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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
England in general
Member Name: kittykat18
England in general
Date: 13/06/02, updated on 14/06/02 (1448 review reads)
Advantages: Green, Opportunity, Variety
Disadvantages: Attitudes, Political Correctness
██ Justice ██
There will never be a perfect justice system, and our justice system needs an overhaul and constant change to keep up with modern society. But the fact remains that England's justice system has been copied throughout the world. Unlike many other countries, we treat criminals humanely and presume a person is innocent until proven guilty. It has to be proven that the defendant *without reasonable doubt* committed the crime in question .
Capital punishment is illegal which is surely part of marking a civilised society that believes in reform and humanity. If a person is murdered, no mayter *who they are* (a homeless person or a doctor), a full scale investigation is very likely to be set up and resources poured into finding the killer. The police get a lot of criticism and not enough thanks in my opinion considering the job they do. Not only do they fight crime and find criminals, they support victims with the help of rape suites and trained family liason officers. When you compare our system to others around the world it outshines them.
██ Animal Laws ██
We have a reputation as a nation of animal lovers. Although you read about terrible acts of animal cruelty, it is becoming more and more common for these perpetrators to be taken to court, fined, banned from keeping animals and even given a custodial sentence in particularly bad cases.
Organisations such as the RSPCA which do an excellent job and other animal charities help look after unwanted animals and rescue and treat sick animals. Children under the age of 12 can not buy pets and most dog homes insist on a home visit before letting anyone have a dog from them. There will always be horrible cases of cruelty but when you think of other countries where bullfighting occurs, monkeys are forced to perform and dogs are eaten, I am glad I live here.
██ Variety █
Due to globalisation and immigration throughout the world, our country has become a multicultural one. This is seen much more in cities, in villages it is still common to have no ethnic minorities and signs of life other than the traditional English way. But in the cities you can find sari shops, Chinese take aways, Synagogues and even sushi on sale in Marks and Spencer.
Opinions are divided on the benefits of globalisation but personally I prefer to live in a country with variety in food, fashion, music, and most importantly variety of people to talk to, befriend, and learn a different view of the world from.
██ Opportunity ██
Say what you like about tuition fees and elitism in education in this country, but the fact remains that if a person really wants to (for example) become a doctor or lawyer, there is nothing stopping them, whether they are Hubert from Eton or Dwayne from Grange Hill. There may be a few more barriers in the way of Dwayne, but if he works hard he has just as much opportunity in life as anyone else.
Many universities have schemes in place to encourage young people from areas where there is traditionally a low university intake to go into higher education. Tuition fees are means tested, and while not entirely fair, the people with the least money will not have to pay them.
██ History ██
I do not like "new" cities like Milton Keynes. I do not like modern housing estates which look like plastic dolls houses. I like the history in this country, the abundance of castles, Stonehenge, old churches, thatched roof cottages, the Houses of Parliament, Cathedrals and the colleges in Oxford and Cambridge.
██ Landscape ██
I worked in central Spain one summer. The landscape was very imposing with its red mountains and scorpions and although it had its own beauty, I prefer the friendly gre
en trees in England. When you fly over the English countryside you can really appreciate how green this country really is.
Even in the cities there is more green than you would think. I live about 6 miles from Birmingham city centre in a fifth floor flat. From my kitchen window I can see right into town, the BT tower, the Rotunda, St Martins Church in the Bull Ring. Although very urban, my view is mostly green. Even if you live in a city, it is never far to get to the countryside. From Birmingham it is only a short drive to the Lickey and Malvern Hills. I would miss the green if I ever emigrated.
██ Seasons and Weather ██
Many people may disagree with me on this. But I like living somewhere where you can get a tan (of sorts) in the summer, see the lovely colours in Autumn and have snowball fights in Winter (if you're lucky). I like going out on my bike in the rain (very good for letting frustration out) and having a mug of hot chocolate under a blanket in the cold. I like having a wardrobe full of everything from flimsy tops to thick wool jumpers.
