What Thousands of You Absolutely Hate About the UK

In the VICELAND Census we asked you what exactly about the UK makes you mad. Regrettably, we did not put a character limit on the answer box.

by Joel Golby
27 September 2016, 11:00am

(Photo: Stephan Ridgway, via)

Whew, we got some opinions out there, don't we! We got some things to say.

Some context: recently, to celebrate the launch of our new TV channel – VICELAND, on Sky channel 153 – we sat a couple thousand of you, our loyal readers, down and asked you some questions. Mainly about Britain: people you admire, people you hate, what you think of education and politics, and sex, and drugs, and what word you use for "fit" and "extremely fit", and then we also left a no-character-limit text box in there and some of you went fully radge on it.

And lo, the Google Doc full of rants has made its way to me.

The question was about what makes you mad. Here are some things you're all mad about: litter, bizarrely. Trains. Britain as a self-important rain island. Weather came up a lot, actually. As did the following three words: "Tories", "cunts" and "chavs" (have to talk about that last one, guys; we're post-chav – we are post-"saying chav").

Mental health – both funding to treat it and attitudes towards it – was a recurring theme. A lot of you are tired of the UK's drinking culture. You all want weed to be legal, but a lot of you are mad at "crackheads in the street". Disability rights are a huge issue. As is access to fresh, healthy food instead of white bread and junk. I mean, there is loads going on here. Listen: you've all got stuff to say. And now we're going to go through some of that stuff, from the longest complaints down to the shortest (all [sic]).


The electoral system is an absolute joke and our government represents only a tiny minority of the country and is completely and utterly focused on London and the south. The current electoral system steeps power and elections in favour of the south and this means that real class problems are almost impossible to address as political parties must position themselves to exploit the middle classes for votes as most wealth is generated in the south so the north is almost completely ignored and real poverty is allowed to carry on unchecked whilst seemingly all new innovations and investment floods to London leaving the rest of the country to fight for the scraps at the foot of the table whilst the non-conservative parties and parts of Labour squabble about what to do and because of Labours shift to the right under Tony Blair and a UK government plan of austerity many places in the North felt disowned as poverty took hold and UKIP swooped in to take control of those old Labour supporters and divert their frustration and sense of abandonment towards the EU and foreigners which has resulted in Brexit and rising xenophobia and racism as well as a massive split in the Labour party as many want to address those left behind by Blair and many don't want to perhaps because to do so would be to admit that a large swathe of the country are either openly or on the cusp of being racists and this is in large part due to the failings of the Labour party and maybe it is because it would mean a serious look at changing the electoral system which, as I said before, is woeful. The attitudes I encounter on a daily basis are either sexist, homophobic, stupidly patriotic, racist, xenophobic or woefully ill-informed. Many people do not identify as feminists due to ignorance, stupidity or whatever else. Ridiculous ideas of gender roles are actively encouraged and even revered even though the devastation wrought by those ideas is plain to see if you actually look more than an arsehole's width in front of your face. Homophobia or obvious unease with homosexuality or lifestyles found within the LGBTQQ community are widespread and many in government claim they want to do something about it but teaching about homosexuality in schools has been voted down (also voted against by Theresa May) even though this is the area where most homophobic bullying goes on and where most suicides in the LGBTQQ community occur. Our education system is antiquated and in serious need of funding and remodelling, our jobs market is a shambles, new housing is not being built even though thousands need houses and so on and so on and so on. Basically, political cowardice, short-sightedness, selfishness, corruption and stupidity is encouraged by toxic elements of the press like the Daily Racist (also known as Mail), The Evil Misery Profiteering Racist Sexist Homophobic Despicable Lying Bastard Shit Eating Scum (also known as The Scum (Scunts) (Sun)), and other shit eating tabloids which whip ignorant arseholes with bigger mouths than brains into actions and this influences how politicians behave because they desperately don't want to lost votes by going against the tabloids because everybody knows that is where the power lies. Basically, we are a completely corrupt society (as embodied in a many decades long struggle to achieve even a recognition of wrong-doing by the police in Hillsborough which as of yet has not achieved genuine justice) that unfairly favours the rich, the powerful, the influential and London. We are also a monstrous force of evil in the world as we assist America in its despicable empire building.

