I suppose the first thing to ask is why Smith undertook this wee bit of research. The second thing is why he thinks only polls by Ipsos MORI of under-35s living in 19 G20 nations is a sufficient basis for his claim. Third, why is this big ‘butcher’s apron’ in the photo OK when he said ‘the Saltire makes me cringe’ in June 2020.
Among 18-34 year-olds with at least a secondary school education, Britain does rate highly on trust in its institutions, especially its education system and in its politics. I wouldn’t disagree with their judgement of our higher education but on trust in politics and institutions, you have to wonder if they are getting the news on the current regime at Westminster where trust among those of us who live here is not their strong card.
Also, from the perspective of, especially, those young people in Saudi Arabia, Russia, Brazil, India, Mexico, Turkey and some states in the US, Britain, thanks to the BBC’s world service, will look good.
Also, 18-34 year-olds on their own are an insufficient sample. British popular music is by far the most vibrant and attractive in Europe and competes even with the US globally. That age group’s perceptions are overwhelmed by that most seductive of products – youth-oriented music and associated forms such as clothing. Such is the potency, it will surely be a factor in the appeal of UK universities.
Try asking the 35-65 year-olds or the over 65’s what they think of Britain.
In 2017, a sample of 17 910 of adults (18+) in 20 countries found:
Views of the United Kingdom, historically quite positive, have gone down, led by pronounced drops in positive views among EU citizens in Germany (down from 51 to 35%), France (72 to 63%), and Spain (41 to 34%). Similar declines are also seen in several of the Commonwealth nations such as Pakistan (down from 39 to 20%), India (43 to 33%), and Canada (80 to 73%). Attitudes in China buck this trend, with favourable opinion of the UK among the Chinese rising markedly, from 39 to 73 per cent.
And that’s BB, before Boris. Still, at least the Chinese rated Britain.
Returning to Mark. He has previous: