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I'm actually not the best qualified to comment on Britons in general, as I seem to mostly attract/interact with discursive people - and I spent a long time living abroad - but I guess I haven't found people to be as incurious overall as you. Misinformed however...

That said, I think that the key element to my argument is that here in Britain, Thatcher not only won an election, she won the discourse to the point that many people believe that "she saved Britain from the unions / saved Britain from itself / saved Britain from the looney left."

I am a similar age (and possibly partly similar profile) to this lady. The key difference could be personality, it could be that I grew up in the North of England (which received the harshest blows from Thatcher) or it could be that my Dad has always been interested in politics, so I grew up aware that there is a debate to be had about how things are done...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:38:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's also the idea that after Thatcher there are no classes any more in Britain which explains why Cyrille's friend could believe that Britain was more equal than other countries. Which is patently absurd when one first comes from abroad - Britons' social class is very visible.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 03:26:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would expand on that point. Britain (England?) has a very strong class-based culture (in fact I read Hindu India's present system of four castes is a colonist creation, with the Brits classifying and grouping hundreds of clans into castes modelled on British society) that is intimately tied to language. Which doesn't just mean dialects and mannerisms that are more class-based than locality-based, but discussions that are less about exchanging thoughts about subjects than about reinforcing community by regurgitating the same memes that can be safely assumed to be shared. Such behaviour is of course far from being specific to the subcultures of classes in England, but never do I get as strong a sense of posters engaging in social confirmation with second-hand talking points rather than expression of own thought than when viewing discussion forums of British media.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 08:16:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exchange at my book group:

"A; I love living in this village. It's like a little microcosm of England. We have so many different types here with interesting stories. One of everyone."

"B: Except ethnics."

[awkward silence]

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 08:48:29 AM EST
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