Two American personalities have been getting all the headlines but we’ll concentrate on the one whose visit was orchestrated by David Cameron to give a boost to his ‘IN’ campaign, President Obama.
Menace and a threat – how No 10 purred! QUENTIN LETTS watches as Barack Obama turns Bully Boy in cold and curt warning over Brexit
Well, that put us in our place. With shuttering of slow eyes, a languid delivery and a superior little drop of the chin, Barack Obama told us to stay in the European Union, or else. Or what? Well, we could forget about any quick trade deal as an independent Britain. Join the line, buddy. If rash enough to vote for self-rule, we could forget about being a global player. America would talk to the Europeans first. But he did like the Queen.
With such prominent guest telling us benighted Brits what to do, the following item, about another prominent ‘IN’ advocate, didn’t get quite the fanfare it deserves:
Blair’s £5m deal with a despot: Explosive leaked papers reveal PM’s greed as he shamelessly touted services to Kazakh president accused of appalling human rights abuse
Tony Blair touted his firm’s services to a dictator for £5.3million a year, the Daily Mail can reveal today.He made the shameless sales pitch to Nursultan Nazarbayev, offering the Kazakh president his ‘unique personal experience and insights’.Leaked documents lay bare the former prime minister’s dealings with a regime behind appalling human rights abuses.
We’re allowed to ask what’s in it for him to advocate the UK staying in the EU, aren’t we. After all, he wouldn’t do that for nothing, would he!
Meanwhile, the question of uncontrolled immigration, so coyly not being mentioned much so far, is not going away:
Mass migration ‘is damaging Britain’: Leaked jobs report reveals civil servants’ concern at EU influx
Mass migration from Europe is having a ‘disproportionate’ impact on the UK and damaging society, a government analysis says.The leaked Whitehall document reveals that EU citizens are overwhelmingly the biggest winners in the British jobs market, responsible for 75 per cent of the growth in employment.Graduates from Eastern Europe are taking low-skilled jobs, topped up by ‘generous in-work benefits, without having contributed, from Day One’. This is damaging the ‘social policy objectives’ of getting lower-skilled British citizens into work, according to the Department for Work and Pensions analysis.I t says ‘unprecedented’ levels of migration from the EU are the main force behind the equivalent of a ‘new Coventry’ being added to Britain’s population every year.
Unsurprisingly, this is the only paper acknowledging that today is St George’s day:
NIGEL Farage yesterday stepped up calls for England to have a special bank holiday to honour its patron saint and nationhood. On the eve of this year’s St George’s Day, which falls today, the UK Independence Party leader also quipped that leaving the European Union would make the country rich enough to afford an extra day off. Mr Farage went to the City of London’s Leadenhall Market, which traditionally hangs flags and holds events to mark St George’s Day each year, to renew his party’s long-standing call for England to celebrate its nationhood with a day off, in common with other parts of the United Kingdom.
Here’s what can only be described as ‘a blast from the past’, from another of our ‘past’ domestic politicians:
EU referendum: Clegg warns Brexit will leave Britain with ‘no empire, no Union and no special relationship’ with US
Britain will be left with “no empire, no union and no special relationship” with the US if the country votes to pull out of Europe, the former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has warned.In his first major intervention into the referendum debate ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to the UK on Thursday to give his endorsement to the Remain campaign Mr Clegg said the referendum fight represented a choice between “Great Britain or Little England”.“Leaving the European Union will have an unravelling effect on all our most important relationships – with our neighbours in Europe, with our cousins in America and even with our brothers and sisters within the United Kingdom if it pushes Scotland closer to independence. We will be left with no empire, no union and no special relationship. We will never have been so alone. Never so isolated. Never so powerless.”
Oh dear. So alone, so powerless … be afraid, be very afraid, and don’t think of leaving the embrace of Nanny Brussels!
The visit by the US President and his ill-advised remarks, presumably sanctioned by Cameron, provided the comment- and opinion writers with great material:
The tone was patronising, the language menacing – and the message not only hypocritical but, frankly, insulting. Certainly, Barack Obama has every right to say he thinks it’s in America’s best interests for Britain to remain in the EU, if that is what he believes. But he has no business to come here and preach that submission to Brussels is good for the people of the UK.
The US president destroyed one of the Vote Leave campaign’s core arguments, ending a week that may define the referendum debate. No wonder they were desperate that he keep his mouth shut. At his podium in Downing Street Barack Obama flattered his hosts, paid lip service to the notion that the referendum on British membership of the European Union on 23 June is a matter for the British people – and then calmly ripped apart the case for Brexit.It was the Vote Leavers’ worst nightmare.
For an exercise in understanding the delusions of the Remainiacs, you’ll have to read the whole thing.
Barack Obama’s intervention in the European Union referendum was more spectacular than many in the In campaign dared to hope for. They will now dare to dream that it might prove a game-changer in the tight referendum race.The President’s blunt warning that the UK would go to ‘the back of the queue” when the US negotiates trade deals demolishes one of the Out campaign’s key planks – that Britain could be stronger economically outside the EU because other countries would still want to sell their goods and services to us. He could have said it more diplomatically, but chose to be remarkably direct. A factual statement from the horse’s mouth is worth much more than claims by the Outers or expert analysis. From David Cameron’s point of view, Downing Street could not have written a better script.
Too right: arguments, especially if countering the ‘IN’ claims, are worth nothing after the mighty President of the USA has spoken, and even more so when he regurgitated what Cameron and the Remainians wanted him to say.
Never in our democratic history can the leader of a foreign power have climbed so clearly on to our hustings to tell all our citizens what one side – 10 Downing Street – wanted. Mr Obama’s most famous electoral message was “Yes, we can”. His electoral message to the British people is “No, you can’t”.
That comment by Charles Moore is definitely worth reading in full.
Have a lovely St George’s Day – and work hard so we can turn it into a Public Holiday once we’ve left the EU!