Let me be about upfront about this. I have never believed that there exists a ‘special relationship’ with America. I know many American people, have visited their country on several occasions and have American friends. But one can only question their claim to be the “Land of the brave and the home of the free”, when they come close to electing buffoons like Mitt Romney.
So what does Mr Romney think of our Country? We are, apparently, a small island with small houses that doesn’t make things that people want! Well partly true! We are not huge in size and some of us do live in terraced houses because we fit a lot of people onto our land mass but what a dismissal of the Worlds 7th or 8th largest economy.
He came to London yesterday and showed no comprehension of how we govern ourselves, what our values were and questioned our preparedness for running the Olympics. We can ask questions about how the Olympics are going but it just is not the sort of thing that a guest muses publicly! What was this Mr Leader stuff – does he think we are a soviet republic?
It would be risible if Romney wasn’t the latest in a line of Republican half wits. Sarah Plain knew all about Russia because she could see it from her home in Alaska and thought Africa was a Country. George Bush Junior only got elected because his brother had effectively rigged the electoral register to preclude many Democrat voters from voting at all.
And the face of America that we see is a very low grade culture indeed. Crap TV programmes and ‘food like McDonalds’ and KFC’ which is leading to massive obesity problems first in America and now in other parts of the world.
It doesn’t need to be this way. I stayed awake the night that Obama got elected. I thrilled as he strode out into that Chicago Park to receive the cheers as the first black man elected in America. I thought, and still think, that under his leadership America really could lead the World, starting with his own country, towards a more rational foreign intervention policy of aid and support and not war and death.
But even more since he did get elected I have wondered whether America really can be changed or should just be ignored. I ask myself how a Country which claims to be Christian can have massive debates about whether poor people should be entitled to decent health facilities. I know we have our differences of opinion here but no-one disputes the fact that the Government should provide free first time service to anyone of our citizens who needs it.
Last week we saw the biggest possible difference between our two countries in the response to the shooting tragedy at the cinema showing the latest Batman film. More people bought guns after the shooting than before. The fact is that you are 100 times more likely to get killed by a gun in America than you are in the UK. Other murder rates are also considerably higher than our own. We had two shooting tragedies and tightened the gun ownership laws they have loads of tragedies every day and loosen theirs.
This example alone shows a very different mind set between Americans and our European p[artners.
My fervent hope is that Obama wins again in November. The thought of a prejudiced bigot becoming the Leader of a Country which claims a common heritage to our own is quite repugnant. If there is a bridge across the Atlantic between the UK and America I hope it is a drawbridge. Because if Romney wins I fervently hope that we will draw it up and cut them off!