Here in Britain there is a reality tv programme (note not tv show or program) called Strictly Come Dancing. In it, celebs pair up with real ballroom dancers to learn how to dance and to compete to beat all the other celebs and their partners.
Each week, viewers call in to say who they want evicted from the show. The bottom two are then voted out by a panel of judges.
In this series we have BBC chief political correspondent, John Sergeant, described by Jeremy Paxman (click for clip of Sergeant doing the tango) as having 'a face like a wet weekend.' John cannot dance. John just entered for a bit of fun. But John's utter ineptitude on the dancefloor has endeared him to to the nation, who each week vote to keep him in and themselves entertained. Last week a vexed actress called Cherie Lunghi was voted off, despite working her socks off while John lounged around, according to one of the judges reading the Guardian.
Cherie was upset, the judges were livid. True talent and hard work were going unrewarded because of the British public's love of a loser.
John decide that he was in danger of winning and he better resign from the programme (try saying, 'Oh jeez, I think I might win this sucker, I'd better step down' in an American accent.)
At once there was an outcry. 2000 viewes complained to the BBC. Jeremy Paxman on newsnight complained that democracy itself was in peril, as have many bloggers
Democracy is the right of the public to reward failure.
And that, my dear transatlantic cousins, is how to be British.
ps It has been whispered that John pulled out because he was booked to go on a cruise and had not expected his stint on the programme would go on so long.
he has a bit of a reputation for being accident prone