Don't quite know whether to answer this with the world's biggest "u ok hun?" or just offer this person an internship on the spot. It's very hard to tell what is right sometimes.

There are too many things I hate about living in Britain but if I could summarise the absolute worst it would be the apathy people in this country have for vulnerable people. We live in a culture of pinning blame on the poor, the disabled, young parents, young people in general, immigrants, refugees, etc for problems that are completely out of their control. We have TV shows that almost fetishise poverty and turn it into a freak show for people to get self righteous about. It's nauseating to hear people in my community cast aspersions on others just because they believe everything they read in rubbish pseudo-journalism such as The Daily Mail. There's just no compassion any more. It surprises me that during a time of austerity we have become much more selfish.

I know the woke generation gets a lot of stick from people who still think WWII was the pinnacle of British achievement and that a lot of 17-year-olds excited to do drama at college actually need to be sent to a muddy front line and shot with bullets to really toughen them up, but honestly if there are more attitudes like this around then I'm all for it.

The idiotic mother fuckers who have no clue what the real world is like, the mother fuckers that have been spoon fed from birth then get seats in Parliament and have no real clue as to what it is like to live within the struggles of society. Benefit babies are a creation from the spoon-fed mother fuckers spoken about previously that bring separation into society through the labelling of ethnicity. These people find it difficult to find work where people from a different background or class would not. These spoon-fed mother fuckers need a slap back to reality and wake up to the equality of a human being, seems impossible now that there are so many human beings in the world who cannot control the simple emotion of desire.

Listen, I know you got some emotions right now, but please, please, please god: "motherfuckers" is one word, not two.

Firstly the weather, let's get that out of the way. Mainly how peoples opinions are so often predictable and linear, especially with politics and the news. People stick to reading the same shite they already agree with (and I mean that from all ends of the spectrum, left and right). I purposely read lots of stuff I disagree with so at least I know what I hate, and what I hate slightly less. I also can't stand Graphic Design and Fine Art graduates as they seem to be consumed by a subculture that they assume is dead original and the rest of us just don't get, but the sad, sad reality is we can see right through their vintage 50s style glasses, charity shop clothes and charitable causes as the poor cries for attention they are.

I was kind of with you until you went in two-footed on graphic designers. If you want unoriginally designed tube ads and staid magazine layouts then let that be on you, but I think we need these people.

The fact that you live in the most corrupt country (politically) in the West but they're so fucking good at being corrupt that it's virtually impossible to do anything about it. It's not a fucking coincidence that half of the Cabinet went to THE SAME FUCKING SCHOOL. That doesn't just happen by accident.

Trains as well, and cunt bus-driving cunts. Yeah I know it's a £20 note but it's still legal tender you bellend. See that? It's the Queen's face, and that's the last thing you'll see as you get ordered off to the Tower of London by Her Majesty's finest (who are also institutionally corrupt in case you couldn't guess) for being a cunt.

Just feel like someone – and I'm not naming any names, because the form didn't ask for any – but maybe someone just got chucked off the bus on their way to filling this census survey out and maybe it was all still a bit too raw for them.

The fact that the average house is attached to its neighbours and we pay through the nose for it. Shit political parties, including the one I voted for, a general infantilisation of life and the national political discourse, judgmental in-the-box-thinking, a lack of emphasis on self reliance (as if that is mutually exclusive with supporting welfare), a fixation on obsolete 19th century politics. The lack of initiative of the average person. The lack of charisma of the average person. "British" values like unassertiveness and politeness. The middle class. The elite class. The working class. They're all shit in one way or another.

Hold on, I'm just counting this up and the problem is: i. the concept of neighbourhoods, ii. every political party, iii. people who rely on welfare, iv. the fact that the country is stacked so people have to rely on welfare, v. uncharming people but also vi. polite people, vii. every single class, and, finally, incredibly, viii. "judgmental people". This comment absolutely broke my brain. My brain is in bits, on the floor. Wet slabs. I am picking the dregs of my brain up with my uncontrolled and now useless hands.

Amount of people who don't care about the mess they create, litter etc.

