Sometimes you have to wonder why we can’t see a problem that’s right in front of our nose.
But if we can’t see it, the US and Germany can. Apparently, an adviser reporting privately to Hilary Clinton warned that Britain’s Coalition of the Wounded were big trouble. A batch of emails, released this week by the US State Department, reveal how Hilary’s advisers viewed the British political situation following the 2010 general election. The then US Secretary of State was warned that David Cameron and Nick Clegg were “snobbish” and “arrogant”, that her opposite number was disingenuous, and that a Britain ruled by ex-public school boys had no friends in Europe.
According to the Independent, the special adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, warned Hilary that the coalition were out of touch. In particular, he suggested that Nick Clegg had ‘an “inbred arrogance” in one of his regular dispatches about British politics. He adds that the former Lib Dem leader is “from no less a privileged background than Cameron, though seeming less snobbish because he went to Westminster instead of Eton and has a less pronounced upper-class accent”. The adviser attributes Mr Clegg’s insistence of forming a Coalition with Mr Cameron to the fact that “his inner Tory magnetically draws him to his heritage”.’
Wow! Blumenthal really gets it! But do we have to go all the way to an ex-President to get some realistic feedback?
“In a reply, Ms Clinton says she shared the emails with ‘Bill’ – thought to refer to former president Bill Clinton”, (guesses the Independent) who is said to have described the missives as “brilliant”.
So why does our media need to sneak looks at the deliberations of a highly-paid US special adviser to get a whiff of the problem that so obviously besets us?
These ‘revelations’ come in the week when I have been having ‘secret talks’ with an anonymous experienced and creative TV documentary filmmaker who wants to do a film about Wounded Leaders but suspects that the BBC won’t dare commission anything so anti-establishment because it fears Tory bullying.
If we are too scared, or can’t see that we can’t see what else is in front of our noses, for example, that this problem of what I call ‘the Entitlement Illusion’ is what led the Scots to seek self-determination – even more than nationalism – we are groping in the dark.
The Scottish Herald concentrates on the political ramifications of Mr Blumenthal’s advice. Apparently, he warned that the Coalition’s spending cuts meant the UK had little to offer the US and that Cameron would live to regret his commitment to austerity.
“Clegg has also misplayed almost every turn, presented with big chances and blowing them through a combination of inexperience…and inbred arrogance (from no less a privileged background than Cameron, though seeming less snobbish because he went to Westminster instead of Eton and has a less pronounced upper class accent).”
That’s, right, Blumenthal – you need to be aware of English dissimulation. (Could Corbyn hire him, do you think?)
“On economic policy, the UK is no partner and no bridge to Europe,” he suggests, reports the Guardian.
Yup. That’s precisely what we have been talking about. No offers of friendship, only of leading, and you end up with no friends – and this at a time when Angele Merkel looks likely to get the next Nobel Peace prize.
Even the bastion of Middle England, the Daily Mail, finds it now necessary to exercise a critical voice. Whatever next?
“Hillary Clinton was warned not to trust David Cameron because he was an ‘aristocratic’ snob who” … says the tough little paper. He “would be ‘superficially friendly and privately scornful’ to the US because of his privileged Etonian background.”
So watch out!
Oh. I forgot for a minute – we re-elected them.
Gosh, aren’t the Americans stupid!