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Moaning This country is an embarrassment

Have just returned from a 3 night break over in Santander Spain with some friends.

Sitting in one of the many pleasant cafe's I suddenly took notice of what was going on in the square:

Elderly people sitting chatting
Families playing after school - kids running about
Young people meeting after college
Tourists like me sitting drinknig a beer and having tapas
Buisness people meeting


Thinking back to home I cannot imagine this scene here in Liverpool. There is an equivalant space but it is surrounded by gaudy high volume vertical drinking bars i.e. loud music and bottled beer with no food. Coupled with that are bald headed chav scally nasties who only want to get drunk (take coke) and have a fight.

Very depressing really. I know that the grass is always greener but come on we have no idea.

The joke is I live in Capital of Culture 2008

The even more depressing thing is that my scenario is repeated in every city centre across the land not just here which to be fair is getting better and has a lot to offer.

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Re: This country is an embarrassment

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Originally Posted by ivorycalthorpe View Post
The even more depressing thing is that my scenario is repeated in every city centre across the land not just here which to be fair is getting better and has a lot to offer.
Agree it can be a bit of a downer, but Glasgow and Edinburgh both have a real cafe society feel to them these days, partly encouraged by the smoking ban. Things are definately on the up in this neck of the woods.
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

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Thinking back to home I cannot imagine this scene here in Liverpool. There is an equivalant space but it is surrounded by gaudy high volume vertical drinking bars i.e. loud music and bottled beer with no food. Coupled with that are bald headed chav scally nasties who only want to get drunk (take coke) and have a fight.


The joke is I live in Capital of Culture 2008
I know where you mean - I wouldn't venture out there anymore I'm afraid

And yes the Capital of Culture thing makes me chuckle too
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

Feel the same about Hamburg, Berlin, Hanover,Heidelberg, Eberbach, etc. etc. Alright they may not be perfect, but I have always felt safer in recent times when I have visited, rather than places over here.:

My fairly recent trip to Edinburgh with my wife was very pleasant, still a way to go to match some continental venues, but they are trying.:
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

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And yes the Capital of Culture thing makes me chuckle too
It could be a sign of things to come. Glasgow was City of culture back in 1992 (I think), but is just now starting to realise that potential. I doubt that the whole 'British' attitude could get much worse (Chaves, Neds and all that [email protected]), so, perhaps society will start to fight back and reclaim this Island.
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Feel the same about Hamburg, Berlin, Hanover,Heidelberg, Eberbach, etc. etc. Alright they may not be perfect, but I have always felt safer in recent times when I have visited, rather than places over here.:

My fairly recent trip to Edinburgh with my wife was very pleasant, still a way to go to match some continental venues, but they are trying.:
I do wish you lot would say when you are coming to visit, Perhaps we could meet up (and mug you ).
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

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There is an equivalant space but it is surrounded by gaudy high volume vertical drinking bars i.e. loud music and bottled beer with no food. Coupled with that are bald headed chav scally nasties who only want to get drunk (take coke) and have a fight.


concert square?

i'm with you though mate, i'm not a big fan of british culture on going out/drinking/socialising. we're a very juvenile nation sometimes
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

Couldn't agree more. I've had occasion to do a lot of business with European companies and individuals over the last few years and I always feel this acutely when I return to these shores.

We somehow manage to combine the opportunity for culture, celebration of history, education and normal social interaction with an almost deliberate dedication to the avoidance of those things.

What I continue to find interesting is that it's a long time since I met someone who didn't feel this way (as evidenced by the responses to this thread), but somehow this never translates into change.
 
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

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What I continue to find interesting is that it's a long time since I met someone who didn't feel this way (as evidenced by the responses to this thread), but somehow this never translates into change.
I suppose it comes down to what can we do? At times it feels as if we are fighting an uphill battle
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

Copenhagen is another, a massive drinking culture there but also the street cafe culture, despite the high geographical latitude.

No fighting or threats of violence though!

I do wonder how Liverpool can be the capital of culture, unless it's changed a lot since I was last there?
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

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I do wonder how Liverpool can be the capital of culture, unless it's changed a lot since I was last there?
No!

I don't like slagging the place off as it has been good to me in my seven years here but to honest I will not go out in Liverpool anymore - perhaps that is just my age but I avoid the city centre at all costs even during the day too - I don't like the atmosphere there.
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

i really like liverpool, it's certainly a lot less threatening place to go out than manchester at night which can be SHOCKING in certain areas of the city centre. town in liverpool is looking very scruffy during the day but it is after all one big building site at the moment

as for the drinking & violence problem i think small towns are actually worse than big cities
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

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as for the drinking & violence problem i think small towns are actually worse than big cities
Frodsham has it's moments too - everywhere does unfortunately

(P.S. I am not just picking on Liverpool )
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

Shared a compartment on an ICE from Hamburg, not so long back, with some German youth, girls and boy's. The girls had the giggles a bit, but overall they were very pleasant youngsters, who were very communicative, and the conversations we had, (mostly in English!: )made the journey time fly by. Doubt it would be the same over here? The best part was, we did not feel detached from them, because we were old pensioners! We were treated as equals?
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

hang on minute, i agree totally, but there are some nice cafe culture spots in cities, and i'm sure the place you were had areas which the locals would call no go areas. Unfourtnately there are chavs and scum bags everywhere who seem to ruin it for alot of people. When i was in Australia every park, laybye beach had a hot plate bbq to use (to stop you lighting fires i assume) but every one i saw was always clean, and never vandalised and free to use, imagine that in UK some scum would either be too lazy to clean it after use, or destroy it..
 
