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Brown popular in Nigeria shocker

Our ashtray on a motorbike of a prime minister has the confidence of the majority of both Americans and Nigerians, as a survey by WorldPublicopinion.org shows.

Those two nations see 59% having a lot / some confidence in Broon doing the right thing in world affairs, narrowly ahead of South Korea at 57%, China at 50% and - the shame of it - my fellow citizens at 48%.

Our neighbours are fairly unimpressed - 35% of the French rate him, as do 22% of Spaniards.

At the other end of the scale, the Jordanians show their usual good sense with 72% having little or no confidence, likewise 90% of 'Palestinians'.

Meanwhile, the Egyptians impress by having 99% able to decide one way or the other, whereas only 43% of Ukrainians can. I guess Broon's books are not big sellers in Kiev.

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Anonymous verity said... 12:31 pm

Although I absolutely believe the Jordanian result, I would regard the American finding with absolute contempt.

Do they really think we are going to believe that anyone outside the Beltway knows who the hell Gordon Brown is? I sent a friend of mine an email - and he is as mad about politics as I am - and asked him if he knows the name of the British Prime Minister and all he managed was a sheepish, "Well, I know it's not Tony Blair any more..."

This World Public Opinion outfit (my they certainly chose a manageable job for themselves, didn't they?) is trying to persuade us that the folks in Scottsdale, Arizona; LaFayette, Louisiana; Portland, Oregon; Enid, Oklahoma and Dime Box, Texas not only know the name of the British Prime Minister, but have formed an opinion about his performance?

I say it's spinach and I say the hell with it.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:38 pm

I suspect that some people will give an answer, any answer, rather than be a 'don't know'.

And I am *delighted* that someone else uses the spinach line.  

Anonymous verity said... 1:51 pm

"OK. You thought you heard a walrus bark."  

Anonymous verity said... 1:54 pm

BTW - don't agree that most Americans will give any answer rather than say they don't know. In the US there is no bitter shame in not knowing anything about the rest of the world, except in the upper middle and professional classes, and higher. They are taught in school (and I know because I went to school in the US for a couple of years) that there own country is so vast and diverse and their own history so interesting that the rest of the world is just a kind of satellite.

I think these figures have been cobbled up wholesale according to a predetermined pattern.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:21 pm

"On the internet no-one knows you're a dog".

I have found retorting 'ok, what's the state capital of Idaho?' is a pretty good response to comments about insular Americans...  

Anonymous verity said... 3:08 pm

Ha ha! You didn't know the origin of the "you thought you heard a seal bark" cartoon! So. Not a true Thurber fan after all. A shallow pretender!

Also, you changed Jordanians to Nigerians.  

Anonymous verity said... 3:15 pm

PS-I like the "What's the state capital of Idaho is a good one, though."

Another good one would be "What's the state capital of New York?" Or Nevada.

Yes, the Brits are every bit as insular as the Americans.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:19 pm

Nooo, I was referencing New Yorker cartoons in general. I am picturing the seal cartoon as I type....  

Anonymous verity said... 3:28 pm

Nice piece of oneupmanship there, William. Very deft.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:32 pm

I thought I wriggled out of it quite well....  

Blogger Unsworth said... 7:06 pm

Are we witnessing The War between Men and Women here?

Anyway, if Brown is so popular in Nigeria I'm at a loss to understand why he doesn't just emigrate there. I'm sure he'd receive a much warmer welcome from the War Veterans there than from those here.  

Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said... 10:51 pm

Love the description "ashtray on a motorbike"! That's sending me to bed happy!!  

Anonymous nomad said... 7:03 am

I have to agree about what you term "insular Americans". Many years ago during an all too brief sojourn in Morocco, I was invited by some American friends to go 10-pin bowling with them on the American military base a short way out of Rabat. At the front gate we were met by a young marine who asked us to sign in on his clipboard. As it was obvious from my accent that, unlike the others, I was not American, Mr Cannon Fodder asked me where I was born (not, note, the usual "where are you from?"). As I knew he would not have heard of the remote village in question, I merely replied "London". He screwed his face up in deep thought and then said in the way that Americans always use two words to describe one place: "Is that London, France?". I checked carefully to see if he was joking, but no - he was dead serious. So in the same vein, I replied: "No, not that one, the one in England". After a further pause for reflection, that seemed to satisfy him and he let us in.  

Anonymous Adam McNestrie said... 9:03 am

There’s a very dirty, slightly shameful truth lying underneath Brown’s unpopularity (in Britain...). It’s always coming up when commentators anatomise his public persona and sometimes even when opponents seek to criticize his character, but no one has given it the explanatory centrality it merits. Gordon Brown is boring. And he is boring at a time when it is a very unfashionable failing to have.

We can accept people who swindle us, coerce us, humiliate us; people who set out to best us and achieve it; people who neglect us, who outperform us, who forget our names. Rogues, hedonists, flaneurs, roués, egotists we can forgive: those who transgress or get the better of us, those who wrong us, but who do it with a little style or some forgivable ambition, even some understandable selfishness. But we will not forgive those who bore us. People who steal our time, numb our pleasure centres, turn our fast-coursing blood to gravy – all of this generally without understanding or feeling the warranted contrition – belong in the most ingeniously appointed circle of hell. We will never forgive them.

People in the media suffer most from boring politicians and are the least willing to suffer them. They are the ones who have to spend their time thinking about the offending politician and writing about them. After Blair they were desperate for something new and interesting – for a while they thought they had it (Brown was the non-partisan ‘father of the nation’) – but then he clumsily revealed that he was a partisan politician through the election-that-never-was. That destroyed the novel line the media was taking: it turned out that Brown was just like Blair, but more boring. Much of the strength of the media response to Brown’s government is conscious or unconscious media resentment.

To read more visit my blog, just who the hell are? on wordpress.com, at:

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:23 am

WL - I've always liked the term, but it is not my creation.

Adam - interesting point. I think it was Kingsley Amis who noted that his great fear in youth was of being boring, and in later years of being bored.  

Anonymous verity said... 5:38 pm

Can I post an "Adam McNestry" alert?

He posted identically on Iain's site today, and, as he has done in the past,added along the lines of "To read more..." (no thanks, Adam) and then his site address.

In other words, Adam McNestry seems to be sorely lacking for customers and is squatting on other people's sites trying to turn a trick or two.

And today wasn't the first time he has done this little self-promotion number on Iain's site.  

Anonymous verity said... 9:41 pm

PS- How did Jordan morph into Nigeria in the first sentence of your item?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:13 am

V - The reference to Nigeria in the title and para 1 is correct. They liked Brown there.  

Anonymous The Chocolate Orange Inspector said... 3:08 pm

Yes, but originally, you had written Jordanians, not Nigerians. You changed it.  

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