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September 19, 2005

Anglo Saxon Culture?

Are we really different?

Scotland has finally won something, which is marvellous news. It has beaten England, Wales, Australia, New Zealand and Canada to a top international title. Admittedly that title, according to yesterday's Sunday Times, is the most violent country in the developed world, but it's a start.

Worryingly, the UN league of countries where you are most likely to be assaulted (sex offences and murders are discounted) include only English-speaking nations in the top five.

Is there something really different about Anglo Saxon/Celtic culture that makes this true? And, if there is, what does that say about those who insist that our place is in Europe, that we should become more like those across the Channel, markedly less violent?

It is, to me, a fairly basic assumption that you take people as you find them and that the rules of society should be organised so as to channel the innate characteristics of the population into desirable  ends, rather than the, again to me, rather absurd attempt to change those very basic motivations of the people.

So if we are, as this and other recent research shows, so unlike The Continent in our violence and binge drinking habits, perhaps the Continental model is also not right for us. If we share so many characteristics with the other English speaking nations should we not be looking to join them in The Anglosphere?

So, leave the EU! I’ll drink to that and anyone who disagrees is looking at a knuckle sandwich!

September 19, 2005 in The English | Permalink


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Tracked on Sep 24, 2005 2:43:02 PM


I think this argument fails (as do all inate characteristic ones to do with crime) on history, when this was one of the most law-abiding countries (and EU membership has had nothing to do with that). Another historically better, if not necessarily correct explanation, would be to do with economic liberalisation.

Posted by: Matthew | Sep 19, 2005 8:29:25 AM

Hey, in France, Germany, Italy, Belgium etc - do the hard men say this before they apply the 'Glaswegian Kiss' - "Did you spill my cappucino ya bas?!"

Posted by: Dr. angry economist | Sep 19, 2005 3:44:26 PM

Tim - do all Portuguese residents so strongly want UK to leave the EU or is it just you??!!!

tim adds: I’m probably the only eurosceptic in the country.

Posted by: Dr. angry economist | Sep 19, 2005 3:46:46 PM

Unless this conclusion is based on the findings of large and comparable victimisation surveys, it deserves oblivion.

Posted by: Chris Williams | Sep 19, 2005 4:51:21 PM

consider the efffect of persistant war-like behaviour of the germans and danes... they were the scourge of europe and now they are not..

war killed off the nasties..

Posted by: e m butler | Sep 19, 2005 4:53:57 PM

Not to rain on the parade, but the UN is not exactly an Anglophile's club. What kind of violence are they measuring? Reported to Police? That would explain why Scotland is so much more violent than the Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Columbia, need I continue? The UN functionaries that crafted this incomprehensible outcome, in my opinion, are a collective waste of skin.

Posted by: Critical Matt | Sep 24, 2005 10:57:06 PM

Culture? Hello!
To borrow a few lines from Amadawn.com

Anglo-Saxons have the military as culture. Nothing else.
Their only tradition is to join the army and terrorize other countries.
But they present themselves as the very opposite of this … and people accept it. Especially the Anglo-Saxons.

Posted by: Amadawn | Oct 10, 2005 6:58:44 PM

I think you are referring to nthe Anglo-Saxon proletariat. Anyone who achieves anything is Anglo-Norman or Norman or maybe residual Roman. The Anglo-Saxons are the peasantry and now they have a voice. That's the trouble. they're a bit thick.

Posted by: Claus Reeve | Feb 15, 2008 1:44:22 PM