Though the Brits have a reputation for being a polite and civil folk, the mayor of London recently let President Barack Obama have it following the American head of state’s resistance towards the United Kingdom making an exit from the European Union. The mayor made the case that the antagonism may stem from Obama’s origin and value system which go against that of the British people.
Boris Johnson is a right wing mayor of London and has held office from 2008. Through an article that appeared in The Sun on Friday, Johnson went against Obama over the aptly termed Brexit. To substantiate his case, the mayor retold a baseless tale that the American president returned a bust statue of Winston Churchill back to the British consulate in Washington when he began his term.
“No one was sure whether the President had himself been involved in the decision. Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire — of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender,” Johnson quipped. “Some said that perhaps Churchill was seen as less important than he once was. Perhaps his ideas were old-fashioned and out of date.”
These claims were made despite a blog post written by Dan Pfeiffer, an aide to Obama, back in 2012 in which he declared the allegations ‘’100% false’’ and asserting ‘’The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.’’
Sparking the uproar, Obama had put out an article in The Telegraph in which he suggested the British reject Brexit as the meeting with Queen Elizabeth II and press release with Prime Minister David Cameron approached. The article opined, “This kind of cooperation — from intelligence sharing and counterterrorism to forging agreements to create jobs and economic growth — will be far more effective if it extends across Europe. Now is a time for friends and allies to stick together.’’
Johnson had some strong words to say about the suggestion, proclaiming, “For the United States to tell us in the UK that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy — it is a breathtaking example of the principle of do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do.’’ He continued, “It is incoherent. It is inconsistent, and yes it is downright hypocritical. The Americans would never contemplate anything like the EU, for themselves or for their neighbours in their own hemisphere. Why should they think it right for us?”