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Old 11-18-2003, 07:27 AM   #1
Donut
Jack Burton
 

Join Date: March 1, 2001
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We're not listerine!!!!!!

British dislike leader, not US
Political Briefing By Peter Riddell


THE British public is not anti-American. Voters are hostile to President Bush. But repeated opinion polls have shown that people clearly distinguish between the current President and his Administration’s policies, and their underlying liking for Americans and the US.

A Populus poll for The Times a week ago showed that half the public think that Tony Blair’s close relationship with Mr Bush is bad for Britain — and, by a three to one margin, voters disapprove of the President’s handling of Iraq.

Similarly, YouGov polls for The Sunday Times and Newsweek magazine reveal strong criticisms of Mr Bush. Three fifths of the public think that Mr Bush is “not very intelligent”, “not very well informed about the world”, and a danger to world peace. Moreover, more than half the public in the Newsweek poll do not have much or any confidence in the ability of the US to act responsibly as the world’s sole superpower.

But voters in other countries are even more critical of Mr Bush than the British. An ICM poll for the BBC undertaken in May and June showed that, while the balance of favourable and less unfavourable in attitudes towards Mr Bush was minus 12 points in Britain, it was much more hostile in Brazil, France, Indonesia, Jordan, Korea and Russia, and only more positive in Canada, Israel and the US itself. Similar trends have been shown by international polls by the Pew Research Centre in the US. Nonetheless, the recent Eurobarometer poll suggests that the shift in opinion against Mr Bush’s policies has been greater in Britain than elsewhere, largely because opinion was already more hostile to the President’s approach in France and Germany.

However, the same ICM poll which showed a negative view of Mr Bush revealed a highly positive one of America. By a margin of plus 57 points, British voters took a fa- vourable rather than unfavourable view of America. This is higher even than Israel (plus 47 points) and only just behind Canada (plus 65 points). This is in marked contrast with many other countries such as Brazil (minus 43 points), France (minus 10 points), Indonesia (minus 27 points) and Jordan (minus 60 points).

These findings point to a clear distinction between some nations that are both anti-Bush and anti-American (Muslim countries and France) and others that are anti-Bush but pro-American (Britain and Australia).

A poll a year ago by MORI showed that underlying British attitudes to America and Americans have not altered much since the late 1980s; if anything they have grown warmer. In 1989, two thirds said they like Americans as people. This had risen to four fifths by last year. Similarly, the number agreeing that we can learn a great deal in this country from America rose from 40 to 50 per cent over the period.

So some of the hostility is probably temporary. According to YouGov, two fifths think the US would behave “more responsibly” under a different president. Nearly a half said Britain should continue as one of America’s allies but should be ready to pursue a more independent line. The message is clear for Mr Blair: don’t be anti-American, but you have to convince the British public you are not “Bush’s poodle”.

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Hopefully this will shed some light on why us non-americans get so exasperated when we are accused of being anti-american.
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:38 AM   #2
Dundee Slaytern
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Politics I suppose. Same reason why most sane people bang their heads against the wall when certain people cannot understand the difference between critisising Israel's government and being racist.
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