The U.K. Three articles with everything you want to know about the U.K. â€“ all the things youâ€™ve always wondered about everything between cabins and politics.
An insight in the U.K. Last week we met up with a well-known British author at a small café in central London, to ask him about typical British infrastructures, people and their behaviour – what the U.K. is. The author was David Cobbler, who has recently released the last novel in his cherished trilogy ”Fish, chips and tea” about the U.K.. Our main mission with this interview was to find out wether or not the prejudices against British people exist. Since Cobbler obviously knows much about this topic, he was the right man to ask.
1. Is there something called a ”British town”, and what does it look like? ”Well if we take London for example, I feel that the city contains of more than just concrete and buildings. There are lots of parks – most people seem to think that Hyde Park is the only park in London, but that’s not really true. We have lots of nice parks where I spend many hours of the day. ” Did you know that… - …the U.K. has 15 national parks – 10 in London, 3 in Wales and 3 in Scotland? - …there are 8 royal parks in London? - …the royal parks were originally owned by the royal family and used mostly for hunting?
The Victoria Park, locally known as ”Vicky Park” was the first public park in London. It has tennis courts and sports grounds as well as canals and ponds.
”But if you want a real British town, London is not the best alternative since it’s such an international city. If you want to see the British idyll I would say the best thing is to go to one of the many small villages. They often look like you think they do, based on what you’ve seen on TV, take for example Midsomer Murders and look at its landscapes and surroundings. They have the small cabins, landscape, hunting and everything that seems to symbolise the UK.”
2. What is an average English person like? ”There’s this English person that the world sees and then there’s, well, the ”real” version. I’d say that most people see a person who drinks tea and eats fish and chips, believes in God and wears a bowler hat. Of course some of us do this, but it’s more to it than that. Like every person in the world we are different to one and other and are no electronical robots.” According to statistics the U.K drink almost 67 billion cups of tea in total every year and import 134 million kgs of tea every year. 81 % of British adults and 73 % of young people drink tea regularly.
3. When we think about Britain and what represents it, we often refer to, for example Harry Potter. What is your opinion about the impression of Britain that films, books and media give? And is it the right one? ”Harry Potter seems very ”British” in the ways they act. If you take his aunt and uncle for example, they are the stereotypical British persons, both in the way they look, talk and behave. His uncle is a middle-aged overweight, and to be honest not very nice man who’s married to the classical ‘housewife’. But in my opinion this isn’t really fair if you want to look at U.K. from a modern point of view. I believe that you get more of a correct version by talking to real British people and not just by watching TV and think that you have understood enough. Another iconic symbol of the U.K. is of course the Queen, who has in some ways set the tone of a big side of British people. She represents the country and it’s people, and therefore they become the way she is, at least in the mind of a foreign person. But of course, most people aren’t like this – she’s the Queen and must therefore be very controlled and strict. (The Queen plays a big role in ”what Britain is” along with an unspoken power, unlike the US that doesn’t have a royal family. Despite this the Queen and the US president are compared even though their power is very different.)” Our conclusion is that media doesn’t give the exact correct version of how a British person is like, but it may give you the interest of getting to know what is. People should not only base their opinions on pre conceptions, but find out what it really is like instead.
POLITICS QUIZ Since the election is right around the corner, we've decided to make a quiz for the unsure reader. Take the quiz and you'll find out which party fits you the best.
1. Would you put your child in a private or public school? - Private school (15) - Public school (5) - It depends on the school itself, not if itâ€™s public or private (10) 2. What do you think about the queen and royal family? - I am for it (5) - I am against it (15) - They have a symbolic meaning but shouldnâ€™t have too much power (10) 3. Do you think the queen has too little, too much or just enough power? - Just enough (10) - Too much (15) - Too little (5) 4. Do you think we should focus on being a community or focus on ourselves as individuals? - I think we should focus on ourselves (15) - I think the community is very important (5) - I think that for example school and hospitals should be public, but we should be allowed to make our own, individual decisions in many situations. (10) 5. Do you believe prison or society service is a better penalty way? - I think prison is the best way, but the number of years should depend on what crime it is. (15) - It depends on what crime. (10) - Society service is the best way. (5) 6. Do you think paying higher taxes, as long as it provides you with free health care and school, is a good thing? - Yes, I could pay more taxes. (5) - I want lower taxes. (15) - I think it's enough as it is. (10) 7. Do you believe we should let more people immigrate or not? - Yes, we should let anyone who needs to move here. (5) - No, we should not let more people than we can take care of move here. (10) - It's good as it is. We can't let too many people immigrate but we can't shut everyone out either. (15) 8. What do you think is the best alternative to make the environment better? - Create thousands of green jobs by investing in renewable energy. (10) - Protect the environment and continuing supporting the economy. Without sacrificing too much of our everyday life. (15) - Focus on more environmental travels - for example bus and railways. (5) -------------------------------------------------------------
Now â€“ add your points together and youâ€™ll find out which party you should vote for.
40-65 points - Labour Party This is a socialist party and as a member of this party you stand for public ownership of key industries, government intervention in the economy, increased right for workers and a the welfare state. The party leader is Ed Miliband.
70-95 points - Liberal Democrats This is a social liberal party, a merge between the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party. You are neither to the right nor to the left, but a mix between the two. The party leader is Nick Clegg.
100-120 points - The Conservative Party This is of course a conservative party, and as a member of this party you believe more in individual rights than public ones. The conservatives also believes in preserving traditions, laws and retaining our conservative lifestyle. The party leader is David Cameron.
You are Bigger than You Think Yesterday a new study was released by the Guardian which stated that men are bigger than they think and that women are in fact thinner then what they estimate. The study reported the big issue which is that more than twice of the men in the UK will underestimate their weight, unlikely from what the average woman will. During next week a larger research concerning the problem will be set in progress. According to the Guardian 68 % of the men and 58 % of the women in the UK are overweight and nearly one in four men will guess their weight below the actual number. The women on the other hand are more likely to overestimate their weight due to self-consciousness and bad self confidence. An expert on obesity named Dr. Richard Parker claims that ”most men are not aware of their lifestyle and are therefore at a higher risk to a range of diseases. Such as diabetes, cancer and different heart diseases”. Later on it was also stated by the doctor that ”one finds the explanation in the increase of fast food consumption”. As a result of this, more than half of the meals eaten out in Britain comes from fast food restaurants. This is according to Dr. Parker due to various causes, such as too little time, money savings and comfort. Teresa Gibbons, a mother of three confirms Dr. Parker’s hypo-these and emphasise the comfort moreover the time saving that fast food provides. ”With three children it easily happens that we turn by McDonald’s instead of cooking. When you have worked all day, are tired and also stressed, the fast in fast food is very welcoming”. It has been confirmed that most of the fast food consumers are in fact middle class families. In addition to this it is known that they have the most money to save and since the restaurants attract costumers with low food prizes, they choose fast food. More and more people eat fast food on a daily bases despite the effects it result in. During the interview Dr. Parker also points out a solution to the problem. According to him the fast food consumption would reduce, if the restaurants decide to sell less unhealthy meals. ”If McDonald’s for example, start to sell a healthier and cheaper option to their greasy hamburgers. This will be chosen by more people and therefore the high risk eating will stop”. An investigation of Britain's thoughts on their fast food ingestion was started yesterday, to find out wether or not this would appeal to the average person. The Independent 2013/04/10