You love us! You really, really… oh wait… no, you don’t actually.

It’s bad enough we’ve completely failed to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis, but now the British are pissed off at us too!

LONDON (AFP) – People in Britain view the United States as a vulgar, crime-ridden society obsessed with money and led by an incompetent president whose Iraq policy is failing, according to a newspaper poll.

The United States is no longer a symbol of hope to Britain and the British no longer have confidence in their transatlantic cousins to lead global affairs, according to the poll published in The Daily Telegraph.

The YouGov poll found that 77 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that the US is “a beacon of hope for the world”.

As Americans prepared to celebrate the 230th anniversary of their independence on Tuesday, the poll found that only 12 percent of Britons trust them to act wisely on the global stage. This is half the number who had faith in the Vietnam-scarred White House of 1975.

A massive 83 percent of those questioned said that the United States doesn’t care what the rest of the world thinks.

Yo, UK! Why u gotta be hatin’?

OK, that was a totally pathetic attempt to sound like a young urban hip-hop dude and that alone is probably reason enough to hate us, but give us time and we’ll try to clean up our act a bit. On the bright side it seems most of your ire is directed at BushCo:

With much of the worst criticism aimed at the US adminstration, the poll showed that 70 percent of Britons like Americans a lot or a little.

US President George W. Bush fared significantly worse, with just one percent rating him a “great leader” against 77 percent who deemed him a “pretty poor” or “terrible” leader.

More than two-thirds who offered an opinion said America is essentially an imperial power seeking world domination. And 81 per cent of those who took a view said President George W Bush hypocritically championed democracy as a cover for the pursuit of American self-interests.

US policy in Iraq was similarly derided, with only 24 percent saying they felt that the US military action there was helping to bring democracy to the country.

I have to admit I can’t argue with those opinions as I share most of them myself. All I can offer in defense is the fact that I did my part in voting against the idiot in the White House in both of his elections, but alas I’m only allowed one vote.

6 thoughts on “You love us! You really, really… oh wait… no, you don’t actually.

  1. I think you’re right in saying that Brits’ dislike of America centres around who runs it. Dubya is deeply unpopular here, but then Tony Blair isn’t too popular either.

    Also, The Daily Telegraph is quite a right-wing publication. Maybe if the results were from a paper like The Guardian or The Independent they would be different, as they tend to lean to the left.

    Personally I do have a problem with George W. Bush and I’m not too happy with how Iraq has been dealt with. I’d also say that the US seems to have more than its fair share of nutjobs – Jerry Falwell, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter – and they’re the ones I can think of off the top of my head. But that doesn’t reflect on the US population as a whole and I do genuinely respect the US as a country. If you think of all of the innovation that the US has brought to the world – the personal computer, for example – then you can’t say that Americans are worthless.

    There is a perception that the US has a worse problem with crime but that’s obviously going to vary. We hear about gun crime in New York, but with the US being such a huge and varied country that can’t be a national trend. There’s also the whole environment/global warming thing, not helped by Bush’s love-in with the oil industry. And I think some Brits feel that we’re being screwed over by the US as American brands and concepts increasingly influence our culture.

    Maybe I can’t speak for my country, but I don’t have a particular problem with Americans. I just wish we could get along better.

  2. “You can’t fool all of the people all of the time” but you can fool enough to get elected twice.

    I don’t think we’re pissed off at you, I think Eddie Izzard is right – we’re sat looking across the pond with a “What are you doing?”

    Any American I’ve met in person has been thoroughly likeable, although I did stop discussing politics with one when he insisted on referring to Greenpeace as “environmental terrorists”!

  3. Whoa, whoa, whoa.
    You’re talking like the Brits didn’t hate us before.
    When I visited England (about a year ago) my friends and I were treated like complete and total shit.

    My advice? Don’t talk, and they can’t necessarily tell you’re an American.
    And try to make Canadian friends there. If you’re with a Canadian, you tend to escape torment.

    And, off the topic, heres an amusing link I found.
    http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=32873

  4. I don’t think it’s because it’s a Torygraph poll Neil. In fact if the Telegraph is down on the US then Bush will not even want to know that there is a paper like the Guardian….

    The most important thing here is that it is too easy to think (in the words of a British Diplomat) of US as being a ‘…biggger UK. It isn’t, it is a foreign country.’

    I do agree it is partly an administration thing- I think Clinton was quite popular over here. He was obviously intelligent, but still down to earth. Bush ISNT (measured IQ I believe is somewhere in mid 90s- slightly below average, but not so much as you would normally notice.  The problem is Clinton is a Bona Fide genius- his IQ is literally approximately twice Dubya).  His whole good ol’ boy attitude wins votes, but does make him a look like a bit of a yokel to us.  Commentators point out if they have the choice between the competent and the person they feel they can invite to a barbie, many Americans will vote for the ‘down to earth’ one.

    Then there is an arrogance.  I’m sorry I know this will make some angry, but that IS what it looks like.  It is the whole ‘Tough, we say so’ attitude- I have posted about this before.  Yes you are a superpower, and yes basically that does give you influence. It is the forcing of it that rankles.  The assumption that ‘The American Way’ is best.  EVEN IF IT IS, barracking the rest of the world WILL CAUSE RESENTMENT.  Think about it- if you were doing something wrong at work and your manager belittled you in front of every body else, coupled with threats, how would you feel.  Or would you prefer something more diplomatic?  If in 20 years time China is dictating to the US like the US dictates to the rest of the world are you really going to say “Hey, it’s their right as the most powerful country on earth”.

