Special Relationship Bollocks: Interests not Friends, Barack’s Warning, UK To Be or Not To Be, Boris Blast

Luke Fildes (1891) from The Doctor, Tate Britain

What I’m listening to. 

A French Baroque Diva—Arias for Marie Fel—Carolyn Sampson (soprano)

It really is time to bury the idea that there is anything special in the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, no matter who is President. 


Countries have interests, not friends.


How humiliating that a sitting Prime Minister would coach a line out of the head of state of another country to cast doubt on the possible democratic vote of his own citizens. 


Obama’s ‘back of the queue’ warning only underlines that there is no special relationship. If there was, why would he have threatened the citizens of the United Kingdom for the outcome of a democratic vote of a supposed friend, sovereign country, and ally? 


Countries have interests and no friends. 


Tellingly, when the chips were really down in May 1940, with France over run and Nazi Germany 26 miles away from Calais to Dover, President Roosevelt kept America out.


The UK lived in absolute dread from May 1940 until the Americans were drawn in. There was no special relationship then and there isn’t now. 


It was only when Japan attacked the US and Hitler unilaterally declared war on Germany (which drew a huge sigh of relief in the White House) that the Americans moved. Everything they did was in their own interest, and it had nothing to do with a ‘special relationship’ made all the more glaring as World War II drew to a close and Roosevelt humiliated Churchill in his dealings with Stalin. 


Ultimately, Obama may have hurt Bremain and helped Brexit. 


The one thing that the Brexit campaign is missing is a leader that can articulate the deep and historical crisis that the UK is facing without resorting to cheap shots. Johnson scored an own goal by bringing up Obama's ancestry instead of focusing on his intrusion on British sovereignty, and more importantly, the Prime Minister's embrace of him and it. 


Canadians will be reminded that in 1938 Roosevelt sent a clear warning to Canadian Prime Minister MacKenzie King that if Canada was somehow invaded that the US would act as it pleased in its own defence, perhaps even preemptively.


Interests first, interests only.

Barack, Piss off.

The Times: The king of cool carries no clout on Brexit

While Cameron might believe that Obama can sway the don’t-knows, in reality we love thumbing our noses at America.

Has Obama cast a light on Britain’s real dilemma, to be or not to be?

Telegraph -- Obama is threatening Britain over the EU. Are we going to take that?

Barack Obama’s joint press conference has set off my eczema. 

Quote -- “The only way Britain is ever going to assert itself on the world stage is if it actually chooses to do so. Leadership is lacking because a common sense of national purpose is lacking.”

Related.

Financial Times -- Obama gives powerful warning against Brexit

Barack Obama has delivered a stinging rebuke to supporters of a British exit from the EU, saying that if the UK left the 28-member bloc it would go “to the back of the queue” in seeking a trade deal with Washington.

Roundhouse, playing to the base.

The Sun -- Boris Johnson: UK and America can be better friends than ever Mr Obama... if we LEAVE the EU

Writing exclusively for the Sun, the Mayor of London claims America would never surrender so much power to Brussels.

Obama’s argument.

The Telegraph -- Barack Obama: As your friend, let me say that the EU makes Britain even greater

In 1939, President Franklin D Roosevelt offered a toast to King George VI in the White House. “I am persuaded that the greatest single contribution our two countries have been enabled to make to civilisation, and to the welfare of peoples throughout the world,” he said, “is the example we have jointly set by our manner of conducting relations between our two nations.”

Related.

New York Times -- Boris Johnson’s Essay on Obama and Churchill Touches Nerve Online

Hours after President Obama landed in London to urge Britons to vote to remain in the European Union, Mayor Boris Johnson, arguably the most visible leader of the campaign for Britain to leave the bloc, hit back with an opinion essay that criticized the president but immediately raised hackles online.

 

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