A London newspaper columnist wrote over the weekend that "Americans are so polite, but in their politics rudeness reigns. Our medium-strength misanthropy is better."
"After countless visits, I have two eternal puzzles about America:
1. Why are all their banknotes an identical size and color? -- so confusing to jet-lagged journalists?
2. Why does a national so squeamishly euphemistic about 'bathrooms' insist on an exposing metre-high gap beneath lavatory stalls?
To which I know add 3. How can such a polite nation have such foul-mouthed politics?"
She goes on to say that our politeness is merely superficial when we have such ugly partisan politics. In London, everyone is surly or mean but there's no hypocrisy with out politics.
Well, let me just say that I think her thesis is inaccurate. There is no one on Earth more horrible than a British politician. They get up in Parliament and say the rudest, most childish things to each other -- like a bunch of badly behaved schoolboys. They shout at each other, bray like horses - oh, you haven't seen anything until you have watched a session of Parliament on TV.