Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Dear limey assholes

From Kottke’s links comes a selection of letters and emails received in response to the Guardian’s Clark County campaign. In short, the Guardian started a letter-writing campaign so that Brits could encourage the voters of Clark County, Ohio – one of the most undecided states in the US – to get out and vote. Being a generally left-wing paper, the majority of the people writing letters will be putting their weight behind Kerry. The article in question contains response from a variety of people, and while some are quite reasoned, some are just downright funny in their lameness. Here’s some examples: (warning: strong language)

Have you not noticed that Americans don’t give two shits what Europeans think of us? Each email someone gets from some arrogant Brit telling us why to NOT vote for George Bush is going to backfire, you stupid, yellow-toothed pansies …

Consider this: stay out of American electoral politics. Unless you would like a company of US Navy Seals – Republican to a man – to descend upon the offices of the Guardian, bag the lot of you, and transport you to Guantanamo Bay, where you can share quarters with some lonely Taliban shepherd boys.

Real Americans aren’t interested in your pansy-ass, tea-sipping opinions. If you want to save the world, begin with your own worthless corner of it.

Mind your own business. We don’t need weenie-spined Limeys meddling in our presidental election. If it wasn’t for America, you’d all be speaking German. And if America would have had a president, then, of the likes of Kerry, you’d all be goose-stepping around Buckingham Palace. YOU ARE NOT WANTED!!

You radical leftwingers are worse than the Taliban. I suggest you stand back and take a good hard look at yourselves.

Go back to sipping your tea and leave our people alone.

Photograph of my teeth As a British citizen, I feel I must say the following:

  1. I have good teeth (see photo)
  2. I don’t drink tea

I’d also like to reply to the point that we have crap food – isn’t that a bit rich coming from the nation that brought us McDonalds? And as for “don’t you remember the war of independence?” etc., well, no, we don’t. None of us were alive back then.
But still, while half of me is rolling on the flaw laughing my arse off, the other half is quite scared that people like this are actually prepared to write this stuff. A lot of it is downright offensive and arguably racist. At a time when 4 years of Bush has adversely affected the views of many Brits towards their American counterparts, this isn’t the sort of thing that is necessary.


  1. Are those really your teeth? Nice teeth! Your dentist must be proud.
    Those responses you posted are indeed unfortunate. Most of those people have probably never stepped foot outside the cities or towns in which they were born. They do not realize that there is a whole world out there, and that they are part of it.
    Having studied in another country during two years of my university career, I have a bit of news for them — there is a lot of the world that does not exist in Bumfuck, Ohio. I also have a bit of news for George W. Bush — we are part of that world, whether you like or not.

  2. The response is unfortunate — but it’s what I expected.
    The Bush campaign has gone so far with the militaristic flag waving that any kind of effort by the rest of the world to try and wake Americans up is met with a swift, jingoistic response.
    Oh by the way, nice blog.

  3. Neil, You’re a nice enough guy from Britain. You helped me (via email) to set up my first design on my MT blog when you didn’t have to. And I am very thankful. I enjoy reading your blog from time to time. So don’t take this personally. Take it collectively, as a nation.
    Simply put, if you would like to influence another nation’s elections, immigrate there, become a citizen, and then vote.
    BTW I said the main point of the letters (in the italics above) without being militaristic, insulting, or limited in my worldview. In fact, I think it’s quite the opposite. If I promote a country’s freedom, why then should I try to influence its electoral process if I am not a citizen.
    But I think you have totally missed the point. It’s not that we don’t consider us part of the world. Otherwise, why would people be asking us to rescue them and give them money. However, when it comes to FREE elections, we’d like our elections to be decided by the American people, not by foreigners, nor influenced by them.
    Thank you.
    And as for the “lameness” of the insults. I thought they were quite funny. And you don’t have to be at the Revolution of 1776 to remember it. Otherwise, why should we study history?
    Now for my ideas about “leftists”. It’s quite funny indeed. I do agree with the commenter who said that one of your national languages would be German if it had not been for the United States. Forever, in our debt. I don’t think it should be forgotten so lightly as Franch has so forgotten.
    A right-wing, conservative, American — simply expressing the sentiments of many here in America.

  4. Excuse my poor typing/spell checking above. Feel free to correct or delete it.

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  6. France really isn’t our enemy… They have troops in Afghanistan and we rely on trade with them.
    Countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran are more our enemy than France…
    And French people who hate America I’m sure are not outnumbered by Americans who hate France, justly or not.
    As for foreigners trying to influence the election — it’s true that it is OUR decision to pick the President, but I don’t think it is terrible to see how the world feels…
    Whether the party involved endorses Kerry or Bush

  7. Joe: trust me, it was the lameness that made them funny 🙂 . Sure, I feel uneasy about foreigners influencing the democratic process of another nation, it’s just that some of the reactionary letters were a bit out of line.

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  9. Ignore my fellow idiotic countrymen, Neil. I still love you guys.
    Especially now that you’re bringing back Doctor Who! 😉

  10. If the American public feel us “Limeys” should stay out of their country and politics, then perhaps they should equally feel that their president should stay out of our politics and other peoples countries too. Surely that’s ok? No? Well, then perhaps they can realise why there is some concern with current American politics. Unfortunately, we are all affected by them.

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  12. Neil – Please excuse my countrymen. Most of them west of Boston, and East of Nevada have their heads up thier asses. Most people just don’t like being told what to do by someone that has no stake in the runnings of their country. I have lived in the UK, around 2000 and if I had made some views on the prime minister very public like the register did, I’m sure I would have enjoyed a barrage of responses.
    Not defending the jerk-offs that wrote back, just trying to see both sides of the story.

  13. It was a pretty stupid idea from the Guardian. Its no wonder some of the responses thought the letters were arrogant and imposing, such was the nature of the campaign.
    It could also be quite counter-productive. Having some random foreigner tell you to vote, especially if they tell you *who* to vote for, is either going to have no effect and the recepient still wont vote, or its going to make them defiantly vote for Bush.
    But its pretty arrogant of Brits to write and complain about Bush, we should instead be focussing on our own problems – we have a Prime Minister who follows Bush totally when it comes to foreign policy. And yet the Guardian will be supporting Labour come election time, they always do.

  14. As the son of former british subjects, I have lived in both countries and still have relatives over there that I visit fairly regularly. I have a greater appreciation than most Americans for how Britons think and frankly I think that you should keep your noses out of america. The current British political mentality is not something that America needs more of.
    Not that I am blaming Britain for a shitty election in which we get to choose between two uninspiring statist assholes who arent going to change anything. Rather, I am blaming the poltical attitude that doesnt question the ever-growing bulk and intrusiveness of the government, but instead argues over how that enormous power should be properly abused (should we have wealth redistribution and entitlements or should we establish a police state?) So many wonderful choices.
    What is the problem with socialist Britons telling americans how to vote? Because you are writing from the standpoint of a people who are living in a more nearly tyrannical socio-political environment than we are likely to achieve even if Bush is re-elected. What we need isnt Bush or Kerry, we need a leader who will take the corruption out of politics by depriving the politicians of influence to sell and power to abuse. Unfortunately, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
    No matter who wins this election, we lose.

  15. Wasn’t this a joke? I thought this was just a joke by the Guardian? Guess I’m wrong, if so It’s a stupid campaign from the Guardian, if I was an American I’d write something similiar, but at the same time the replies are bit out of line.
    There are thousands of British troops in Iraq and even more deployed soon. If it wasn’t for a Tony Blair and that is a fact, the US wouldn’t have gone in Iraq in the first place.
    What’s so stupid about the replies is that it mentions Britain as a whole, Britain has a population of 60 million, not some leftwing newspaper.
    Though the replies were a bit funny but at the same time true, some Americans really think that of the British. I’m just glad the Guardian did this campaign to show what Americans really think of the British, so hopefully Britain can withdraw troops from Iraq and then America has nobody.

  16. “Tony Blair and that is a fact, the US wouldn’t have gone in Iraq in the first place.” Well that hasn’t really been proven, if they really thought the threat was as grave as they made it out to be, then I suppose they’d go no matter what…
    Meanwhile, there is a significant chance Britain will pull out troops, even the Tories have become anti-Bush, most of Labour is, and the Liberal Democrats always have been…

  17. As a “West of Boston, East of Nevada living non head up ass leftist American” even I can see this is a silly idea.
    And I am sure the very few people who took the time to reply with well reasoned responses weren’t funny enough to print.
    Seriously, what if the people of Boston wrote a few sanctimonious letters insisting the people of Great Britian elect a leader that would free Northern Ireland from its occupation by a foreign power?
    At least 50% of the US voters know Bush is an idiot. The other 50% won’t pay any attention to letters from anyone.
    (By the way: it is a complete myth that there are any undecided voters over here.)

