There are certain traits to being English that are at once endearing, frustrating and eccentric.
For example, most middle class people will sneer at the thought of anyone who drives a Ford Mondeo and it's connotations of 'Essex' man or 'insurance salesmen. But the amount of sneering is directly related the person's level of personal insecurity and true social standing. The more you sneer at Mondeo Man, the more you're likely to a lot more like him that you would like people to think.
Another interesting one is our obsession with owning a home. This is closely linked with our social awkwardness...we want a safe private place where we don't have to talk to other people. Our pre-occupation with homes gives us an endless subject of smalltalk (second only to the weather!) in place of having to think of something interesting to talk about (this social awkwardness also explains our peculiar fear of public transport).
This is going to get interesting, since various economic issues means we're likely to to turn into a nation of renters, not a nation of homeowners. I wonder if this will gradually reverse our painful social rubbishness or not. I gues it depends if we got socially rubbish because we all hid in our homes, or we hid in homes because we were already so socially useless.
(by the way if you find any of this interesting, read this)