According to a recent Australian study, it doesn't pay to be polite. Americans think of the British as being excessively polite, while the British often think the exact opposite of Americans.
Now it transpires that politeness may be dangerous to your health; it might even cost you your life!
The Australian researchers drew these conclusions after studying the survival rates of British and American passengers on board the Titanic. They suggest that British male passengers were more likely to have declined a place in the lifeboats in favour of the women and children. American male passengers, on the other hand, had a more enhanced survival instinct that took priority over their concern for the fairer sex and the young.
The study goes on to suggest that the gentlemanly conduct of the British passengers stems from an instinct to protect those who would breed or grow up to form the next generation. So the American passengers who rushed for the boats may have been preserving only the present generation.
Here at Blighty's we always try to be polite and if this ship ever founders it will be women and children who will get first place in the lifeboats. Rule Britannia.