The Backlash from Barack – The only referendum news of the day
Much of the news this week has focused on the visit of President Obama, and the views he was inevitably going to make on Brexit (which were initially going to be given only if he were asked). Well he chose not to wait and began yesterday with an opinion piece in the Telegraph, in which he attempted to give justification for him voicing his view on the referendum. As you have to pay to read the letter online, I shall instead direct you to an excellent piece in the Express which reports on the letter, and it’s fall out.
The often touted special relationship card, usually taken out of the drawer to suit a political purpose on one side of the Atlantic or the other, was “forged as we spilled blood together on the battlefield” he has written. He then went on to suggest that the sacrifice made by American service men and women during World War II made it perfectly reasonable for him to weigh in on the argument. He’s quite right that a bond was forged during that conflict, but surely he realises that his forefathers gave their lives to defend free and sovereign nations against an oppressive, undemocratic regime obsessed with the domination of Europe. The irony of President Obama now using that sacrifice to defend the existence of the EU shouldn’t be lost on any of us.
His headline moment however came at the end of the day, as he gave a press conference with the Prime Minister to outline why it was vital for Britain’s future, that it remain a part of the EU. The line that stands out from the conference was that should Britain leave, any attempt it might make to forge its own trade deal with the US would put it “at the back of the queue”. Truly disgraceful behaviour from a man whose Office is supposed to protect and guard the rights of democracy.
Britain’s survival during WWII was in large part down the unwillingness of her peoples to be dictated to and dominated by foreign powers. It now seems as though the attempts to subvert and dilute our democratic freedoms are coming from both sides but I’ve every confidence in our collective ability to see through the hollow rhetoric and bring about a restoration of our true democracy as we move to make 23rd June our Independence Day.
As for President Obama, I believe he has misjudged his influence in Britain spectacularly, and I’m not the only one. In a brilliant article by Tim Montgomerie, you can read of how this latest foray into the politics of another nation state is “typical of his arrogance”. In the words of Conservative MP Dominic Raab he is no more than a “lame-duck American president doing an old British friend a political favour”. With Presidential elections fast approaching in the US, let us be glad that it’s the last such favour that this President will ever be able to give.