Public lack of interest in becoming more green

A government without any vision not making bold steps towards being more environmentally friendly, investing in renewables, improving public transport/urban planning to take priority away from cars in cities

Government/democracy that is unrepresentative, first past the post system is a joke

Levels of xenophobia across the country

How the decision to leave the EU makes us look to the rest of Europe/the world (arrogant)

When I was reading the comments on this survey (I read every comment) (there were so many comments) at first I was sort of distantly amused by the fact so many of you seem preoccupied with litter. I always thought being aggressively mad at litter is something dads do when they've given up, when their final daughter has gone off to university and the dads, bereft now, put on special plastic gloves and boots and go out on the green at the end of their cul-de-sac and really, really deliberately pick up cider bottles and used condoms, practically slam-dunking them into a bin-bag, writing letters to the council and local paper, Slowly Going Mad – but no, young people are on it too.

And the thing is: the more I think about it, the more I realise that other people's trash and behaviours with regards to their trash do my head in, too. I get really furious when I walk into a public toilet and it's been left in a basically unusable condition; when I go to fast food restaurants and people don't clear their own tables; sandwich wrappers and crisp packets left on the bus (I've started doing this thing when I catch commuter trains late in the evening: I step onto the carriage and see if anyone is eating McDonald's on there, and if they are I get off and go to another carriage because I do not want to smell like a Big Mac) (I think this makes me a Conservative voter now). Essentially: I realised reading this survey that I, too, am constantly mad at litter, and I'm going to make more of an effort about that. So thank you for schooling me, Young People, I suppose.

The individualistic, narcissistic and superficial nature of smartphones and social media. Despite having revolutionised the way we live, I think there is something seriously wrong in the way people are being brought up to value their virtual reality rather than reality itself. Also, the false promise that going to university is still falsely considered to be a passport into graduate related roles (I'm currently writing my master thesis on what constitutes graduate success).

I think this recurring theme (with a small, dark undercurrent of dread to it) of being really, really uncomfortable and freaked out about graduation and the idea of success post-graduation is one that's really evolved in recent years and seems ever more pertinent now. When I and others like me graduated, was there a fear that it had all been for nothing and we'd never find an appropriate, degree-related job? Yes. Is this terror amplified by about 9,000 now that, in 2016, getting a higher education is essentially a 30-year debt commitment, and the job market seems ever more busted and impenetrable to all but the most live-at-home-with-mummy-while-I-intern-and-figure-out-what-I-really-want-to-do types? Yes, yes, yes.

So there's this horrible double-edged sword: you are told that the only way to level the playing field and truly get ahead in life is to get a degree, and you go through and commit your current finances, future finances and time to getting one, and you get out the other end and someone tells you "well, you're overqualified for office work" and "you're underqualified for industry work", and your parents really want to turn your old bedroom into a study but they can't any more because you're still sleeping in it, and fuck, fuck, you did everything they told you to and everything's still fucked, isn't it, perhaps more fucked than if you hadn't done anything at all?

So yeah, I get that that's a fear. It's just sort of a shame it was bought up by the kind of person who has a good six-to-eight minute rant about selfie culture ready to drop at all times.

Too many ignorant people that haven't got in the sea yet.

Ah, I see, we accidentally asked a sentient "Keep Calm and Carry On" tea-towel to somehow complete the survey.

The heavily biased right wing media, which has helped to enable a cripplingly right wing government into power. Many people in the country are so politically apathetic that they vote for a party that will actively seek to exploit them. I wish we had better education, less biased media and generally more empathy towards other human beings. (Maybe everyone should try some MDMA and LSD?!)


The prices of clubs

Cheaper and quicker to buy unhealthy food rather than healthy food

Sometimes feeling unsafe when walking home from a night out or just late at night

Not given enough advice before starting university – only received email but nothing offered by colleges or school

Not being taught enough about politics

The price to get your roots re bleached (£80?!)

I feel like this is a really good spread of opinions, and – against 29 years of previous form – I'm not even being sarcastic right now. Healthy food IS harder to get than unhealthy food. They DON'T prepare you for college or university. Roots DO cost too much to bleach. I want a lot of you who filled in this survey and turn your energy towards becoming my next MP, with this particular responder top of that list.

Generally speaking, I think we have it pretty good in Britain. A lot of people would kill to have a British passport – we're blessed with a whole range of hard-won freedoms and rights that others across the world envy.

