The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), also known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a country in the European Union. It has a population of more than 64 million people as of 2016. The territories of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales comprise the United Kingdom. The country is a monarchy and its head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who is the longest-serving head of state in the world.
- Britain has been moving earth and hell to obtain allies against us, yet it is improper in us to propose an alliance! Great Britain has borrowed all the superfluous wealth of Europe, in Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and some in France, to murder us, yet it is dishonorable in us to propose to borrow money! By heaven, I would make a bargain with all Europe, if it lay with me. Let all Europe stand still, neither lend men nor money nor ships to England nor America, and let them fight it out alone. I would give my share of millions for such a bargain. America is treated unfairly and ungenerously by Europe. But thus it is, mankind will be servile to tyrannical masters, and basely devoted to vile idols.
- Heaven is where the police are British, the lovers French, the mechanics German, the chefs Italian, and it is all organized by the Swiss.
- Hell is where the police are German, the lovers Swiss, the mechanics French, the chefs British, and it is all organized by the Italians.
- I really don't think that British can cook, period.
- Moe Bader, as quoted in Kitchen Nightmares
- Do the British see the lion and the unicorn on the land or in the sea?
- Dear land of hope, thy hope is crowned! God make thee mightier yet... By truth maintained, thine empire shall be strong... Land of hope and glory, mother of the free! How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee? God, who made thee mighty? Make thee mightier yet.
- To ensure the continuation of the British race, its present rate of reproduction... cannot continue.
- William Beveridge, as quoted in Austerity Britain, 1945-1951 (4 January 2010), by David Kynaston
- The United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language.
- George Bernard Shaw, widely attributed beginning in the 1940s, e.g. Reader’s Digest (November 1942). Not found in his published works.
- Variant: The English and the Americans are two peoples divided by a common language.
- These are some of the first principles of natural law & Justice, and the great Barriers of all free states, and of the British Constitution in particular. It is utterly irreconcilable to these principles, and to many other fundamental maxims of the common law, common sense and reason, that a British house of commons, should have a right, at pleasure, to give and grant the property of the Colonists. That these Colonists are well entitled to all the essential rights, liberties and privileges of men and freemen, born in Britain, is manifest, not only from the Colony charter, in general, but acts of the British Parliament…. Had the Colonists a right to return members to the British parliament, it would only be hurtful; as from their local situation and circumstances it is impossible they should be ever truly and properly represented there. The inhabitants of this country in all probability in a few years will be more numerous, than those of Great Britain and Ireland together; yet it is absurdly expected by the promoters of the present measures, that these, with their posterity to all generations, should be easy while their property shall be disposed of by a house of commons at three thousand miles distant from them...
- The twentieth century saw Britain having to redefine its place in the world. At the beginning of the century, it commanded a world-wide empire as the foremost global power. Two world wars and the end of empire diminished its role, but the UK remains an economic and military power, with considerable political and cultural influence around the world. Britain was the world's first industrialized country. Its economy remains one of the largest, but it has for many years been based on service industries rather than on manufacturing.
- British Broadcasting Corporation, "United Kingdom country profile: Overview" (14 May 2015), BBC News, United Kingdom
- Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules. Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these. But of all the world's great heroes, there's none that can compare with the tow-row-row-row-row-row of the British grenadiers!
- "The British Grenadiers" (1750)
- Britain is blessed with a functioning political culture. It is dominated by people who live in London and who have often known each other since prep school. This makes it gossipy and often incestuous.
- I am constantly filled with admiration at this – at the way you can wander through a town like Oxford and in the space of a few hundred yards pass the home of Christopher Wren, the buildings where Halley found his comet and Boyle his first law, the track where Roger Banister ran the first sub-four minute mile, the meadow where Lewis Carroll strolled; or how you can stand on Snow's Hill at Windsor and see, in a single sweep, Windsor Castle, the playing fields of Eton, the churchyard where Gray wrote his 'Elegy,' the site The Merry Wives of Windsor was first performed. Can there anywhere on earth be, in such a modest span, a landscape more packed with centuries of busy, productive attainment?
- On behalf of the American people, I thank the world for its outpouring of support. America will never forget the sounds of our National Anthem playing at Buckingham Palace, on the streets of Paris, and at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate. We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our embassy in Seoul, or the prayers of sympathy offered at a mosque in Cairo. We will not forget moments of silence and days of mourning in Australia and Africa... America has no truer friend than Great Britain. Once again, we are joined together in a great cause — so honored the British Prime Minister has crossed an ocean to show his unity of purpose with America. Thank you for coming, friend.
