Obama’s reaction to the BP explosion and oil spill has been tactical. He accelerated the offshore oil drilling programme to head off Palin who was using the lack of home produced oil as a key part of her political platform. When the disaster happened, he was fully exposed, and decided to use the British as his scapegoat.
He cared nothing for BP which is a very important part of the British and American financial scene, paying high dividends and enabling good pensions to be paid to savers. He attacked and attacked, demanding a $20 billion pay-out fund be launched (not yet capped as its potential liabilities) to compensate those whose livelihoods have been affected, along the USA’s East Coast, and putting anything British into the ‘hated’ category.
Now the well is capped after three long months, Cameron is going over to meet Obama, who is using this situation to put maximum pressure on Cameron. What exactly does he want from Cameron, in return for releasing some of this economic and political pressure?
Let me guess. A long-term continuation of Britain’s role in Afghanistan will be on the list, for sure. Cameron is saying the troops will be home by 2014, which is years away. It looks like Obama has won that one, although a deal to pull British troops out of Sangin might lessen casualties.
But what else is on his shopping list?
It would be surprising given how much support Obama is giving to the European Central Bank, lending billions of dollars, exchangeable for euros with guaranteed swapback at par (with no interest payable), if he would not be seeking more money and political support from the British for the EU as it desperately tries to save the Euro.
Cameron wants to achieve greater political freedom from Brussels in turn, wanting to get back Britain’s opt-out from the Social Chapter, and the Working Time Directive. It seems as if there will be some serious talking to do.
Obama’s links to One World Government network seem strong enough to either reward Cameron with easy media via the BBC, take pressure off sterling and interest rates and ease his path to nice soft treatment Stateside, as Clinton and Bush did for Blair.
Cameron will not be so easily tempted by the corrupt path to easy money and fame as Blair. He will have to play the game though. How can he dodge any further involvement with the Euro’s troubles, push ahead with his de-EUisation plans, and keep onside with a One World Government stooge like Obama? It will not be simple.
Obama is using pressure on BP as a proxy for twisting Cameron’s arm up his back. Yet BP is at least as much an American financial problem as a British one. By crashing BP, Obama threatens market confidence across many stock markets across the globe. He himself could be the greatest casualty of any collapse. Palin must be watching all this with great interest, as the American economy heads progressively downwards and Obama gets increasingly desperate to avoid carrying the political opprobrium. Whatever he expects to win from Cameron, somehow I don’t think will come quite as easily as he imagines.
American Presidents have got used to British Prime Ministers who roll over. Cameron will have to find the finest diplomatic ways he can to be able to say NO in a way which keeps the doors open to him. Usually, ‘maybe’ or ‘not yet’, works for a while. It will be interesting to read between the lines of any reports that come out of their meeting.
EXTRACT – Mr Cameron should speak up for British interests without fear or favour. He should tell the President privately that all the allies need to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible. They should work on a way of ensuring the Afghan forces can take over more quickly. In wartime the US and UK trained many troops in a matter of weeks or months. The idea that it will take another four years to train enough Afghans to patrol their own country is a strange one.It is also unlikely that the west might be able to handle the politics of that difficult country and make a political breakthrough in the next couple of years, given the experience of trying over the last eight.
Melissa Kite in The Telegraph reports on disquiet amongst COnservative MPs on potential concessions Cameron could be making over the EU –
Insiders say Mr Cameron faces the prospect of growing unhappiness from Tory MPs over Europe unless he takes a tougher line against Brussels.
“In a debate last week on the proposed new EU Foreign Ministry, Conservative backbenchers voiced deep opposition to the integration plans, which were part of the controversial Lisbon Treaty.
In a bid to head off a rebellion, Mr Cameron went before a private meeting of backbenchers to assure them he had “got the message” on Europe.
One senior Tory MP present said: “People were livid about it but decided not to stage a rebellion.
“The tactical decision was not to fight yet because it is too early, but to watch very carefully what the Government does on Europe and all these new regulations on banking and finance.
“There are a lot of suspicions. People were not impressed by the attempt to control the scrutiny committee. Conservative backbenchers are going to be watching all this very carefully.”
And – The real reasons Obama needs Americans to hate the British. His falling popularity.