Sometimes polls provide valuable data. Sometimes polls are skewed for political reasons. And sometimes polls confirm the obvious. AFP, the French news service is running the following poll results:
The French have been voted the world's most unfriendly nation by a landslide in a new British poll published. They were also voted the most boring and most ungenerous.
A decisive 46 percent of the 6,000 people surveyed by travellers' website Where Are You Now (WAYN) said the French were the most unfriendly nation people on the planet, British newspapers reported.
The Germans have no to reason to celebrate the damning verdict. They came second on all three counts.
WAYN's French founder, Jerome Touze, told the papers he had been stunned by the thumping condemnation of his compatriots and sought to blame it on Gallic love—struck sulking.
"I had no idea that the French would emerge as such an unfriendly country," he said.
"I think our romantic 'moodiness' is misunderstood and I will be sure to pass on the message to my family and friends back in France to be a bit more cheerful to tourists in the future."
Italy was voted the world's most cultured nation with the best cuisine, while the United States was named the most unstylish with the worst food.
The British did not feature in the top 10 of any of the categories.
"The British fit in nowhere —— good or bad. It appears that we are so completely average that the voters did not include us in any category," the tabloid Daily Express commented.
"And to our shame, four percent of respondents —— all British of course —— said they would only talk to other Britons when they are abroad."
This unwillingness to talk to the locals appears to go hand in hand with respondents' perceptions of foreigners.
While most said Spain was the foreign country where they would most like to live, they said the Spaniards were nearly as unfriendly and ungenerous as the French.
To add insult to injury, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph put the boot in on Saturday by saying in an editorial that the French stank.
"The French may like to think that Chanel No 5 is their scent but we all know that garlic and stale Gitanes are much more representative."
"Unstylish" and "bad food" are not exactly compliments for Americans. But we are used to far worse critiques.
Hat tip: Alan Fraser
Thomas Lifson 5 21 06