Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Cameron -Obama Seem Close because our Political Cultures are so Different

As Bagehot in The Economist observes, Cameron's recent visit to be 'special' with Obama highlighted some interesting contrasts. To begin with something akin to a froideur seemed to apply as both men sought to distance themselves from the unseemly cloyingness of the tainted Blair-Bush era. Then, once they met a chemistry seemed to occur between them: they found they could talk to each other easily.

This should not really be so surprising. Democrats aee supposed to bond with Labour and Tories with Republicans. Yet Cameron, with his support for gay marriage, tax hikes when necessary and, in public pronouncememts at least, total support for the tax funded NHS, would seem like a dangerous socialist to most Americans, so out of kilter are our respective political cultures. It is rather odd he made no effort to meet any Republican candidate during his visit, especially as one of them might be in the White House come November. Fact is Republican candidates, with their upfront religious views and tea party extremism are such a millionmiles away from centrist Tories that such a meeting would resemble a 'Tory Politician meets Alien' scenario.

Much was spoken about a 'special relationship' with the word 'essential' being thrown in too, but I always wonder how special it is. When we fight together as during 1941-45, the adjective is justified, but once the war ended, Lend-lease was terminated with little sentiment. Moreover the subsequent loan negotiated by Keynes involved tough bargaining and few favours were given. Moving into he next decade, Ike and Dulles brutallty left Eden to twist in the wind over Suez- an event which surely exposed the true relationship; one of UK subservience to US dominance.

Moreover, when Blair was playing poodle to Bush, Rumsfeld made clear his troops would go in, UK help notwithstanding. But good relations betwewen Presidents and PMs has always been good for Britain and Cameron's bond with Obama might come in very useful- as Maggie's with reagan did- if trouble arises over British plans to develop oil exploration in the sea around the Falkland Islands.

Although the cordiality between the two leaders seems to have been genuine, it seems plausible to me that there was a degree of calculation on President Obama's part to highlight a difference with the reception given to another Prime Minister heading a coalition government at the east end of the Mediterranean. This latter seemingly had been meddling in US politics with the President's opponents in the forthcoming elections.
Michael, Michael!
I know I'm on a dodgy wicket with my lot but you can't come in a swing the bat so reclessly, even though it's clearly in your nature to do so.
1. Bradford West wasa phenomenon affecting all parties. The Tory candidate got suished as well!
2. The Coalition has just had the worst week of its life! A thuggish incompetent as Treasurer exposed, a pathetic attempt to appear 'blokins'by Dave a disaster and the applaling signals given out by Dave and Maude on the possible petrol drivders' strike. Ddear dear me indeed.
And Francis Maude should carry on his conscinece, the fate of that woman who suffered 40% burns as a result of transfering petrol in jerry cans.
"transferring petrol in jerry cans"

whilst in a domestic kitchen.......

with a cooker flame on.......

Sounds like Darwinism in action.

Kind regards
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