Sunday, May 06, 2012


Some interesting statistics to chew on:- According to Gallup, 90% of Americans would vote for a Jewish, black or female presidential candidate. But 22% wouldn't vote for a Mormon, 32% wouldn't vote for a gay or lesbian and 49% wouldn't vote for an atheist. So, not so much a God-fearing country as a Richard Dawkins-fearing country. Funny that . . . With most Americans surely praying for their candidate of choice, roughly half of them must have to explain to themselves why God has blatantly ignored them.

And now some statistics about we Brits:- Only 19% of those of us who want to stay in the EU regard the Germans as unfriendly, against 39% of those who want to leave the club. But far more of us regard the French as unfriendly – 42% among the pro-EU voters, and 64% among the antis. As the old joke puts it – France is our permanent enemy, whereas Germany is only occasionally hostile. Interestingly, the evidence doesn't support any suggestion of war-related antipathy to Germany; those aged 60 or above also deemed Germans to be the most trustworthy. As Peter Kellner concluded from the survey findings:- “All told, the poll suggests our views on EU membership are largely shaped by how we in these islands see ourselves. What distinguishes those who call themselves “English” is a passion for keeping other countries at arm's length. Whisper it softly, but is Englishness these days a source not just of pride but also of insecurity?”

Finally . . . The Spanish version of Fawlty Towers was a flop, until the character of Manuel, the clueless Spanish/Catalan waiter, was re-dubbed to become an Italian from Naples, called Paolo.

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