Good grief. Are we supposed to be surprised that senior officials at the US State Department take the view that Britain should, all things considered, remain a member of the European Union? Of course not. Are, however, we supposed to be shocked by Foggy Bottom’s impertinence in saying so? Apparently so.
Of course, if the Obama administration were to say that it’s in America’s interests for Britain to leave the EU then I hazard many of those pretending – for surely it must only be a pretence? – to be outraged by this damned interference in our own affairs would instead welcome the Americans’ intervention in the debate and use it as yet more evidence the EU is a busted flush and that the future lies in some grand Churchillian alliance of the English-speaking peoples.
Well, fine. But must we be so touchy about these things? Have we really reached the stage at which we considerate illegitimate or, worse still, inappropriate for our closest allies to declare their interests? It seems so, at least as far as eurosceptics are concerned. Especially when American preferences are deemed inconvenient.
Washington’s view is hardly going to determine the outcome of Britain’s deliberations on this front but the hysterical reaction to Philip Gordon’s comments is entirely disproportionate to the imaginary offense caused.
Take, for instance, inveterate Obama-hater Niall Gardiner’s laughably tendentious response. This espresso-cup sized tempest is yet another reminder that it would have been better for Britain if Mitt Romney had won last year’s presidential election. Why so? Because:
Had Mitt Romney won, there would have been a very different approach towards the EU, with a far greater emphasis upon advancing ties with nation states in Europe as opposed to currying favour with Brussels. Romney’s approach was distinctly Eurosceptic, with frequent warnings against America ending up like Europe, with its big government, high tax approach.
This is nonsense.