Yes, Mr. Obama, diss the Brits!

So President Obama apparently doesn’t like the British because of their disagreeable colonial behaviour in Kenya all those years before most of the present British population was even born. Or that is the gossip. Giving the Queen an i-Pod certainly sent a message. The British Press has had a nationalist field day. Outrageous, they proclaimed. An insult! How dare he?

Actually the President is doing the Brits a huge favour, and I hope he keeps it up.

Ever since the disastrous Suez crisis the British establishment has kowtowed to the American government. Regardless of national interest they have gone along with every aspect of US policy, from the stance towards Russia and Eastern Europe to EU membership and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This they called an essential part of the “special relationship”, which might have had some substance a quarter of a century ago, but is lost, forlorn, and definitively forgotten in Washington D.C. The special what?

The so-called “special relationship” has been a particular bee-in-the-bonnet of the British Conservative Party, which has used it as an alternative to getting into the EU and making it work. Loyalty to America has been at the expense of thought. What is the British national interest? Well, sometimes it coincides with American policy, sometimes not. Every country, however small, has a right and a duty to guard its own particular interests and not be bullied into actions which are not in its best interests. The British foreign policy elite, it can be argued, has been derelict in its duty towards its country. Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly the former, are cases in point.

The good ole boys in the Conservative Party have been coming to Washington, lapping up think-tank ideas and policies in the absence of any ideas of their own. They have proved to be the “useful idiots” who have helped obstruct EU progress from the days of Thatcher onwards, supporting EU enlargement at the behest of the White House, thus making the EU extremely difficult to manage. It is, after all, not in the interest of the United States under any President to have a unified, powerful EU. Hegemons don’t like competition. As a result Britain has been semi-detached from the EU against its best interests, and to the constant irritation of its neighbours.

The fact is that the future of the United Kingdom lies with Europe, not with the United States, with which is has, these days, little in common politically (think “Republicans”), socially (think “Republicans”) or even militarily (think “neocons”), although the U.S still has the best armaments and, for all I know, the electronic surveillance shared with Britain can be occasionally useful.

No, Obama’s indifference to Brown and to British opinion is a great development. He is making it finally clear that the special relationship is, sort of, if it exists at all, with Israel. Forget it, you older-timer Brits. You are toast, you are history. Re-think your policies. Get with it. Re-examine what you can do to help the EU be effective, well governed and economically strong.

We love you, Obama! Keep dissing the Brits!

by a British patriot.

April 24, 2010