Lest we forget our patriotic pride

IT S good to see so many people sporting poppies in the run up to Armistice Day. When questioned in a survey, a quarter of people - young and old – said their patriotic pride is stirred on Remembrance Day. More than one in 10 said they celebrated their na

IT'S good to see so many people sporting poppies in the run up to Armistice Day.

When questioned in a survey, a quarter of people - young and old - said their patriotic pride is stirred on Remembrance Day.

More than one in 10 said they celebrated their nationality following our athletes' successes at the Beijing Olympics last year while a similar number marked the Ashes win over Australia the same memorable summer by having a merry time.

But that's about as far as it has gone in recent times.


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The same survey reveals that over a third of those questioned admitted they could not remember the last time they felt proud to be British.

Over three-quarters of people believed that we have lost our noble, traditional British traits, including good manners, neighbourliness and community spirit.

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On the darker side, nearly half of us thought that our drunken reputation defines the typical Brit in 2009. This was followed by being loud mouthed and lazy.

One saving grace was that the legendary British sense of humour managed to make it into the top five national traits, gaining a mention from 29 per cent of those polled.

When it comes to choosing the celebrity that represents the face of Britain today, it is not surprising to discover that it is the Queen - no doubt by a royal mile.

But it makes me a little uneasy to find that the two voted into joint second place are Stephen Fry and Katie Price. They have their admirers but why on earth they should be held in such popular esteem is beyond me. I think it must have more to do with publicity than ability.

Who wants to have a go at putting the Great back into Great Britain? I'll pass, thank you very much, and sit back on my comfortable settee while perusing the results of another survey.

This reveals that the average sofa lasts for eight years one month and eight days. During this time it will silently witness 293 arguments, 1,174 kisses, 1,369 cuddles, and endure 1,663 spillages.

It will provide a seat for up to 782 visitors and play host to 391 lads' nights and 293 girly nights.

It will be a bed for up to 489 visitors and, following a heated domestic spat, be slept on by one member of the household for - perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not - the same number of times there were arguments on it.

Each month on average, we eat 13 TV dinners on the sofa, children lose three socks or other random items of clothing down the back of it and around �1.80 in change will be recovered from its innards - that's a useful �176 over the lifetime of the chair.

I could go on with more fascinating statistics but I'm getting tired now so I think I'll put the sofa to its best use and have a little snooze. I hate to think how often that has happened over the years.

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