That's not to say we don't have problems but I'm thankful I live here and I'd rather focus on the good things about living in Britain than the bad.

This person is better than me because they are not petty and as a result I hate them.

There is a feeling of powerlessness in Britain as Britain has an elite power structure and it is almost impossible to invoke change in the political system.

Politicians are not held responsible for when they go back on their promises, or for withholding their personal and financial interests in policy.

Those in power are placed there by an unjust voting system.

Frustration at the system is a big theme, which is good, because it used to be that people who were mad at "the politicians in Westminster" used air-quotes a lot and said "man" and thought charity shop blazers over a Doctor Who T-shirt was a good look, and now all of you seem to be railing against the edgeless vacuum of power that looms large above all of us, and basically what I am saying is: when you all get raging and start rioting next summer, I am all for it.

The latent xenophobia which seems to lurk within our cultural psyche alongside the unsettling feeling that those who are patriotic see an ideal in the long dead British Empire, the idea that we were once great and are no longer without thought towards the thousands who died as a result of British incompetence.

Also all of the TV is about buying houses.

The People Against Kirstie Allsopp.

dickheads that take their shirts off as soon as its 19 degrees outside to reveal their pasty chests and shit tattoos – people that complain constantly but never fucking give anything to try and make the situation better and probably dickheads that think that they're omgsoquirky because they LOVE tea "I'm just a bit mad about my tea" fuck off

Can't tell if I think you're really sound or a massive dickhead. Which, coincidentally, is the constant fear I have about other people's opinion of me.

People care far too much about utter shit such as the Kardashians. I think that sometimes stupidity is celebrated as well and that having interests in science and technological advancement can be met with blank stares. Self improvement seems to be almost laughed off.

Yeah, would you watch a reality show about a bunch of nerds talking about science and tech, though? The answer is: fucking no. I'd much rather watch a half hour of anywhere between six to a hundred Armenian goddesses getting mad about iced coffee than a single guy who thinks shirt pockets are a good place to store pens saying "STEM" over and over until he has an asthma attack.

that I don't get free child care for my daughter due to being on high income,yet pay taxes which enable poorer families to send theirs for free, all children need socialising and educating equally, it is not their fault how much their parents earn.

It's a confusing word jungle, but yes, I'm pretty sure this person is mad that they earn too much money.

Housing: cost of both renting and buying, the current government, the lack of a credible opposition to that government, the cost of trains, the far right, the far left, Arsenal, poor work/life balance, the Daily Mail, homelessness...

Arsenal are fine, it's just the fans who are the problem.

The type of people who go on Jeremy Kyle... ALSO the people who say that the immigrants come over here and take away jobs from them, but they are "too good" to be a cleaner, nurse etc. Instead they abuse the benefits system.

At once woke and unwoke. Schrodinger's Woke Bae.

English people, I hate the full Great British culture, like seriously what the fuck is great about English people, actually confronted a racist mate, saying 'What the fuck is great about you.' couldn't give me an answer.

Take that, racism!

Fast food is well expensive. How the fuck can Subway do a $5 footlong there and a £5 footlong here, like exchange rates aren't a thing? My friend from Michigan almost cried when she saw our McDonalds.

I like people with a clear message, a central thrust. You have a problem and you are letting the world know it. Believe I will be taking this up with Subway top brass, Survey Respondent #132.

Separate taps for hot and cold water, poor insulation, wearing shoes inside, carpeted floors. In short, the buildings. Let's not forget the weather either – there's pretty much just one season.

Sir, what in the good lord is wrong with our taps?

Living with mental illness, depression in particular, is often a subject people don't want to talk about, or just act as if people can "Get over it," "Brighten up," "Don't be so glum."

Everything is shit, but it does give me some small hope that the next generation of decision and taste-makers are well versed in dealing with, diagnosing and having flexible and understanding attitudes towards mental health. I mean, that's nice isn't it?

Not being able to ever buy a house. Being ruled by a government that bases policy on opinion rather than scientific fact. That they don't make mango and mandarin Lilt anymore.


I have very little issues with living in the UK. the weather is actually ideal, maybe I wish we were more tolerant towards others, and were slightly more progressive thinkers

"The weather here is good, actually" is the drizzle-hot take we've all been looking for.

