Let’s face it, the English don’t do themselves any favours when it comes to European public relations; they don’t learn languages, they don’t dress well, and they voted to get away from a bunch of them.
Basically, the English are having a bit of a tough time at the moment. So what do they need, exactly? A list of everything we do that annoys other countries? Great.
Hundreds of people from France and Germany have filled in a survey and drawn up a list of some very, specific quirks that they just find repulsive. They came up with 20.
So with a list that extensive, you would think they must be real gripes, things that would sicken you to your very core, right?
Well, number one on the list of traits that makes French blood boil is the fact the English drive on the left hand side of the road, with the love of the Royal Family and tea not too far behind.
Totally reasonable things to hate, I guess.
But it doesn’t stop there, England’s Gallic cousins apparently hate the sight of beer bellies – who doesn’t? – while the persistence with the socks and sandals combination also made it into the list of pet peeves.
And rarely a day goes by when Brexit doesn’t get a mention, and today is no different, because the French have put the reasons why England, along with Britain, voted to leave the EU among their list of grievances.
The research was carried out by TV channel HISTORY, in conjunction with Al Murray’s new show Why Does Everyone Hate The English? which starts tonight.
Comedian Murray, famous for playing the outspoken and patriotic Pub Landlord, said: “It’s always an eye opener to find out why you might annoy someone – often it’s the things you like about yourself, like drinking tea.
“But all this shows is that the people next door are always the ones you’re most likely to have wound up the wrong way.
“And when it comes to winding up the French we’ve been at it for a thousand years, the Germans are the Johann-come-lately on this one.”
The Germans couldn’t wait to put the boot in either, and were just as keen to point out the flaws among the English.
According to the survey of 700 people, 15 percent hate the hooligans who follow our English teams around Europe, and put them top of the pile.
And being a nation famous for their love of beer – they take the hoppy beverage very seriously – Germans were also appalled by England’s reputation of being a nation of binge drinkers and larger louts.
Alright, mum, so the English like a pint or 12.
It wasn’t a complete character assassination, though, there were some good bits; more than a third of the French think the English are polite and have good manners, which is nice.
A third of them also think the English produce great music, and three in 10 like the sense of humour.
And while a fifth of Germans polled, via OnePoll, think the English need to lighten up a little, 33 percent do like the fact the nation can laugh at themselves.
And of the 1,200 English adults who were also surveyed, a large chunk said they were generally quite happy to have some of the traits other nationalities despise, including three quarters who were proud to live in Britain.
Though around 80 percent said they wished the English behaved a little better when visiting other countries. The English also don’t like the that their compatriots never learn another language but expect everyone else to speak the local lingo.
Murray added: “It’s a relief to see there are some things that the French and Germans like about the English, and humour plays a strong part in that.
“So there is hope for English people in Europe – just remember to have a good laugh, and make sure you don’t drive on the left.”