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Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category

There’s Dave…

Sky News’ Jon Craig has posted an interesting piece on the latest Brown-sighting this evening. After Cameron’s highly adroit – even deft – performance in the US, it’s becoming pretty clear that, in absolute fact, Britain is far better off, both at home and abroad, now that she is finally being represented by a prime minister that isn’t either a) a hopeless attention-seeker obsessed with his own image rather than concerned with the needs of a country he laughably purported to lead or the world that he generally preferred to start wars in, or b) a socially inept weirdo with terrifying delusions of grandeur and a pathological inability to recognise, much less tell, the truth.

Jon Craig writes of the latter’s latest noises well-off performance:

So what did Gordon Brown do after his brief appearance in the House of Lords?
(See previous blog.)
Speak in the Commons during the third reading debate on the Finance Bill?
Er, no.
Pop down to Strangers’ Bar or the terrace for a few beers with old comrades?
Er, no.
The former Prime Minister, I can reveal, had already invited new Labour MPs elected for the first time on May 6 – about 70 in all – for a chat at 4pm in his grand and spacious new office on the top floor of Portcullis House.
An audience with Gordon.
Aah. So the room was packed, then?
Er, no.
Apparently, so my informant tells me, only about 10 turned up to listen to the former PM.
I’m also told that some of the bright young things turned up hoping to ask him worthy questions about the Alternative Vote referendum and other current topics.
But they were disapppointed to hear him talk at some length – no change there, then – about how the Tories kept trashing his record in power.
Oh dear.
In denial?
That’s what some Labour MPs are claiming.

Where’s Wally Gordon?

I’m quite surprised to be writing this, but Cameron is actually beginning to look great. Now that could just be because he’s normal compared to the two contemptible Labour has-beens this country and the world have been forced to tolerate for over a decade in unequal shares until very recently.

But he did look and sound great today – a real independent force. Having seen some of the clips of his performance with the latest incarnation of the US president, compared to the rather brittle-looking, slightly spiteful-sounding Barack Hussein Obama, he was, well, just great.

Hang-on, I know it’s early days, but it is possible Cameron is great – as in an unusually gifted statesman and leader (at least in the making).

One day maybe it’ll even become a famous quotation: “Andy Burnham [or whoever], you are no David Cameron! (You’re actually a bit like Tony Blair – but not quite as bad as Gordon Thingumyjig),” says someone or other who’s fairly famous in politics .

Hmm. Maybe not (yet). But he’s clearly better than Blair. And way, way, way better than the unspeakable (and nearly vanished forever anyway) Brown. We might still be in the ‘thank God for small mercies’ stage of Cameron’s premiership, but there can be no denying it: there were one or two glimpses of greatness there today.

What a contrast!

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It has consequences, this incomprehensible, outmoded, spiteful anti-British venom of Obama’s.

For instance, for it to be sustained, this poor President must deny the reality of the true impact of his cheaply political, unthinking, bargain-basement, anachronistic Brit-bashing. That ‘true reality’ is framed rather neatly by Iain Martin this evening:

If President Obama can break off from crafting his next anti-British Petroleum soundbite, it might be worth him checking out the ownership structure of BP and pausing for a moment. It appears that 39% of the shares in the company are American owned (25% by U.S. pension funds and 14% by individual American investors). According to BP’s figures, 40% of the stock is owned in the U.K.

So, the company not paying, limiting or delaying payment of its dividend (as Mr. Obama has demanded as retribution for BP causing him so many problems — no, I mean desecrating the Gulf of Mexico) would impact directly on rather a lot of American investors, and those with pensions.

Who is going to tell the president? Perhaps it could be British Prime Minister David Cameron, when the pair talk on Saturday in an attempt to limit the diplomatic damage from the crisis.

No wonder serious US stockmarket commentators are getting a little nervous about Obama’s loud mouth. BP is a massive multinational, with investment interests in the US that at least parallel those of the UK – and we’re talking hundreds of billions here, all told – not just market value. If BP Plc goes down, which is what the idiot Obama and his fellow administration coat tail morons seem to want, then BP Inc will have already died – and that one, giant company’s politically induced failure could take the entire, fragile world economy down with it.

Taking out a company as big as BP just because you want to look tough could trigger another depression – globally. People should understand that that’s the desperate game Obama has chosen to play, but just doesn’t understand.

This terrible political decision tree should be seen for what it is, and then he (Obama) should be seen for what he really is, and then, once the dawn of clarity has finally set in, anything he says or does from here on in should be stoically resisted, on both sides of the Atlantic.

The fact that Cameron hasn’t even made a decent position statement on this travesty yet tells me one thing, however. Ordinary Americans and Brits still have at least one thing in common: our respective political leaders are basically first order and ineffective world class shits!

Now that’s the real “Special Relationship” that I’ve had the privilege of enjoying for many decades (thanks to my roots).

