"...crime-ridden, obsessed with money and led by an incompetent hypocrite."

| Mon Jul. 3, 2006 9:06 PM EDT

Some special relationship. According to a new poll British folks have never had such a low opinion of the leadership of the United States, with only 12 per cent of Britons trusting them "to act wisely on the global stage." (Twice that number had faith in U.S. leadership in 1975, Vietnam notwithstanding.) Reports the Telegraph.

Most Britons see America as a cruel, vulgar, arrogant society, riven by class and racism, crime-ridden, obsessed with money and led by an incompetent hypocrite. ...

More than two-thirds who offered an opinion said America is essentially an imperial power seeking world domination. And 81 percent of those who took a view said President George W Bush hypocritically championed democracy as a cover for the pursuit of American self-interests.

A U.S. embassy spokesman offered this response: "With respect to the poll's assertions about American society, we bear some of the blame for not successfully communicating America's extraordinary dynamism. But frankly, so do you [the British press]."