  18. I’m conservative. If a paper in England tried to influence “undecided” voters in my county to vote for President Bush, I would have winced.
    Many citizens of the US view their nation as singular, not beholden to an European national/EU entity. As a conservative, I rejoiced when I heard about the Guardian’s scheme. I didn’t have to be a brain surgeon to anticipate the types of responses that it would generate.
    I enjoy reading the snobby reactions by Americans, Canadians, and Britains to the more virulent American responses to the Guardian’s attempt to meddle. I guess we do look like boobs, but I really don’t care what anyone Britain thinks about us. I won’t apologize for my fellow Americans.
    By the way, President Bush has not run a militeristic campaign. He’s not jigoistic. I believe our government’s primary responsibility to its citizens is to ensure their safety. It failed prior to 9/11 but has done a perfect job ever since.

  19. I think the thing that stands out, and that is really depressing, is the ignorance. It (the Guiardian’s campaign) was a pretty dopey idea, but the replies are something else. We’d be speaking German if it wasn’t for you? Well thanks for the cash (which we are still paying back – thanks buddy), but it was British planes that defended our island during the decisive Battle of Britain. So you won the war of independence? Funny, that, I thought it was France stepping in that made all the difference (as well as Spain and Holland). Maybe you should show them a little more resepct, seeing as you wouldn’t have a country were it not for those cheese-eating French.
    And yet – I know that most of my countrymen are similarly ignorant. It’s not just Yanks who are pitifully ill-informed.

  20. let me ask this question, if somebody you didn’t know came up to you and punched you for no reason, what would be your reaction???? if you are honest, you would probably admit that you would fight back. so why should we Americans not do the same when it happens to our country? why should we be swayed by the opinion of other countries in regards to how we protect ourselves and how we run our country? yes, i agree that the US has a responsibility to get along with other countries, but that does not mean that we should always go along with other countries. i respect the opinion of every person in the world. i have lived in japan and in germany, and let me tell you, most germans do not like Bush either. But that is their opinion, and here is mine. America will protect itself no matter what! I would like to thank the British Government (esp. PM Blair) for its support of America during this time of crisis. for all of the other whiny countries out there….when the terrorists knock on your door…who are you going to call?????

  21. When I first stumbled across the Guardian article promoting a project to write to Americans about the election, I was both extremely amused and angered. The concept is hilarious, but also disturbing; whoever thought of the project is either a master of practical jokes or an ignorant, supercilious asshole. The whole time I was reading the article, the one mantra repeating in my head was “THERE’S A REASON IT’S CALLED THE A M E R I C A N ELECTION, PEOPLE!” And I would underline “AMERICAN” several times.
    Okay, I know America affects the rest of the world. Do you really think nobody in America knows how powerful and influential their country is? Everyone over the age of five is well aware of that fact, and that same fact does give you a reason to want to voice your opinions. However, another fact is that every American above the age of fifteen is aware of is that the rest of the world hates us, and especially Bush. We accept that. We DO NOT NEED even a FEW British to come to us so arrogantly, stepping on our toes and telling us who the fuck to vote for; that is completely unacceptable. For Pete’s sake, that makes all of the British, even if only a minority wrote letters, look to a voter to be more disgustingly ignorant and conceited than Bush is a militaristic jackass.
    Most Americans don’t hate the British; in fact, I only put “most” to be politically correct; I doubt more than a handful of Americans really do hate the British. The stereotype that the British all have horrible teeth died out around the mid 1990s. But when a few British do something so egregiously, despicably intrusive, of course the anger of those Americans who read those letters flamed and with their anger the negative stereotype. That is not what the Americans think of the British at all.
    Those few British authors don’t understand Americans. They don’t understand that for every five letters asking Americans to vote for Kerry, they gave Bush four votes because of the reflexive reaction the readers would have had to those bullshit letters. Our country and political system are screwed over enough without the British intervening; stay out of our election. If you want a say in the United States, elect a Prime Minister that actually has the balls to vocalize your voice to us.

