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The Great British public - leading Europe for ignorance

At least judging by this poll for France 24 and the Herald Tribune.

We, along with the Americans and the four other most populous western European nations were asked whether they viewed a range of well-known national leaders favourably or unfavourably, and lo and behold the following percentages of my compatriots (they didn't ask me...) were unable to express an opinion on the following:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - 44%
The Pope - 36%
Brown (yes, really) - 21%
Bush - 17%
Castro - 38%
Chavez - 68%
Sarkozy - 50%
Lula - 72%. (OK, I'll accept that he is not that well known in these parts. And yet 31% think Brazil's influence on the world is important)
Merkel - 51%
Putin - 35%
Prodi - 63%
Zapatero - 65%


In each case we led the European quintet for 'don't knows', except with regard to Broon.

Mind you, supposedly 7% regard Ahmedinejad favourably, likewise 18% for Castro, and 11% for Chavez. I will happily contribute to a flight fund for Britons who wish to take up the delights of Iranian, Cuban or Venezuelan nationality. Especially the first, as 12% of Britons polled do not think we should even apply diplomatic pressure to Iran over its nuclear programme. Ye gods...

Subsequently the poll asks about perceptions of the power or otherwise of sundry nations, I blogged on the previous report last December, and those of my compatriots rating France as having an important influence has fallen from 66% to 58%. Clearly stung by the last set of results, France has dropped the UK from 86% to 85%


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