Imagine living in a country where it is boiling hot for 9 months of the year-stifling heat interspersed with the odd thunderstorm. The climate in England is a moderate one, if only we could banish hail and temperatures under 5C.
Other good things about England: a thriving arts culture, inventive government initatives, lots of charities, the country "coming" together for special occasions, sense of humour.
██ Attitudes ██
Whether it's moaning about asylum seekers, complaining about prices (although justified in this rip off country!), looking down on people for having a certain accent or thinking someone's a snob because they speak in a particular way, many people in England have a chip on their shoulder.
On St Georges Day I was in some pubs in Birmingham
city centre. What started as a nice sunny day with people in good spirits turned nasty when some football "fans" took it on themselves to sing anti IRA and racist chants, creating a tense horrible atmosphere. It is as though criticising others makes a person or group of people feel better about themselves.
Then there is snobbery, people who think they are better than others because they went to a certain university or live in a "good" area. On the opposite side, there is inverse snobbery, where people "hate" those with a "posh" accent or with a good job. Sometimes it feels like you can't win in this country. I was at a meal once with my boyfriends family and an uncle started teasing me because I was at university, saying I was posh. It was only teasing but I was embarrassed. I sometimes think that older people are jealous of the opportunities that young people have nowadays- cheap travel and a good education were not so readily available when they were young and free.
██ Costs ██
British people pay up to 44% more than people in other European countries (see http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,479 247,00.html) This is a disgrace. Whenever I have been on holiday I have noticed the cheaper prices on everything from meals in restaurants to CD prices. Why should we pay more than these countries for the same thing, especially when as a whole, we have the longest working week and fewest Bank Holidays? When companies attempt to offer a fair price they are often pushed out or fail because they can't afford marketing.
██ Sameness ██
Admittedly this not just happening in England, but all over the developed world .Go down any high street and what do you see- McDonalds, Blockbusters, Starbucks and Gap by any chance? Don't get me wrong, I occasionally have a Chicken Burger (when I am desperate) but I do not like the way
our high streets are being taken over by the (mostly) multinational companies. It pushes out local businesses and makes it very difficult for young entrepreneurs to open their own shops, selling individual , unique items. Every city is becoming the same, from the bars and clubs to the shops and buses. It's depressing. Of course there are certain advantages to this but I think the disadvantages outweigh them by far.
██ The Welfare Culture ██
Some people are better off on benefits than they would be going out to work. If you had the choice between doing 40 hours a week in a menial boring job, or doing nothing (maybe a free adult education course and going to the gym) and getting more money, which would you choose?
Let me show you how this works: if you are unemployed, you get a minimum of £42 a week in Jobseekers Allowance. Many people get more (if you are older than 25 or have paid enough in National Insurance contributions). Then you get housing benefit and council tax benefit. Then there are extras such as free courses, schemes such as Birmingham's passport to leisure which entitles you to half price leisure facilities. Once you start work, all of these benefits stop, so working 35 hours a week at minimum wage you take home approximately £130 after tax. Then you have to get to work in the first place, so take off £10 for a weekly bus pass and another £10 for your daily lunch. Then you must pay your rent and council tax. You can see why some people are better off staying on benefits rather than going into a dead end job.
I think unemployed people should be encouraged to do voluntary work, and given rewards when they get back into work.
██ Political Correctness ██
-You have to say gingerbread person, not man.
-Can't say nitty gritty.
-Have to constantly be ultra aware of what you say in case you offend anyone
- Jobs purely for people of
a certain background/ethnicity
-A company was not allowed to use the word "friendly" in a job description for the job centre.
- Ethnic quotas to be filled in workplaces rather than giving the best person the job
-On every job application you have to tick your ethic background. Why does it matter? It makes me so angry.
I understand the purpose of political correctness but it has gone too far.
Other bad things about England:
Very few successful films, Government wasting money, queues, annoying people who come up to you in the high street to ask for money or if you want compensation, football hooliganism.
Despite all of these, I would not want to live in any other country (at the moment). Apart from maybe Australia or Holland.