  22. I see no reason why there should be such anger demonstrated to others attempting to influence your views. I am Mexican and since I can remember there have always been foreigners (esp. americans) trying to tell us how to vote. If your own world views are well reasoned then there should be no fear of the views of others. This is not to say they should not be considered, simply that if your own views are well founded then the views of others should not shake your confidence in your own view. It seems almost obvious that the people with the most aggressive responses are those who have read the opinions of others and could not counter them with any reasoning of their own. Rather than have to re-evaluate their views they just lash out at the views of others. Lazy. Very American attitude is it not?

  23. “I see no reason why there should be such anger demonstrated to others attempting to influence your views. I am Mexican and since I can remember there have always been foreigners (esp. americans) trying to tell us how to vote. If your own world views are well reasoned then there should be no fear of the views of others. This is not to say they should not be considered, simply that if your own views are well founded then the views of others should not shake your confidence in your own view. It seems almost obvious that the people with the most aggressive responses are those who have read the opinions of others and could not counter them with any reasoning of their own. Rather than have to re-evaluate their views they just lash out at the views of others. Lazy. Very American attitude is it not?”
    Interesting perspective, but not right. Sorry for the stupid idiots that try to tell you how to vote; tell them to stuff themselves from me.
    The reason most Americans got upset is not because they did not consider the other author’s opinions to somehow challenge their own, but because of the tone of the letters and the automatic reflex to someone trying to intervene with the election, specifically their vote. They’re written as though talking to an incompetent five-year-old. They explain to the Americans about the job losses and drops in economy in America. How do you think some Ohio citizen, the state which has experienced the most job losses, would feel sitting at home at 11 am on a Wednsday being crowed to about job losses by some Brit across the Atlantic? Do you think a jobless person doesn’t know about job losses, or why they are lost their job? It’s not that the letters are “shaking their confidence.” It’s more like they’re stabbing a man who has already been stabbed.
    Plus, most of the letters were probably full of american stereotypes, which are idiotic, ignorant, egregiously wrong misrepresentations of America, and would probably send most Americans “over the edge”. Americans know what is wrong with the government and what the Bush administration does behind our backs. I personally do not like Bush, and was very saddened not by Kerry’s loss but by Bush’s win. However, in America, the people must consider more than an international perspective when voting, and Bush won because of his pledge to protect America.
    Also, what is your first thought when people tell you how to vote? Do YOU consider their perspectives? I’m not saying you don’t, but I’m guessing you probably close your eyes, count to ten, smile, and nod. The American temperament (at least north of Virginia and west of Louisianna) was not designed that way. People here don’t like being told how to do things.
    It was ignorant of the Guardian to try and do that, and the response of the Americans was a predictable and well-deserved reaction.

  24. I am in shock at both the fact that Mr Bush is back in for a second term and also the general opinions and views expressed throughout the campaign and on this site by Bush supporters. The world isn’t Black and White but many shades of grey. As an Irishman from Belfast, I know something about terrorism. Terrorism is the cancer that breeds on the carcass of oppression. Wealthly people who live in secure countries who are granted freedom by the world community do not generally engage in Terrorism (except in america see Wako). It is a fact, that there are ALWAYS underlying causes that fuel terror. Secondly terrorism cannot survive unless there is local support in communities therefore terrorists rely on extreme reactions to their actions for ongoing support. Everytime the US is responsible for a child killed, every hospital blown up, every axis of evil speech, every arrogant attempt to impose american culture on societies that dont want it; Simply creates and fans hatred in the people of these countries and DIRECTLY leads to more people becoming terrorists themselves or turning a blind eye. The happiest person today is Osama Bin Laden. WELL DONE AMERICA! you get the government you deserve and have bought yourself 4 years of death, bombs, beheadings and international contempt. Read your history terrorism is never defeated by a policy of war. It just doesnt work. You beat the terrorist not be talking to them but by removing the underlying oppresion on which they fester. Palestine would be a good start. Not that any of you will care until it gets worse and the body bags start rolling in. Time will show I am right.