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The gift of seeing ourselves as others see us

Is what the British Council has just supplied:

On the upside, our Hibernian neighbours judge us open - 39%, as do 38% of Poles (perhaps they were thinking of our borders...), and 56% of Americans think us reliable, which is nice. Only 9% of Gauls think this of us. Remind us not to save your ungrateful hides the next time Germany invades...

Elsewhere, the Irish and the Americans think us sensible at 47% and 43%, but only 9% of the French. Then again they rave about Benny Hill and Mr Bean, don't they? 44% of Spaniards judge us bold / daring. We would appear to be in the throes of a bout of self-loathing, as we fail to top the table for any of the positives.

On the downside, a third of my co-nationals judge us aggressive, as do a third of Turks. The Turks do not seem very keen on Albion - 35% think we are snobbish and 49% think us manipulative, and 24% - quelle horreur - vulgar. The Spaniards are not keen either. All countries polled, bar France, saw 32% or more thinking us snobbish. The figure for France was 5%, which is curious, to say the least.

More later, but 52% of Americans think the French snobbish. The rest have not got as far as Paris yet....

Given that this seems to have brought forth a small outburst of patriotism in the comments, 'The English' by Flanders and Swann might appeal too. In order to avoid offending the other nations sharing these islands with us, I will skip straight to verse five:

And crossing the channel one cannot say much
For the French or the Spanish, the Danish or Dutch
The Germans are German, the Russians are red
And the Greeks and Italians eat garlic in bed

The English are noble, the English are nice
And worth any other at double the price

And all the world over each nation's the same
They've simply no notion of playing the game
They argue with umpires, they cheer when they've won
And they practice before hand which spoils all the fun

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Anonymous Geoff said... 11:30 am

The Spanish don't like us because we own most of the coastal bits and are rapidly colonising inland.

We've left them the mountains and the desert areas so far but if you try to order a beer in Spanish in Duquesa, Estepona, Sotogrande etc etc etc the English barstaff look at you very strangely.  

Blogger Globus said... 12:16 pm

globus wishes more illegal immigrants and dodgy migrant workers would stop seeing us as a soft touch. globus still however believes it's better to be blighted in blighty than on the eastenders microcosm that is the costa del brit.  

Blogger Unsworth said... 12:20 pm

What the hell is the British Council doing? Has it suddenly decided that its role is to tell the Brits what others think of them? I know that it's full of crackpots, but these people are supposed to be telling other nations about Britain - why this reversal of policy? All of a sudden 'The UK has a lot to learn from other cultures'. Like effing what, exactly?

And anyway, who gives a toss about what other nations think of us? We're British, after all. As such we're supposed to be the role models for these peoples, aren't we?  

Anonymous Serf said... 1:33 pm

The Turks do not seem very keen on Albion - 49% think us manipulative

To be fair to the Turks, they are a somewhat innocent nation, who let it all hang out. What we regard as diplomatic, they see as two faced. They really are no match for our insidous ways.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:48 pm

Geoff - And yet we still seem fairly favourably disposed towards the Poles...

Globus - Shades of the old JB Priestly West Brom vs Florence idea. Very patriotic of you.

Unsworth - I do wonder, but note that it is the odious Kinnock in charge
these days.

Serf - When I have been accuded of being manipulative I have to stop myself from replying, 'and that's a bad thing?'  

Blogger Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said... 1:03 pm

Don't mention the war, Mr. C.  

Anonymous puzzled of nether wallop said... 8:48 pm

My pet stoat algernon has a toothpick stuck up his butt  

Blogger Jeremy Jacobs said... 9:40 am

More later, but 52% of Americans think the French snobbish. The rest have not got as far as Paris yet....

Paris Hilton?  

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