- When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network, a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.
By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the 'Blair's bombs' line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology.
- Hassan Butt (2007-07-01). "My plea to fellow Muslims: you must renounce terror". The Observer.
- The sound of modern Britain is a complex harmony, not a male voice choir.
- David Cameron, speech aimed at Liberal Democrats: join me in my mission (16 December 2005)
- I want to help try and build a more responsible society here in Britain, one where we don't just ask what are my entitlements but what are my responsibilities, one where we don't ask what am I just owed but more what can I give, and a guide for that society that those that can should and those who can't we will always help.
- David Cameron, first speech as Prime Minister, at 10 Downing Street (11 May 2010)
- Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.
- Winston Churchill, The River War (1899), first edition, Vol. II, p. 248
- I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among the nations. I am sorry, however, that he has not been mellowed by the great success that has attended him. The whole world would rejoice to see the Hitler of peace and tolerance, and nothing would adorn his name in world history so much as acts of magnanimity and of mercy and of pity to the forlorn and friendless, to the weak and poor. … Let this great man search his own heart and conscience before he accuses anyone of being a warmonger.
- Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war.
- We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old.
- Winston Churchill, speech in the House of Commons (4 June 1940)
- When I warned them that Britain would fight on alone whatever they did, their generals told their Prime Minister and his divided Cabinet, 'In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken'. Some chicken! Some neck!
- British democracy approves the principles of movable party heads and unwaggable national tails.
- Winston Churchill, address to a joint session of Congress, Washington, D.C. (17 January 1952); reported in Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963, ed. Robert Rhodes James (1974), vol. 8, p. 8,326
- Britain has been terrorized by an underclass of welfare-dependent, drug-addled criminal scum who have been allowed to run riot in the streets because the police haven't been allowed to do their job and protect the public. The media is full of speculation about why it happened and what is the root cause. Well, that's easy. The root cause is stupidity. A complete lack of imagination. A stunted, feral view of the world that amounts to self-inflicted moral and mental disablement. And it’s the direct product of an entitlement culture that rewards idleness, encourages victimhood, and compensates criminals.
- We no longer enjoy the same liberties Americans do. We don't have a constitution. We don't have a First Amendment. What we have, and what the whole of Europe has, is the Lisbon Treaty, a kind of top-down constitution that has been imposed on us against our will. And, unlike the American Constitution which empowers the people, the European constitution dis-empowers the people, and empowers the un-elected bureaucrats and career politicians for whose sole benefit it was created.
- As to the doctrine of slavery and the right of Christians to hold Africans in perpetual servitude, and sell and treat them as we do our horses and cattle, that, it is true, has been heretofore countenanced by the Province Laws formerly, but nowhere is it expressly enacted or established. It has been a usage–a usage which took its origin from the practice of some of the European nations, and the regulations of British government.
- Look at England, whose mighty power is now felt, and for centuries has been felt, all around the world. It is worthy of special remark, that precisely those parts of that proud island which have received the largest and most diversified populations, are to day the parts most distinguished for industry, enterprise, invention and general enlightenment. In Wales, and in the Highlands of Scotland the boast is made of their pure blood, and that they were never conquered, but no man can contemplate them without wishing they had been conquered. They are far in the rear of every other part of the English realm in all the comforts and conveniences of life, as well as in mental and physical development. Neither law nor learning descends to us from the mountains of Wales or from the Highlands of Scotland. The ancient Briton, whom Julius Caesar would not have as a slave, is not to be compared with the round, burly, amplitudinous Englishman in many of his qualities of desirable manhood.
- Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.
- Mahatma Gandhi, "An Autobiography OR The story of my experiments with truth", Chapter 27, Recruiting Campaign, from a leaflet urging Indians to serve with the British Army in World War II.
- Northern Ireland remains a deeply divided society. The number of 'peace walls', physical barriers separating Catholic and Protestant communities, has increased sharply since the first cease-fires in 1994. Most people in the region cannot envisage the barriers being removed, according to a recent survey conducted by the University of Ulster. In housing and education, Northern Ireland remains one of the most segregated tracts of land anywhere on the planet. Less than one in ten children attends a school that is integrated between Catholics and Protestant. This figure has remained stubbornly low despite the cessation of violence.
- Peter Geoghegan, "Return of the Troubles: Is Northern Ireland falling apart all over again?" (20 December 2012), Foreign Policy
- The reason that the UK has such high crime rates is because no one owns guns.
