?


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As a child brought up during the war, we were marched from the school to the nearest cenotaph, where we sang hymns and Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem. Bonny Colne (the town we lived in) and others, being told what a great country we were. We went back to school feeling so proud to be British. To this day, I still get a lump in my throat and puff up with pride when I hear these tunes even though I am 69 and am often ashamed of some of the things done in our country's name
D Crew,

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My idea of someone who is British is one who can take a camera, as Constable took his brushes, and capture the surroundings with a sense of appreciation and care. There should be a hidden talent to innovate and adapt to introductions of the styles that the new arrivals to the country inevitably bring. Finally a sense of tolerance that other parties have a point of view with less of the idea that the world revolves around themselves. Try levelling up not levelling down
Ian Smith, Bournemouth, United Kingdom

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There are Scotsmen, there are Welshmen, there are Irishmen. When asked, I call myself an Englishman, not for any reason other than I was born in England. I was born in north east London in 1937. At three years of age I was sent off to somewhere in Essex with my gasmask, but was back home with my parents by 1944. People all across the British Isles from around my generation have good reason for patriotism and love of country, if only for support and admiration for the brave souls who laid down their lives for our freedom and the comradery of the people at home. However in 60 years things have become watered down drastically, most Brits - 25 or under - have never heard of Churchill, Nelson. And the Victoria Cross is just another train station somewhere in London. Come what may, I am an Englishman, away for 38 years, now retired, and back for two months each year to see all I have missed or never ever saw. More reason to be proud of one's heritage is the coming together of all Brits at the VE Day and Trafalgar Day celebrations and the steadfast reaction against misinformed hooligans, this witnessed by the whole free world. Reasons in order of importance for me leaving the UK, trade unions undermining the auto industry in which I worked, the English weather and a quest for adventure
Alan Stevens, California, USA

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Yes, I'm very proud to be British. I may not live in England anymore but 'till the day I die, I will always be proud to be able to say I'm British. I'm proud of British strength, and common decency. I'm proud that I was able to serve in the W.R.A.F. I'm proud of all the British people from the past and present who withstood the bombings of the wars, and of all the British people who worked hard and instilled in their children the values that makes the British who they are today. Please don't let your politicians, bow down to the EU and let them destroy British ways. No-one but the British people should dictate the future of Great Britain, too many good people have died to keep Great Britain
Maureen Biller,

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All Indians who have lived here and taken British nationality feel British, live British and value British ways of life and justice. This does not mean men have to visit pubs every day and women have to sleep around with every other guy. Britishness means tolerance, justice and fair play and practice of religion without harming others. The problem is for the indigenous population in accepting dark skinned people as Brits even if they are born, bred and brought up in Britain.
Sridhar Rao, Bromley, Kent, United Kingdom

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Being British means being proud of our history, for without it we have nothing to base our future on. It is irrelevant whether we agree with what happened in our country's past (as I am sure future generations will not like what we are doing now) history is a foundation to build on. If we had not had an Empire would we have such a diverse society as we do now? We need to be proud of all that we achieve. Being British also means in times of adversity getting on with life, supporting those weaker than ourselves, being a friend to others and a help to our neighbours. The British play by the rules, and enjoy Sunday pub lunches and still love cricket on the green
Sue Fletcher, France

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Britishness is reliance and on your friends and family rather than the state. This belief has allowed Britain to resist the statist doctrines of fascism, communism and socialism better than most. Worryingly, it is because they understand this so clearly, that the liberal left has waged a relentless war on the traditional married family. Divide the family and conquer the British?
Lance Grundy,

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Most outstanding to me about being British (English with Scottish parents) is the sense of fair play and justice and wanting respect as you give to others. I am certainly not an EU fan, a long way from wanting a ‘super state’ being ruled from Brussels but I have respect for the individual European countries and for what they stand for. Now is the time to close ranks and be proud to be British, stand along side one another and support ourselves, be selfish to the point where we come first for a change and think of what is best for Britain and its loyal people
Rob, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

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Being British means everything to me. After almost forty years in Brussels, I still have tears in my eyes for an identity that has now become practically virtual. Being born British is reflected in an almost Victorian education. School uniform, being caned (as in bamboo cane) or having a ruler slash your finger tips by a furious headmistress when only six years old. As a child, books by Enid Blyton, Bronte sisters or the silly Beano, the Famous Five (my method of escaping and no television). The Archers, strawberries and clotted cream. The hymns that we sung meaninglessly and repeatedly but today brings tears to my eyes. Being born British was my passport to success. Being British meant the liberators of WW2. Being English, unfortunately, has come to be associated with hooliganism, drunken holidaymakers and dare I continue...
Ann Johnson, Brussels, Belgium

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The joy of being a 'pom' in the Antipodes? Being the butt of a variety of 'whingeing' jokes, exasperation at our 'better luck next time' attitude to sport, and disbelief at our reserve in times of high drama. Most of all, and most gratifyingly, acknowledgment from all around me that there very few others in the world with the will and resolve not to be intimidated by those with corrupt and perverse ideology
Ian Matthews, New Zealand

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