Polite, eccentric, aloof, patriotic free spirits

''Fifty years from now,'' [Major] said, ''Britain will still be the country of long shadows on county grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and pool fillers and – as George Orwell said – 'old maids cycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist' . " Politeness was also agreed upon as typically British, though this was also considered by some to be a front for reserve and an ''uptight'' approach to social situations. There was a widely-held perception of the British as strongly individualistic and politically independent, a trait especially noticeable in the country's somewhat ambivalent relationship with the rest of the European Union, its unwillingness to join the euro and its stubborn insistence on continuing to drive on the left. Do you know what you're getting in to? Here's the results of an RSA study seeking to identify traits of Britishness. Complete article at:

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