- Steven Goddard, "Wyoming Crime Rates Among The Lowest In The Country" (8 January 2013), Real Science, WordPress
- The sayings of the Briton resound with the wisdom of the heart and sage comprehension of life...
- The British monarchy inculcates unthinking credulity and servility. It forms a heavy layer on the general encrustation of our unreformed political institutions. It is the gilded peg from which our unlovely system of social distinction and hierarchy depends. It is an obstacle to the objective public discussion of our own history. It tribalises politics. It entrenches the absurdity of the hereditary principle. It contributes to what sometimes looks like an enfeeblement of the national intelligence, drawing from our press and even from some of our poets the sort of degrading and abnegating propaganda that would arouse contempt if displayed in Zaire or Romania. It is, in short, neither dignified nor efficient...
The United States, for example, has never had a President as bad as George III, but neither has Britain had a king as admirable as George Washington (of whom William Thackeray rightly said that 'his glory will descend to remotest ages' while the memory of the sovereign went the other way).
- Christopher Hitchens, The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain's Favourite Fetish (1990), Random House
- In today's Britain, the idea that there could be a Constitution more powerful - and even sacrosanct - than any crowned head or elected politician (thus abolishing the false antithesis between hereditary monarchs and capricious presidents) is thought of as a breathtakingly new and daring idea...
Too many crucial things about this country turn out to be highly recommended because they are 'invisible'. There is the 'hidden hand' of the free market, the 'unwritten' Constitution, the 'invisible earnings' of the financial service sector, the 'magic' of monarchy and the 'mystery' of the Church and its claim to the interpretation of revealed truth. When we do get as far as the visible or the palpable, too much of it is deemed secret. How right it is that senior ministers, having kissed hands with the monarch, are sworn to the cult of secrecy by 'The Privy Council Oath'. How right it is that our major foreign alliance - the 'special relationship' with the United States - is codified by no known treaty and regulated by no known Parliamentary instrument.
- Christopher Hitchens, The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain's Favourite Fetish (1990), Chatto Counterblasts
- Deep is the primitive belief that it is the Anglo-Saxons, more than the CIA, more even than the Jews, who are the puppet masters of everything that happens in Iran.
- In addition to relative indifference to the fate of the euro area, Britain is more protected because of speculation the central bank may intervene directly to finance the debt ... Europe is not a cash box, let alone a cashpoint...
The British have been particularly shy about the issues of financial regulation, and attentive only to the interests of the City – hence their reluctance to see the introduction of a tax on financial transactions and tax harmonisation in Europe.
- I know about your [British] system of democracy, but in that system the workers 'hold keys of straw', as an expression of ours puts it. It is democracy for the capitalists, for the lords, but not for the workers. When we win we shall establish democracy, but not like that democracy of yours.
- No! No! Gentlemen, no emotion for me. But, those of congratulation. I am happy. To die is the irreversible decree of him who made us. Then what joy to be able to meet death without dismay. This, thank God, is my case. The happiness of man is my wish, that happiness I deem inconsistent with slavery, and to avert so great an evil from an innocent people, I will gladly meet the British tomorrow, at any odds whatever.
- A British vessel, stopping on the way back from India at the Comoro Islands in the Mozambique Channel, finds the native inhabitants in revolt against their Arab masters; and when they ask why they have taken arms, are told, 'America is free, could not we be?'
- Gijsbert Karel, Count van Hogendorp, in 1784, quoted in "The age of the democratic revolution: a political history of Europe and America, 1760-1860" by Robert Roswell Palmer (1969)
- Scientific progress over the past years has been amazing. Man through his scientific genius has been able to dwarf distance and place time in chains, so that today it's possible to eat breakfast in New York City and supper in London.
- For the most triﬂing reasons, and sometimes for no conceivable reason at all, his majesty has rejected laws of the most salutary tendency. The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state. But previous to the infranchisement of the slaves we have, it is necessary to exclude all further importations from Africa. Yet our repeated attempts to effect this by prohibitions, and by imposing duties which might amount to a prohibition, have been hitherto defeated by his majesty's negative: thus preferring the immediate advantages of a few British corsairs to the lasting interests of the American states, and to the rights of human nature deeply wounded by this infamous practice.
- He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in an other hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of an other.
- We must, therefore,…hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
- We shall form to the American union a barrier against the dangerous extension of the British.
- The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, & what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusetts? And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of its motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness.
- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William S. Smith (13 November 1787), The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, vol. 12, p. 356 (1955)
- Great Britain is a republic with a hereditary president, while the United States is a monarchy with an elective king.
