What a load of shit. Talk to stupid, uninformed people, and you get stupid, uninformed ideas. No, that’s not fair. Talk to people that are too easily influenced by the mainstream media and you get the opinions that are being shoved down their throats.
The BBC survey of world opinion talked to 17,457 people in 34 countries from October 2007 to January 2008. Those surveyed were asked to rate Brazil, Britain, China, France, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the US, and the EU as having mainly a positive or negative influence in the world. A summary of the results is in the table above.
I shall now take the survey myself and then comment on the other 17,457 people’s collective answers. But only concerning the interesting countries, and I will work my way down the table.
Please tell me if you think each of the following countries is having a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world.
Germany – okay, probably positive. But what strikes me is how quickly we recover from history. I was in Munich at the weekend. C took me to see Königsplatz, where the Nazis held their rallies, and to the Olympic Park, the scene of a PLO terror operation that ended in the murder of 11 Israeli athletes. I just find it funny that Germany got the highest rating.
EU – negative. First, I don’t like centralised government. Second, anyone who has a positive view is clearly not a non EU citizen living within the EU. I am. The EU makes me angry.
France – totally positive. I like good food and drink and it’s a stunning country.
Great Britain – mostly positive, but with reservations. Britain is historically great and gave rise to the modern concept of freedom with the Magna Carta way back in the year 1215. But today Britain is a surveillance society. British Airways and the British Airports Authority have totally fucked up the opening of Terminal 5 at Heathrow, which has been making me laugh since last Thursday. Britain is also too accommodating to Islamists and too full of people who look down on Americans.
China – totally negative. Human rights, toys, military build-up, IP theft, MSG… And I tend to think that the Beijing Olympics are going to be a disaster.
Russia – negative. Putin, oligarchy, Litvinenko, Chechnya, Politkovskaya. You can’t trust the Russians. Good vodka, though.
US – mostly positive, but with reservations. I know I criticise The Amerika a lot, but it’s my country and I’m supposed to. I hate the war in Iraq and I hate the current administration and I am sure that our next president won’t change anything. However, the US is the single largest donor of foreign economic aid. We do most of our giving privately, which keeps money out of the hands of governments to the greatest extent possible. We still have freedom of speech and powerful dissent. The US also seems to be judged by harsher standards even whilst it has a more difficult role in the world. It’s not all fun and games being a superpower, you know. At any rate, it’s just retarded that the US is below China, India, and Russia. Give me a fucking break.
North Korea – totally negative. Where the hell did they find the 23% with the positive view?
Israel – overall, positive. Although the Iranians must be wondering how they did even worse. Of course Israel is not perfect. But you try being the only democracy of any sort in the Middle East. You try being the runty Jewish kid on the edge of a playground filled with Arab bullies. There are probably more misconceptions about Israel than about any other country in the poll, for which I would primarily blame Arab propaganda and a misguided press. For the 52% of you who see Israel as a negative influence in the world, try looking for the truth behind the politics and the propaganda and you might begin to see things differently.