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

The cleanliness of Oz is one of the few things that I really, really like about the place. That's certainly something they can be very proud of.
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

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Agree it can be a bit of a downer, but Glasgow and Edinburgh both have a real cafe society feel to them these days, partly encouraged by the smoking ban. Things are definately on the up in this neck of the woods.
Yes but go to the same places at midnight on a Friday or Saturday night and you'll find something much more malevolent.

Like ivorycolthorpe I'm always amazed when I go to Italy and wander the streets after midnight to find people out chatting, walking hand in hand from restaurants, children playing beside fountains or perhaps even a little street band playing music. Now picture Great britain and some of the camera footage of blokes/ladettes spilling out of boozers completely wrecked, urinating in the street, taking a swing at anyone who looks at them the wrong way. Sorry but we have a long, long way to go before we can even be mentioned as cultured.
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

But why do you think that's the case Will? I do believe Anglo-saxons tend to view drinking as a competitive sport rather than pleasure, so that surely doesn't help but normally the British in particular are very composed, respectful and well behaved people, so what happens on Friday and Saturday nights?
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

It's not really all that difficult to understand. Drinking/getting sloshed is celebrated in the Uk wheres as it's frowned upon elsewhere.

It's actually getting worse here. It's now acceptable for both male and females to get "muntered".

In fact the incidences of public urinating and street fighting are just as likely to feature females. That would have been unheard of 25 years ago.

This of course is completely at odds with the usual perception of the British which is generally that we are a polite and considerate group of peoples. And during daylight hours (and not withstanding football matches) that is what we are. But come the hours of darkness a very much less desirable aspect of the british character rears it's ugly head.

Politicians have much to blame for this as it has been they who have allowed this drinking "culture" (?) to grow. Huge police resources are given over to it and many, many chests of treasure wasted on it. Hospitals are choked because of it, and medical staff abused and assaulted because of it. You wonder what the benefit to society it all is especially when the same individuals who wallow in it are those who complain they don't have the dosh to get on the housing ladder!!
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

I disagree with Will. I would say that it has always been this way with our country, it's nothing new.

Also, the amount of money you'd need to buy a house round here, if spent on alcohol, would soon kill you.
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

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I disagree with Will. I would say that it has always been this way with our country, it's nothing new.

Also, the amount of money you'd need to buy a house round here, if spent on alcohol, would soon kill you.
But don't you think things have got progressively worse, badge? Surely it wasn't common round your way for girls and women to be found pi$$ing in the street and fighting? That is relatively new. Even in Scotland with it's reputation for drinking the phenomenon of the ladette is new. Binge drinking is also a modern craze. In my day you simply couldn't afford to "swally" that much adn going out for a good "bevy" as a student meant 6 pints and that would be a boast. BTW six pints in those days would have been beer at 3.5% not the 5.2% which is fairly common now.

I'm told you need about £70-£80 at least for a booze-up and if that's the case then a couple of nights a week at that would easily service a mortgage of £100K.
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

Maybe it became less common in the post war years due to a lack of money/rationing, but prior to that this has always been a pretty drunken and violent nation IMO. There were the Gin Houses of Victorian times which were common with the ladies.

I also think that the licensing laws have a lot of blame to shoulder. They encourage the drinking of as much booze as possible before throwing out time. Then everyone's all riled at being thrown out and is on the street at the same time.

I'm not defending it, I just think we often look at the past with rose tinted spectacles.

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I'm told you need about £70-£80 at least for a booze-up and if that's the case then a couple of nights a week at that would easily service a mortgage of £100K.
You'd need to add half again to buy you a property round here unfortunately.

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Re: This country is an embarrassment

I'm not for a minute looking at the past with rose tinted specs or harking back to time of better days but I do think things are progressively getting worse. We have liberal drinking laws up here and I'm afraid it doesn't help. It's time we stopped treating abuse with alcohol as something fun and praiseworthy and learned to accpt thatun and enjoyent can actuall y come from not having to projectile vomit or defecate in the street.

You could buy a very nice Alfa and rent though, no?

Last edited by Will; 13-06-07 at 16:00. Reason: something up here, I can't edit properly
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Re: This country is an embarrassment

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But why do you think that's the case Will? I do believe Anglo-saxons tend to view drinking as a competitive sport rather than pleasure, so that surely doesn't help but normally the British in particular are very composed, respectful and well behaved people, so what happens on Friday and Saturday nights?
Stereotyping ...lets not forget the behaviour of a few "townies" on a friday and saturday night isn't indicative of the UK as a whole.

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Re: This country is an embarrassment

Somehow, I gotta agree with the title. Having lived in west (greater) london for the last 10 months (another 2 to go before my work completes here), I believe I've seen enough to conclude that the younger generation of brits are indeed a far cry from the "gentlemen"-ness nature of their forefathers with whom, I've had the uttermost previlage of meeting with, throughout my working career.

Coming from the far east and having lived in many different countries around the world, short term (couple of weeks in Spain, Germany) & long term (8 years in Australia, 6 months in US) I've met many nice brits, some of whom have become very close friends indeed.

Having not visited the UK prior to this project, I jumped at the opportunity...... And boy was I shocked indeed, not to mention disappointed. Why disappointed? Because I've never encountered so much angst, verbal abuse and racist pass .... not from big blokes in hard hats or drunken beggars etc... but from KIDS!

Yep!!! We're talking about maybe the 15-17 years old ... the ones that hang around in big groups (sometimes, even in school uniform) and walk around town looking like a menace. And during weekends, they'll be out on the streets, with a bottle in hand, all drunk, loudmouthed & violent when its not even 9pm... I can't even walk home to my flat from dinner without feeling insecure about the surroundings.

So, if the saying "The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow" stands true, then sorry, but I think the only way UK is headed is downhill, from my observations.

Sorry if I've offended anybody reading this post.
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