Cheap beef and beer were the sustenance for British adults.
Battleships and Bullshit were the basis of the Empire, which was maintained physically through mastery of the high seas. Psychologically there was glorification of the British monarch and of British racial superiority together with a rigid, hereditary social class system to maintain the status quo within the authoritarian mother country.
Bullying, beatings and buggery were part of the education of the ruling class at fee-paying boys-only boarding “public” school, through corporal punishment (by prefects as well as masters) and enforced homosexuality. This snobbery, sodomy and sadism prepared them for a life of obedience to higher authority, without women, in the colonies.
Beatings were also inflicted on state school pupils to cowe them into Pavlovian obedience to their social superiors. The birch was used on adults as a sentence imposed by the Magistrates Court. This lasted in England until 1948 and still (2013) prevails in certain former British colonies, such as Singapore.The “flogless French” and Italians were derided as effeminate and undisciplined.
Floggings was also inflicted in colonial schools by “The Rod of Empire” to incalculcate blind obediance. No other Western imperial power (other than Germany) used corporal punishment either at home or abroad. Thus in 2000, only schoolchildren in former British colonies in Africa and Asia were caned and brutalised.
The British Empire was a force for evil and its pernicious legacy lives on. The United Kingdom in the twenty-first century still has the most unequal distribution of wealth in the European Union with the least socio-economic class mobility. The same applies to its former colonies, where likewise no career open to the talents was introduced. Instead local hereditary native ruling classes were created on the British model. That is why those countries are members of the Commonwealth with its cultural cringe to Britain. Their rulers send their offspring to Oxford, like British Cabinet Ministers (especially Labour ones). As in the United Kingdom, ordinary people do not have a hope of reaching positions of authority. Most British Members of Parliament of all Parties are Oxford graduates and send their own offspring there, thus creating a a self-perpetuating colonial type ruling class. As in the former empire, the under-educated underclass is kept down.