The members of the English Parliament are fond of comparing themselves to the old Romans... In my opinion, the majesty of the people of England has nothing in common with that of the people of Rome, much less is there any affinity between their Governments. There is in London a senate, some of the members whereof are accused (doubtless very unjustly) of selling their voices on certain occasions, as was done in Rome; this is the only resemblance. Besides, the two nations appear to me quite opposite in character, with regard both to good and evil. The Romans never knew the dreadful folly of religious wars, an abomination reserved for devout preachers of patience and humility... But here follows a more essential difference between Rome and England, which gives the advantage entirely to the latter... that the civil wars of Rome ended in slavery, and those of the English in liberty. The English are the only people upon earth who have been able to prescribe limits to the power of kings by resisting them; and who, by a series of struggles, have at last established that wise Government where the Prince is all powerful to do good, and, at the same time, is restrained from committing evil; where the nobles are great without insolence, though there are no vassals; and where the people share in the Government without confusion.
—Voltaire, Letters on England
You have arrived at a propitious moment, considered to be your countryís one indisputable contribution to Western Civilization: Afternoon tea.
Children in Britain are notoriously stupid and must attend schools.
That's what I love about the British. Your talent for Understatement... that, and Python.
Fog in the Channel, Continent Cut Off.
—A (possibly apocryphal) Victorian newspaper headline, neatly summing up Britain's view of the world.
I don't want to go back to England. I can't suffer through the London Olympics — we're not prepared, Liz! Did you see the Beijing opening ceremonies? We don't have control over our people like that!
— Wesley, 30 Rock
Did your life flash before your eyes? 'Cuppa tea, cuppa tea, almost got shagged, cuppa tea'??
—Spike to Giles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Bargaining Pt. 1")
The British are obsolete, like Fortran. I mean, the metric system? Donít make me puke. Britain, ha ha! They measure things with rocks over there!
—Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Pressing Issues
During the LA riots English people were trying to sympathize with me. "Oh Bill, crime is horrible. If it's any consolation, crime is awful here, too." SHUT UP. You gotta see English crime. It's hilarious. You don't know if you're reading the front page or the comic section over there. I swear to God. I read an article front page of the paper one day, in England: "Yesterday, some hooligans knocked over a dustbin in Shaftesbury." Ooooh the hooligans are loose! The hooligans are loose! What if they become ruffians? I would hate to be a dustbin in Shaftesbury tonight.
—Bill Hicks, Arizona Bay
This year, the English have been making fools over themselves over a posh dead guy. Wow, thereís something you donít see every day. Sorry, did I say thatís something you donít see every day? Silly me, what was I thinking? I meant, of course, that thatís something you do see every day. Literally, every fucking day. Itís practically our national pastime; worshiping posh dead guys.
What's Britain like? Uhh, s'alright... We've got, uh, Nectar Points. They're quite handy. Um... we've got "understatement"... We're tough on slogans, tough on the causes of slogans... We have strong prevailing south-westerly winds... 52% of our days are overcast, so as a nation we're infused with a wistful melancholy, but we remain a relentlessly chipper population prone to mild eccentricity, binge drinking and casual violence.
—Bill Bailey, Part Troll