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I stand by my opinion that Tony Hayward has done enough diplomatic and other damage with his foot-in-mouth mismanagement of the Gulf disaster to warrant his dignified exit, an analysis with which a former head of Shell Oil Inc. on Radio 4 this morning appeared to agree with, at least in part.

However, it would be fair to add that while Hayward has undoubtedly been poor in the face of a near-hysterical US media maelstrom whipping up public outrage, the behaviour of Obama has simply been beneath contempt. The man is unfit for the office of the Presidency. It was no accident, for instance, that when I watched the opening of that live press conference on the latest US posturing over Iran (again, suspiciously timed), I honestly and completely believed Obama was talking about BP again!

But then I realised, he was being far too diplomatic. Never once would he have said “I want to kick Iran’s ass”. But to him, apparently, it’s fine to do that with a major multinational company. Think it’s not comparable? Well, you’d be right. Telling that lunatic Ahmadinajacket that he was about to be given the proverbial, presidential ass whoopin’ of his life would have had zero impact on the zombie relations between the two nations and certainly would have had no discernible economic effect.

Compare and contrast Obama’s pathetic posturing and filthy, insulting language – and threats to abuse his own nation’s system of law to make it pay and pay big – with BP. Remember, without there actually having been a trial to find out just who really is ultimately responsible for the disaster – my money is on the US government – this kind of thing from Obama is calculated to be prejudicial not against BP Inc, but against the mother company. It’s deliberate! It’s also working. Forty percent plus of the value of that company’s shares has been destroyed so far.

That’s about £60billion to you and me. And the point is, it could well be you and me that end up on the receiving end of the Obama asskicking because our pension funds are taking a hammering as a consequence of this big mouthed/small minded man. Our oh-so wonderful ally, led by such a person as this, seems perfectly happy to sit back and watch Britain humiliated once more. It’s sickening. Whether Ben Brogan thinks so or not, that “special relationship” the Westminster villagers love to drone on about? Hey, Ben. It’s over.

BP didn’t kill it, Obama did.

BP (BP “Inc”, lest we forget) has done all it can to clear up this mess, so I agree with those who say lay off them (that doesn’t mean lay off the accident prone Hayward, however). The real villain of this piece as it turns out? Ladies and gentleman, I give you the most unpresidential president since, er, the last one – Barack Hussain Obama.

Witty.

But for Britain, sadly, this really is no laughing matter.

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BP: Big Problem

Iain Martin has just quite justifiably wondered out loud when David Cameron is going to answer the ridiculously shrill and totally unjustified anti-British sentiments, disguised as tough-guy criticism of BP Inc for the Gulf oil disaster, emanating from the irritating Obama’s noise hole. He says:

President Obama’s attitude to the company is starting to grate. Astonishingly, pressure is now being applied on BP to reduce its next dividend, or else. That is a matter for the management and board of BP to decide upon, not the president of the United States. The air is thick with threats from the Obama administration about what lies in store if the company does not do as it says. The assaults on BP come tinged with a hint of anti-Britishness.
In this climate of distrust, a letter writer to the FT this morning asks when the U.K. government will speak up to defend BP. It is a fair question, one we can expect to hear more often.

I agree, but I also suspect there is a fairly simple answer to this vexing question. It could play something like this. By leaping to the defence of the multinational oil giant, Cameron could, but will not want to, be seen by implication defending someone who is accident prone and insensitive in Tony Hayward, and who really has only himself to blame for what Martin calls his “monstering” by the US media.

I would have thought, therefore, that Cameron will only begin to defend Britain’s good name, currently being indirectly but consciously impugned by a suspiciously energised (but pretty ineffective) US president, when the embattled BP supremo does the decent thing and quits.

Leaving Obama’s nauseating anti-Brit dogwhistle propaganda aside for a moment, the issue of Hayward’s departure must now come first. Whatever Obama’s up to, and I think we in the UK pretty much all know what that is given his pretty appalling treatment of what we are led to believe is America’s closest and most loyal ally during his spell so far as leader of the free world, it’s Hayward that’s really giving Britain a bad name – whenever he opens his mouth.

The longer he remains in post, the longer we will undeservedly take the flack for his many apparent shortcomings, the longer Obama will be able to get away with his pathetic political displacement activities and the longer it will be before Cameron can launch some kind of diplomatic damage limitation operation. With Hayward there, the PM’s hands are pretty much tied. The BP boss has been that bad.

But having said all that, if any Obama fans deign to read this post and choose, predictably (and usually rudely) to disagree, I have one word for your sort: Bhopal.

