The Brits

Sunday, June 26, 2016 – The Brits

King Louis Philippe once said to me that he attributed the great success of the British nation in political life to their talking politics after dinner. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

If people don’t like Marxism, they should blame the British Museum. ~ Mikhail Gorbachev

The British are supposed to be particularly averse to intellectuals, a prejudice closely bound up with their dislike of foreigners. Indeed, one important source of this Anglo-Saxon distaste for highbrows and eggheads was the French revolution, which was seen as an attempt to reconstruct society on the basis of abstract rational principles. ~ Terry Eagleton

It’s certainly true that I was brought up in that British amateur tradition, the one which always held that if you were reasonably good at cricket, knew one or two Latin texts and a few zingy Oscar Wilde quotes for dinner parties, you were pretty much ready to go and run some outpost in Hindustan. ~ Damian Lewis

There’s a particularly British wariness of appearing to try too hard. It’s somehow distasteful. Everything should come to us seamlessly and, if you have to work at it, you’re somehow a loser. ~ Kate Reardon

I get nostalgic for British negativity. There is an inherent hope and positive drive to New Yorkers. When you go back to Britain, everybody is just running everything down. It’s like whatever the opposite of a hug is. ~ John Oliver

I’m British; pessimism is my wheelhouse. ~ John Oliver

The British nation is unique in this respect. They are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst. ~ Winston Churchill

I think what is British about me is my feelings and awareness of others and their situations. English people are always known to be well mannered and cold but we are not cold – we don’t interfere in your situation. If we are heartbroken, we don’t scream in your face with tears – we go home and cry on our own. ~ Michael Caine

Why should we not form a secret society with but one object, the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, for making the Anglo Saxon race but one Empire? What a dream, but yet it is probable; it is possible. ~ Cecil Rhodes

If the truth be told, we are a society that is dripping in racism. This is not in the least surprising. For the best part of two centuries, we British ruled the waves, controlled two-fifths of the planet, and believed it was our responsibility to bring civilization to those who allegedly lacked it. ~ Martin Jacques

I think Americans still can’t help but respond to the natural authority of this voice. Deep down, they long to be told what to do by a British accent. That’s why so many infomercials have British people. ~ John Oliver

I love British cursing – the cadence of it, the joy in the sound of the words, and the vulgarity of it. ~ Christopher Moore

The British have a remarkable talent for keeping calm, even when there is no crisis. ~ Franklin P. Jones

The English have an extraordinary ability for flying into a great calm. ~ Alexander Woollcott

The British do not expect happiness. I had the impression, all the time that I lived there, that they do not want to be happy; they want to be right. ~ Quentin Crisp

The British are the only people in history crass enough to have made revolutionaries out of Americans. ~ Shashi Tharoor

His face was the sort of British face from which emotion has been so carefully banished that a foreigner is apt to think the wearer of the face incapable of any sort of feeling; the kind of face which, if it has any expression at all, expresses principally the resolution to go through the world decorously, without intruding upon or annoying anyone. ~ Edward Lucas White, Lukundoo

The British have always been madly overambitious, and from one angle it can seem like bravery, but from another it looks suspiciously like a lack of foresight. ~ Ben Aaronovitch, Whispers Under Ground

The Brit abroad is always the voice of caution. Persons of other cultures are known to be undisciplined, prone to leaning out of car windows and cooking with garlic. ~ Nick Harkaway, Tigerman

The English never smash in a face. They merely refrain from asking it to dinner. ~ Margaret Halsey

America: It’s like Britain, only with buttons. ~ Ringo Starr

Our tolerance is part of what makes Britain Britain. So conform to it, or don’t come here. ~ Tony Blair

You cannot trust people who have such bad cuisine. It is the country with the worst food after Finland. ~ Jacques Chirac

On the Continent people have good food; in England people have good table manners. ~ George Mikes

If the French were really intelligent, they’d speak English. ~ Wilfred Sheed

England is a nation of shopkeepers. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

The English are not a very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity. ~ George Bernard Shaw

The reason why Englishmen are the best husbands in the world is because they want to be faithful. A Frenchman or an Italian will wake up in the morning and wonder what girl he will meet. An Englishman wakes up and wonders what the cricket score is. ~ Barbara Cartland

The whole strength of England lies in the fact that the enormous majority of the English people are snobs. ~ George Bernard Shaw

When it’s three o’clock in New York, it’s still 1938 in London. ~ Bette Midler

The British have an umbilical cord which has never been cut and through which tea flows constantly. It is curious to watch them in times of sudden horror, tragedy or disaster. The pulse stops, apparently, and nothing can be done, and no move made, until “a nice cup of tea” is quickly made. There is no question that it brings solace and does steady the mind. What a pity all countries are not so tea-conscious. World-peace conferences would run more smoothly if “a nice cup of tea”, or indeed a samovar, were available at the proper time. ~ Marlene Dietrich

In the end it may well be that Britain will be honored by historians more for the way she disposed of an empire than for the way in which she acquired it. ~ Lord Harlech

There’ll always be an England… even if it’s in Hollywood. ~ Bob Hope