I love the fringe dwellers of the world, being one myself for at least half my waking state. For this reason whenever I am in Britain (or Ireland) I feel quite at home, because despite the British (especially the English) being known for their laws and endless rules they have a large underground population of proud fringe dwellers – misfits and eccentrics who display subversive tendencies to rebel against the establishment. In countries like Australia, Canada and United States, these people are seen as a strange curiosity and often rejected and put aside to be dealt with at a later date. You can be a bit strange but don’t stray too far from the crowd lest you be given a good smack on the bottom. But in England, and largely Britain, people on the outer are positively celebrated with a tally ho.
Now some could argue that there is no real difference around the world – the fringe dwellers in the UK are looked upon as just as tainted and disheveled as any such person anywhere. But there is something about the UK that seems to kindly embrace them (us).
As an aside: the new English fiver displays Winston Churchill. Now he was no fringe dweller but look at the pic – he looks grumpy and in need of a good dose of sunshine. The English love it that they have this surly old gentleman on their currency. If he was a bloke who was exceedingly cheery along with giving the great rousing speeches he is so famous for, then he just wouldn’t make the cut!