- There is no doubt that the treacherous attack has confirmed that Britain and America are acting on behalf of Israel and the Jews, paving the way for the Jews to divide the Muslim world once again, enslave it and loot the rest of its wealth.
- At the battle of Waterloo, when Napoleon's cavalry had charged again and again upon the unbroken squares of British infantry, at last they were giving up the attempt, and going off in disorder, when some of the officers in mere vexation and complete despair fired their pistols at those solid squares.
- I was stopped by a soldier, he said 'You are a swine'. He hit me with his rifle and he kicked me in the groin, I begged and I pleaded, sure me manners were polite. But all the time I'm thinking of my little Armalite... A brave RUC man came marching up into our street, six hundred British soldiers he had lined up at his feet. 'Come out, ye cowardly Fenians, come out and fight'. But he cried, 'I'm only joking', when he heard the Armalite.
- The British tourist is always happy abroad as long as the natives are waiters.
- We were wrong to believe that the British are our friends. You are obsessed solely with your own selfish interests and treat us as a people beyond the pale. But your attitude is a matter of profound disinterest. Your democratic system has already erupted into chaos. We shall soon overtake you and in a decade you will be struggling in our wake. Perhaps then you will remember how you treated us.
- Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, as quoted in The Shah and I (1991), by Asadollah Alam, I. B. Tauris, p. 237
- But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve as monarchy, that in America the law is king.
- The glorious and ever memorable Revolution can be justified on no other principles but what doth plead with greater force for the emancipation of our slaves, in proportion as the oppression exercised over them exceeds the oppression formerly exercised by Great Britain over these states.
- Petition from Frederick County (1784), Virginia
- The position of the United Kingdom is as usual so nuanced that it's difficult to see where they are on the spectrum, but look, that's what Britain's like and we all love being British.
- His expedition against the Britanni was celebrated for its daring. For he was the first to launch a fleet upon the western ocean and to sail through the Atlantic sea carrying an army to wage war. The island was of incredible magnitude, and furnished much matter of dispute to multitudes of writers, some of whom averred that its name and story had been fabricated, since it never had existed and did not then exist and in his attempt to occupy it he carried the Roman supremacy beyond the confines of the inhabited world
- [I]t's not impossible but it's difficult, for a non-white person to be British.
- Tan-sun Moon: It's pathetic that you British still believe you have the right to police the world.
- Die Another Day (November 2002), written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
- British politicians had helped fuel a steep rise in racist hate crimes... The committee on the elimination of racial discrimination said many prominent politicians should share the blame for the outbreak of xenophobia and intimidation against ethnic minorities.
- Ben Quinn, "Six teenage boys arrested over death of Polish man in Essex" (30 August 2016), The Guardian
- We share a deep concern for peace and justice in Northern Ireland and condemn all violence and terrorism in that strife-torn land. We support the process of peace and reconciliation established by the Anglo-Irish Agreement, and we encourage new investment and economic reconstruction in Northern Ireland on the basis of strict equality of opportunity and non-discrimination in employment.
- Republican Party Platform of 1988 (16 August 1988), Republican National Convention.
- We urge peace and justice for Northern Ireland. We welcome the newly begun process of constitutional dialogue that holds so much promise. We encourage investment and reconstruction to create opportunity for all.
- Republican Party Platform of 1992 (17 August 1992), Republican National Convention.
- The epidemic of racism on the British left has proven so virulent.
- Michael M. Rosen, "On Holocaust Remembrance Day, anti-Semitism Remains a Scourge" (4 May 2016), National Review
- Go on home British soldiers, go on home. Have you got no fucking homes of your own? For 800 years we've fought you without fear and we will fight you for 800 more. We'll fight them British soldiers for the cause. We'll never bow to soldiers because throughout our history we were born to be free. So get out British bastards leave us be.
- What two ideas are more inseparable than Beer and Britannia?
- Sydney Smith, as quoted in The Smith of Smiths
- Most countries are founded in conquest. Europe, conquest, conquest and more conquest. Look at Britain. Before becoming an empire, it was conquered by the Norman kings of France and earlier by the Romans.
- The quickest way to understand modern Britain is to look at what LBJ’s Great Society did to the black family and imagine it applied to the general population.
- We shall have to learn again to be one nation, or one day we shall be no nation.
- And I will go on criticising Socialism, and opposing Socialism because it is bad for Britain – and Britain and Socialism are not the same thing. (...) It’s the Labour Government that have brought us record peace-time taxation. They’ve got the usual Socialist disease – they’ve run out of other people’s money.
- My job is to stop Britain going red.
