The Obama Show….

President Obama’s speech to Parliament confirmed to me that one of the central components of the ‘special relationship’ is the vast amount of ego-stroking that goes on. The United States knows it is massively unpopular in the wider world – so, the presence of the doting and submissive United Kingdom makes it feel like it’s wanted in the world. Meanwhile, the UK gets out of it a feeling of being needed – cleft of its former imperial glory it needs to feel that there is a power within the world that needs it and it seems there is.

Other nations meanwhile look on incredulous at this blatant display of narcissism. A display that this time came complete with some a bit of a self-hug for a skittish West:

But he rejected arguments that the rise of superpowers like China and India meant the end for American and European influence in the world.

“Perhaps, the argument goes, these nations represent the future, and the time for our leadership has passed. That argument is wrong. The time for our leadership is now,” he said.

“It was the United States, the United Kingdom, and our democratic allies that shaped a world in which new nations could emerge and individuals could thrive.

“And even as more nations take on the responsibilities of global leadership, our alliance will remain indispensable to the goal of a century that is more peaceful, more prosperous and more just.”

In other words, we are still relevant and powerful, honest. The relationship between the two countries is less sociological and political and as much about the individual psychology of the two countries as nations. This is how a Democrat President and Conservative Prime Minister can share a podium and convince us of their ‘special bond’. This is a huge problem for those who want to change it or at the very least redress the power-balance; in practice, I don’t think many voters approve of the UK’s stance of seemingly blind submission but they feel the same compulsion that the UK’s body politic does; the need to be needed and are unable to resist. Really the only way around this is the support of an opposite pole of attraction – those fuming at how the UK behaves with the US need to be the most ardent proponents of a leading role for the UK in Europe.  This would be an altogether better, more healthy, relationship for the UK and incidentally the world.


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About darrellgoodliffe


5 responses to “The Obama Show….”

  1. gillig says :

    The relationship is between Britain and America.
    It has little to do with pathetic politicians meeting Obama.
    This country now has a supreme leader, our own President Van Rompuy.
    Not so much blind submission, more like treason.
    If you really want a healthy relationship with Europe, do a cost analysis of EU membership, and put it to a vote with your membership.


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    To be totally fair to you….I did bring up Europe first this time….


  3. David Harney says :

    I did find find quite to my surprise how progressive Obama really is. Although a united front with Cameron was manditary, Obamas Left credentials were plain to see (& hear). A peoples President?
    Enjoyed the blog comrade.


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    He’s not bad in all fairness. But I dont think it matters how progressive US President’s are, it’s still a bad relationship. Thanks, glad you did 🙂


  5. gillig says :

    The nation states-the democracies of Europe-were responsible for two world wars and the long history of bloodshed. They therefore had to be emasculated and diluted into a new form of supranational government run by bureaucrats. The whole project of European integration, with its attendant euro, has at its heart the destruction of national democracy and its replacement with the anti-democratic structure that is the EU. That is why the unelected Commission still has the monopoly of proposing all EU legislation in secret, which is now the majority of our national law. That law is then negotiated by bureaucrats from the nation states in COREPER and then passed, still largely in secret in the Council of Ministers from the nation states, with the House of Commons having virtually no influence-in fact, no influence.
    I wonder how many of the good people travelling here with President Obama are aware of this. I imagine that he may pay some tribute today to the European Union, and I wonder whether he will know what he is talking about if he does.


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