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Seems that Obama’s speech on banking regulation has finally put paid to any remaining pretence that Brown was in any way ‘leading the world’ in this area. It has, perhaps predictably, sent the government into a tailspin, with no co-ordinated response to the plans and, it seems, very little idea of what to do with the new information. According to Iain Martin:

So, since Obama spoke British ministers have been in quite a spin. The Chancellor’s office said Britain would not be following the U.S. but Number 10 said, rather nervously, that it is studying the plans.
“I think what the president is doing is very much in accordance with the direction we’ve been taking,” said a Number 10 spokesman. But that’s simply not true. Obama’s plans are not in accordance with the direction the British have been taking. A plan to break up the megabanks and inhibit proprietary trading is not at all what the Treasury wants. It wants the UK’s megabanks – RBS, and the Lloyds-HBOS monster it created mid-crisis – to trade their way out of their poor position and into safety so that taxpayer money can be recovered.
The Number 10 spokesman mused some more: “Obviously one of the issues in the banking world is that you have different circumstances in different countries.” Sorry, I thought a co-ordinated global response was supposed to be the priority?To further cloud the issue up popped Lord Myners of the Treasury. He said there is no way Britain will follow the Obama lead on this. But… “I think the important thing is that there is a globally co-ordinated response taking place here.”
Again, no, there isn’t a globally co-ordinated response. I repeat: Obama acted unilaterally on Thursday in making his biggest post-crisis reform proposal.
What there is here is a mess created by a serious breakdown in global policy-making. In a panic after his party’s Senate defeat in Massachusetts this week, Obama has decided he needs to be much tougher than he has been.
And it creates a serious difficulty for the current British government, which wants to appear in line with a president who popular on this side of the Atlantic and is taking on finance. But he is proposing to do what the Treasury and Number 10 do not want to do: he wants to break up the big banks
For the Tories this is a gift. They have advocated G20-wide policies similar to those now promoted by Obama – so they get to be on his side (a boon in Europe) and lined up against big banks the government here won’t break up. No wonder George Osborne sounds delighted this weekend.

While I very much doubt that Obama was thinking too much about Gordon Brown’s political credibility when he decided to get tough with the megabanks (for better or for worse – probably worse since he’s got just about everything else wrong since he took over), there can be no doubt whatsoever that Iain Martin is right and this is a disaster for a prime minister who, in his own fevered imagination, believes he – and only he – has the credentials to ‘save the world’.

And Martin is right to say it’s a gift for the Tories. It is, and for Britain too. Anything that helps to prick the Brown ego bubble and correct his (and Labour’s) utterly dishonest narrative on his role in the economic crisis (for which he himself as Chancellor was largely to blame) can only be a good thing. Why? Because it hastens the useless old fraud to the political grave he so richly deserves and to which his passage is now long overdue. Two cheers for Obama, then.

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Seems Brown’s reliance on the decisiveness of Barack Obama over an American troop surge that will, at least, we assume, in Brown’s fevered, rather cynical mind, somehow shore up his unravelling policy and dwindling support for the Afghanistan war really is starting to hurt him. James Forsyth in the Speccy has written, in answer to a very pertinent question he puts, “How long can Obama leave Brown hanging on over Afghanistan?”:

Gordon Brown is in a nigh-on-impossible position on Afghanistan until President Obama makes up his mind about how many more troops he wants to send and what strategy he wants to pursue. Yesterday at PMQs, Brown said with a sense of relief that there would be a decision from Washington in days. The White House rapidly distanced itself from Brown’s comments. Now, the New York Times is reporting that the ‘announcement is still likely at least two weeks away – perhaps more.’

Two weeks where Brown can’t say that Britain is winning in Afghanistan but equally can’t announce a new strategy is going to be corrosive of support for the Afghan mission in this country. It is going to add to the sense of drift and that soldiers are dying there for the want of a better option. In a very different way, Obama is turning out to be as problematic an ally—if not more so—for Brown as Bush was for Blair.

On the British Army’s current mission impossible down there, at least while it is chronically and dangerously undermanned, under-resourced and unrepresented in government, that is, Forsyth is absolutely right. As a berieved mother of a dead soldier has just said on Sky News, referring to the MoD bonuses scandal: “You don’t win wars with budget cuts.”

It is also now becoming very clear that the White House is not the only seat of power “rapidly distancing” itself from a Prime Minister who is, clearly and deservedly, finally coming to the end of the road.

Obama may be indecisive – who knows? – but at least he has a mandate to govern, indecisively or otherwise, something he clearly now realises Brown will never enjoy. Besides, as one American friend recently told me, most Americans who have ever actually heard of (or heard) Brown – presumably this includes some politicians – think he’s a bit of an asshole. I wonder whether they have also come to the same conclusion as, according to Alastair Campbell, The Sun newspaper has here:

“The Sun, largely for its own commercial and marketing reasons, decided to come out for the Tories at Labour’s conference. They don’t like to back a loser…” *

It’s increasingly apparent, what with the G20 snub and now this, that for what are no doubt his own political and diplomatic reasons, Barack Obama doesn’t either.

*Hat-tip: Guido

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