- Margaret Thatcher, Statement (3 November 1977)
- Madame Chairman, I presume this as to enable us to sweep Britain clean of Socialism.
- Margaret Thatcher, At a Tory party conference, holding a brush. (date unknown)
- I can't bear Britain in decline. I just can't.
- Margaret Thatcher, Interviewed by Michael Cockerell for BBC TV's Campaign '79 (27 April, 1979).
- We are not asking for a penny piece of Community money for Britain. What we are asking is for a very large amount of our own money back, over and above what we contribute to the Community, which is covered by our receipts from the Community.
- I am sure you will agree that, in Britain with our democratic institutions and the need for a high degree of consent, some of the measures adopted in Chile are quite unacceptable. Our reform must be in line with our traditions and our Constitution. At times the process may seem painfully slow. But I am certain we shall achieve our reforms in our own way and in our own time. Then they will endure.
- I came to office with one deliberate intent: to change Britain from a dependent to a self-reliant society – from a give-it-to-me, to a do-it-yourself nation. A get-up-and-go, instead of a sit-back-and-wait-for-it Britain.
- In a decision of the utmost gravity, Labour voted to give up Britain's independent nuclear deterrent unilaterally. Labour's defence policy – though "defence" is scarcely the word—is an absolute break with the defence policy of every British Government since the Second World War. Let there be no doubt about the gravity of that decision. You cannot be a loyal member of NATO while disavowing its fundamental strategy. A Labour Britain would be a neutralist Britain. It would be the greatest gain for the Soviet Union in forty years. And they would have got it without firing a shot.
- Mr. Chairman, you have invited me to speak on the subject of Britain and Europe. Perhaps I should congratulate you on your courage. If you believe some of the things said and written about my views on Europe, it must seem rather like inviting Genghis Khan to speak on the virtues of peaceful coexistence! ...The European Community is one manifestation of that European identity, but it is not the only one. We must never forget that east of the Iron Curtain, peoples who once enjoyed a full share of European culture, freedom and identity have been cut off from their roots. We shall always look on Warsaw, Prague and Budapest as great European cities...To try to suppress nationhood and concentrate power at the centre of a European conglomerate would be highly damaging and would jeopardise the objectives we seek to achieve. Europe will be stronger precisely because it has France as France, Spain as Spain, Britain as Britain, each with its own customs, traditions and identity. It would be folly to try to fit them into some sort of identikit European personality...it is ironic that just when those countries such as the Soviet Union, which have tried to run everything from the centre, are learning that success depends on dispersing power and decisions away from the centre, there are some in the Community who seem to want to move in the opposite direction. We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels.
- No theory of government was ever given a fairer test or a more prolonged experiment in a democratic country than democratic socialism received in Britain. Yet it was a miserable failure in every respect. Far from reversing the slow relative decline of Britain vis-à-vis its main industrial competitors, it accelerated it. We fell further behind them, until by 1979 we were widely dismissed as 'the sick man of Europe'...To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches.
- Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (1993), pp. 7-8.
- The significance of the Falklands War was enormous, both for Britain's self-confidence and for our standing in the world...We had come to be seen by both friends and enemies as a nation which lacked the will and the capability to defend its interests in peace, let alone in war. Victory in the Falklands changed that. Everywhere I went after the war, Britain's name meant something more than it had. The war also had real importance in relations between East and West: years later I was told by a Russian general that the Soviets had been firmly convinced that we would not fight for the Falklands, and that if we did fight we would lose. We proved them wrong on both counts, and they did not forget the fact.
- Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (1993), pp. 173-4.
- Not that this appears to affect the intentions of the political-bureaucratic elite, which in Britain as elsewhere in Europe believes that it has an overriding mission to achieve European integration by hook or by crook and which is convinced that History (with an extra-large 'H') is on its side.
- Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (1993), pp. 388
- We're leaving Downing Street for the last time after eleven-and-a-half wonderful years, and we're very happy that we leave the United Kingdom in a very, very much better state than when we came here eleven and a half years ago.
- When Britain first, at heaven's command,
Arose from out of the azure main,
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sung this strain:
“Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves.”
- James Thomson, Alfred: a Masque, II, V.
- The British have always fought, to be sure. No nation on Earth can be taken seriously in historical circles unless it has had at least one war with the British; it's like not having an American Express card. And yet the very idea of Britain in a contemporary war is a shock. Britain, one feels, fights in history books and not on TV.
- Gene Wolfe, "A Few Points About knife Throwing", Fantasy Newsletter (1983), as reprinted in Gene Wolfe, Castle of Days (1992)