London, Nov. 16 (Reuters): More than one in three Britons think George W. Bush is stupid and a majority branded the US President a threat to world peace, opinion poll results published today showed.
With widespread demonstrations being planned by protesters, British Prime Minister Tony Blair conceded that some opponents of US policy in Iraq “are rubbing their hands at the scope for embarrassing him”. “But I believe passionately there could not be a better moment for him to come to the UK than now,” he wrote in Britain’s leading tabloid, The News of the World.
“Despite the doubters, I am convinced the visit of President Bush this week is in the best interests of this country and the world.” Bush is due to arrive in London on Tuesday, and start his three-day state visit the next day. It will be the first state visit by an American president since Ronald Reagan in 1982.
Blair’s ratings have plunged over the war in Iraq, which most Britons opposed. Bush fared no better in a poll conducted by the Britain’s Sunday Times which cast a harsh spotlight on the relationship between London and Washington. Thirty-seven per cent of those questioned said Bush was “stupid”, while a clear majority of 60 per cent called him a threat to world peace.
Members of Blair’s party were equally blunt. Lord Hattersley, once deputy leader of the party, said the visit was propaganda to help Bush be re-elected.