Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Loving Those Germans

The BBC World Service holds an annual country rating poll where it measures who the World views as having the most positive global influence and who has the most negative influence.
Germany came out top and the UK second with Canada third. The countries viewed most negatively were Iran, North Korea and Pakistan.
Now being a Brit i wonder just what has happened to make us considered the second best example.
I see us like one of those annoyingly yappy little dogs you see in the park that has a go at the bigger dogs who watch with amusement and then ignore it. I can't think of anything that we have done recently that makes other countries look at us and say 'Why can't we be more like those Brits?'
The economy is down the sink, we have been involved in all the major dodgy wars of late and we are one of the major exporters of arms to any despot that has the cash. If anything, our example is one to avoid not be admired.
No surprise that Canada is in the top 3 because apart from killing seal pups for their fur, they just sit there not doing anything and not annoying anyone.
No real surprise either that Pakistan, N Korea and Iran make up the bottom 3. None of them have been portrayed in the best light over the past few years.
Of the global powerhouses, the USA is viewed as a better influence than China and Russia is way down the list.
The largest jump up the table from 2010 is made by Brazil who are rapidly seen as having a positive influence in the world while the sharpest fall is made by Pakistan.


Anonymous said...

in the case of the USA, people really like is Obama. You know, the peace prise winner that expanded afghanistan, now bombs pakistan, and has kept gitmo running. not like bush who never won the peace prize...

i don't understand how Obama could be so popular. i mean, what happened to racism? i guess its just mentioned when blacks don't get what they want...


Anonymous said...

hey where the hell is australia in this thing?


Nog said...

Ratings like that are probably pretty near to worthless. Folks are just thinking about what they think of foreign governments off the top of their heads.

Your assessment of the UK's placement seems right. The UK is a big-enough country for people to know a thing or two about it, and it is big-enough for people to pay attention to what its leaders say, but it isn't so big that it makes anyone mad. And I'd imagine that however the BBC is doing the poll has a bit of a pro-European bias.

But I never put too much stock into these sorts of things.


Cheezy said...

"expanded afghanistan, now bombs pakistan, and has kept gitmo running"

Indeed. And he has continued the torture policy too. I read that the perverts questioning Bradley Manning like to keep him naked, apart from a blindfold, when they talk to him. Now, you'd probably take that as a compliment for the first couple of days, but I think it would soon start to get a bit weird.... You'd wonder what these freaks were actually doing, wouldn't you?

There's an inherent lack of seriousness about politics about the moment, that helps to account for the popularity of phonies like Obama and bona fide idiots like Palin.

I think the massive disjunction between perception and reality began with Reagan i.e.
Perception: Strengthened the USA.
Reality: Turned the USA from world's largest creditor to the world's largest debtor.
Perception: Believed in small government.
Reality: The most protectionist President since WW2.

After this, everyone seems to have realised that it's not what you're doing that's important, it's what people - for whatever reason - think that you're doing. And as Obama is showing, the difference between the two things can be massive.

Cheezy said...

Back to the list, can we attribute our own popularity to Colin Firth?... for his stirring portrayal of, as my mate puts it, 'a posh Arkwright'.

It can't be a 'collective memory of WW2' thing in general, because if that were the case then I doubt that Germany would be up there...

More likely, as Nog says, it's that these lists are a bit of a crock.

Q- I think the Beeb must have been told that a certain blogger would have gotten angry and called them 'indoctrinated' if they put Australia in the wrong position on the list, so they probably just thought it safest to leave them out entirely...

Lucy said...

I think the Obama thing as well is what makes America popular/unpopular q. I did look at the poll to see what they meant exactly by 'positive influence' but it seems they just asked random people in other countries, so who you like?
I don't much care for Obama and people seem very slow to wake up to him. I imagine Australia would come out of it quite well, not much sems to happen there to make it a target.

What i like about it nog is that it isn't Governments or public relations people, it's just everyday people saying i like them but can't stand them. A much more realistic view.

A posh Arkwright, that's brilliant.