Anxious, miserable little people, people who have no sense of what it means to live with spirit, full of self-loathing, with no great sense of love and beauty

What is the URL for your yoga blog?

bare dickheads about the UK everyones got a fucking chip on their shoulder, i just wanna have a laugh and get along

oh yea and Ganja is illegal :(

This country would be so great with Survey Respondent #217 in charge around here.

Most people are scum, Idiots making big decisions for us in the private sector, government, and even parents are retards half the time.

Have you still got copies of your lo-fi punk zine I Don't Wanna Tidy My Room, Mom! going on Big Cartel, or did you sell all five of them out?

The constant fear that someone is watching you from behind a desk and you dont know what they have seen or how they have judged you.

Would pay to see this person's HR file.

Imperialism, patriotism, racism, weather, sexism, Tory's, page 3, no Scottish independence, brexit, middle class baby boomers

I honestly forgot about Page 3 for a bit, there. This comment had it all flooding back. Remember when we were all really mad about it? Just absolutely furious at tits. Britain's great, isn't it.

The older gender believing they have given you everything when in reality it is the opposite.

Age is a gender, the fire-hot take to bring us through to the new millennium.

Restriction on wildlife areas eg not allowing to swim in lakes etc , however I do understand and respect why this is done


The fact that I have to pay council tax that gets spent on wars I don't agree with, or I get a bailiff at the door.

Does anyone know if this is true? I thought council tax was for lamp posts and potholes and things, but now I'm learning it's actually being used to shoot foreign kids in the face. Got some pretty heavy questions for Hackney Council rn.

House prices, politics, lack of green progress, everyone being a racist, the lazy approach to life Oasis made 'cool'

I'm honestly so glad people are still mad at Oasis.

VICE making shitter docs and employing more hipster fuckfaces in the past 3 years... you used to be good. cunt.

This feels like an attack.

idiot drunks
19year olds with face / neck or hand tattoos
the fact that weed is still illegal and frowned upon

What age is OK for a neck tattoo? Asking for, well, everyone, really.

Poor environmental regulations (poorly followed)
untalkative people when out and about

Are you the guy who keeps trying to talk to people on the bus because if so please stop.

People who hate others for being different despite not knowing them at all

So just to be clear: you're saying you... hate... those people? The people who hate others for being different despite not knowing them at all? You... hate those people? Who are different to you? And who, by extension, you don't know? You're locking this answer in, yeah?

shit food
shit weather
shit landscape
full of racists
queen is a cunt

I feel like this answer in its entirety should just be the text of the Wikipedia entry for "Britain".

The fact that the drunken attitude is considered a national pride.

This can be a footnote.

The bizarre sense of entitlement mixed with the victimhood.

As can this.

fuckwit politicians
expensive to get anywhere
no Disneyland

This too.

No good Mexican food

This less so. It is weird, though, because we did this exact survey in VICE Mexico and they are all blue-balled over the fact they can't get a good fry-up. People keep putting tequila in the ketchup. Wrap full of beans. Coriander sausages. That sort of thing.

Expensive vegetables

Where you buying your veg from, my dude? Abel & Cole: truly the poison that will bring this country to its knees.

Stupid laws on sex.

What kind of sex have you been having and how have the police been involved? Because I feel there are probably actually very good reasons why there are laws against you having it.


And so I think we have learnt a lot. Litter is an issue. Drinking is an issue. Tories are an issue. There is a ceiling over the jobs market – right at the supposed entry-point, which a lot of you are rightly anxious about ever breaking through – and it is an issue. Mental health is an issue. Mexican food is an issue. The ever-louder-post-Brexit, in-the-streets racism is an issue. The future of the planet, doomed as it is, is an issue. Education and the point of pursuing it further is an issue. Legalised weed is an issue. And there, in the crevices, some light-like chinks of hope: I am excited to live in a tidy, woke, MH-friendly, green and un-racist land when the elderly die and the young seize power.

Anyway, I will leave the last thought to Survey Respondent #1594, a poet laureate-in-waiting, surely, on what is wrong with Britain today:



More VICE survey stuff:

How Young People Feel About Britain, Politics and Discrimination

Why Young People Are Wrong to Abandon Patriotism

How Do Young People Feel About Sex, Relationships and Love?