    Word of advice DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES post any thing along the lines of ‘you owe us for WW2.  It will just prove your ignorance of history.  Yes we could not have won it on our own. BUT WE ARE STILL PAYING YOU. We are still paying you money every year to buy the Shermans and destroyers etc from lend lease.  That was not charity to a friend, that was business that made your arms manufactures rich.  Plus it was a condition that we dismantle the Empire because it stood in your way.  NOT any ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’ on your part, but ‘You want help? Dance, boy’. And Germany declared war on you, not the other way round.

    ALSO WE DO NOT GIVE A FLYING BLUE FUCK about the AWI. No really. Even at the time it was hard to find a ‘common person’ who really gave a damn. How do you think we feel 200 years later? I don’t care, and I’m a history buff.  Of course, because the French won (you don’t actually believe that that fairy tale about minutemen do you?) slavery existed for 60 more years over there.  How important to us. well imagine finding out your favourite sports team was stuffed by their bitter rivals 40 years ago. Well AWI isn’t that important.

    On a personal note, please try not to be so brash. Britain is a crowded place- we have rules passed down about personal space,  Having some fat (check the stats) loud boasting yank belittling everything does not endear you. We will assume you are all the same.

    PLUS why are all the baddies in films British?  And PLEASE PLEASE STOP DOING THOSE CRAP ACCENTS when you play Brits.  Imagine if Hugh Lawrie played House like John Wayne ‘because that is an American accent’.

    And (this is VERY IMPORTANT) NEVER EVER WEAR A TARTAN/CHECK (ie plaid) SHIRT WITH A TIE.  It’s just wrong. ESPECIALLY with a jacket. If nothing else, trust me on this one point.

    (All that said, the regs here seem quite human)

  5. Hey LH man, you coulda pulled some punches.
    I’m wondering if you weren’t just a little harsh. LOL

    It reminds me a little of this amusing little (mythically urban?) letter – if you read it to yourself with a John Cleese accent it’s rather amusing:

    To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

    Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

    1. You should look up revocation in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up aluminium. Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour’, skipping the letter ‘U’ is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter ‘Z’ (pronounced ‘zed’ not ‘zee’) and the suffix ize will be replaced by the suffix ise. You will learn that the suffix ‘burgh’ is pronounced ‘burra’ e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as ‘Pittsberg’ if you can’t cope with correct pronunciation.
    Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up vocabulary. Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up interspersed. There will be no more ‘bleeps’ in the Jerry Springer show. If you’re not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn’t have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you won’t have to use bad language as often.

    2. There is no such thing as “US English”. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of -ize.

    3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn’t that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunians (people from Manchester – Daphne in Frasier). You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents – Scottish dramas such as Taggart will no longer be broadcast with subtitles. While we’re talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is Devon. If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become shires e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.

    4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters. British sit-coms such as Men Behaving Badly or Red Dwarf will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can’t cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness.

    5. You should relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.

    6. You should stop playing American football. There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American football is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays American football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American “football”, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like nancies). We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by 2005. You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the ‘World Series’ for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls’ game called rounders, which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

    7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don’t believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

    8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called Indecisive Day.

    9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

    10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren’t even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat. Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

    11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.

    12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. The substances formerly known as American Beer will henceforth be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as Weak Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine. This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen, Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

    13. From November 10th the UK will harmonise petrol (or Gasoline, as you will be permitted to keep calling it until April 1st 2005) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the Former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon- get used to it).

    14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.

    15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us crazy.

    16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

    Thank you for your co-operation and have a great day.
    John Cleese

  6. … subtlely moves away from the Aussie to avoid the airstrike, remembers the reputation of the USAF amoung other Nato armies, decides safest place is next to the target…

    Your right John- I was possibly a little harsh.  Les et al have proved that the ordinary Joes around the world are very much the same.  Its the bloody politicos and media that are the problem.

    Reply to John Cleese. 

    1)Yes Yes Yes. Too much Sesamie Street means my kids don’t say Zed.  Also stop forcing US spelling on the rest of the world.  If US chemists can’t spell ‘sulphur’ then possibly they should not be allowed to graduate, instead of changing the international spelling officially.

    2) Ditto

    3) Devonshire was the correct name up to about 150 years ago.  However given that you are stuck with ‘faucet’, the 17 century word for ‘tap’ perhaps getting you to the Victorian age is asking a little much.

    4) And we would also like to point out Enigma was a British capture and operation. U571 is just sooooo wrong.  Why are you sitcoms so bland?

    6) Oddly enough the current Olympic Rugby champions are USA (last awarded 1936). It is a far superior game to ‘grid iron’. BB-To be fair it is the ‘Worlds series’ originally sponsored by the ‘Worlds newspaper’, but that doesn’t stop it being boring.

    7) Quote from British army officer.  “The yanks are great guys, they have good food, great equipment, and are a real laugh.  However they should never ever be allowed to carry guns”

    12) Yep. In addition ‘Bud’ should stop trying to sue ‘Budvar’ for being first.

    14) Definately.

    16) As a Debt Management Officer for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (i.e. I AM a tax collector) I am packing my bags now.  I will touch down at Dulles in about 8-9 hours.  Please have your cheque (note spelling) books ready.

    Yours in jest and affection

    Last Hussar

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