the British disease

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the British disease

That which supposedly plagues British people, government, or society. Used especially in reference to an inability or unwillingness to be as productive as possible. The real British disease is not complacency or unrest, but the desire to achieve short-term goals at the cost of investing in long-term, sustainable economic policies.
See also: British, disease

the British disease

a problem or failing supposed to be characteristically British, especially (formerly) a proneness to industrial unrest. informal
See also: British, disease
References in periodicals archive ?
I know how rising sterling makes us a less attractive place to invest, especially when coupled with a longstanding lack of skills, leading to a worsening of the British disease, an economy with low business investment.
So while it's right for our media to report on this latest outbreak of hooliganism in order to ensure that we don't become complacent in the fight against misbehaviour in all its forms, I do take issue with last weekend's disgraceful scenes being labelled as a resurgence of the "British disease".
The 'British disease' was a description used to refer to damaging industrial relations of British workers who would strike at the drop of a hat.
"To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukemia with leeches." -- Book,
Some pundits now worry that America is about to succumb to the "British disease."
This feebleness was not just a British disease. It was widespread throughout the Western world.
Is it part of the British disease of never being properly prepared for anything?
Finally, yes I acknowledge the British disease known as booze culture encompasses all racing, and I have been to enough evening meetings to witness it first-hand, but watching the floodlight racing from Kempton merely confirmed that the enticement is not the racing, but a night out.
The hooliganism element of soccer became known on the Continent as the British disease. Families stayed away from matches not only because of the violence but also because of the disgusting nature of the chanting.
You have added further proof of the British disease of shooting down our heroes at the very moment when they need help, support and encouragement.
The topic of strikes has generated a large literature because they have often been seen as some sort of "British disease" and the cause of Britain's economic decline.
For students of the British disease, it is also a sorry commentary on the British tendency to fail to achieve policy objectives because of over-complication and over-centralisation.
Until someone shows me scientific evidence which proves that the accident rates of 4x4s are higher than passenger cars (insurance companies don't seem to think so either), I'm sticking to my view that it's all down to the usual British disease. The current wave of hatred is because we despise 4x4s almost as much as the people who drive them.
Tony Blair has launched another war, this time at home, against binge drinking, 'The new British Disease' as he called it.
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