13 May 2015

A Valuable Guide to British Values

The newly-elected British government has announced plans to combat extremism by promoting British values. In the words of Home Secretary Theresa May: ‘What we’re talking about is the key values that underline our society and are being undermined by the extremists.’ Well, aside from the fact that she should have said 'are' instead of 'is', I am completely in agreement with her. We must not allow extremists to undermine our British values.

What are British values though? I have a compiled a useful explainer about the core British values and identified the ways in which dastardly extremists are trying to undermine those cherished pillars of British culture. This also doubles up as a guide to tourists to minimise friction during your stay here.


Queuing is the uncontested core British value, exemplified by the saying: ‘if you don’t have to queue for it, it’s not worth it.’ The ability to form an orderly queue is prized above all else in British culture, and British people derive great pleasure from standing in line for a significant amount of time. In fact, the lines on the British flag represent neat queues of people waiting to buy concert tickets.

Extremists have for long sought to undermine this core British value by saying things like: ‘why don’t you come back later when it’s not so busy’ or ‘why don’t you buy it online instead?’ It’s this dangerous thinking that the government wants to tackle head on before it erodes a beautiful British value that exemplifies the soul of the nation.


A distinguishing mark of civilisation is not expressing your feelings explicitly when you’re annoyed about something. That might work for Italians and Americans but Britain is built on the value of passive aggressiveness and its manifestation in the form of tutting. Nothing delights British folks more than tutting about a perceived offence, like spelling offence with an s.

There is a wide range of situations in which tutting could be employed, such as someone playing music loudly on their earphones next to you on public transport. A decent British person can derive great pleasure from tutting in protest even though the other person can’t hear them. If the situation calls for an aggressive head turn because the person is behind you, the joy increases exponentially. You want to turn your head violently and look back at the other person contemptuously, then turn back and tut to yourself.

Here again extremists have been disrupting the British way of life by outrageously suggesting things like ‘why don’t you just ask them to lower the volume?’ or ‘why don’t you just move away from them?’ This form of radicalism should be punished by a jail term, and thanks to the Home Secretary it will soon be.

Tutting about queuing

Tutting about queuing is the holy grail of tutting. Nothing pleases British people more than tutting about how long it is taking the queue to move, how close the person behind you is standing, how far the person ahead of you is standing away from the person in front of them, etc, etc. But this should be distinguished from ‘having a good moan about it’, which is an entirely different category to tutting.

If, God forbid, someone were to attempt to cut the queue even for a legitimate reason, tutting levels would rise sharply and some British people will actually squeal with delight at their good fortunes. In fact, the wave of tutting discontent that sweeps across the queue is not unlike an orgasm.

Once again extremists have been trying to rob honest British people of these small joys of life with unhelpful suggestions like: ‘it’s ok, they have a sick child, they can go first’ or ‘relax man’. Such barbaric behaviour is inexcusable.

Saying sorry

When a British person is really angry, absolutely livid, seething with rage, they will express their feelings by saying sorry. Not so much saying as shooting the word sorry across like a bullet at the other person. In fact, the army has for years been trying to utilise the British sorry as a military projectile.

The word sorry can be used in a variety of situations, but in none of them it does actually mean sorry. It can mean ‘get out of way you idiot’, it can mean ‘I am so pleased that you are disappointed’ and it can mean ‘how dare you suggest that?’ But its ultimate use, the way in which it fulfils its destiny, is when it means ‘GRRHHHH@@###!!!’.

Once again, foreign bearded preachers have been trying to undermine British values with radical suggestions like ‘learn to express yourself’ and ‘being passive aggressive is not good for your health’. Sorry? SORRY?! SORRRRYYYYYY????!!!!!!! Lock’em up.

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Karl reMarks is a blog about Middle East politics and culture with a healthy dose of satire.

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