Archive for the ‘American Constitution-Reflections’ Category

What a Biden Presidency could mean for the Special Relationship

mercredi, novembre 4th, 2020

If the opinion polls are to be believed, November 3rd should bring about a landslide victory for Vice-President Joe Biden, sweeping him to power and removing President Trump after just one term in the White House.

What could this mean for the ‘Special Relationship?’

If the mainstream media are to be believed, removing Trump from the oval office will strip Prime Minister Johnson of a natural ally across the pond; all but destroying a potential free trade agreement between the US and the UK once the Withdrawal Agreement ends later this year.

President Trump has been outspoken in his support for the UK and ‘Brexit,’ whereas Biden and the Democrats have a very pro-EU agenda. Indeed, Joe Biden as a catholic is very proud of his Irish ancestry. 

Boris Johnson’s recent move to amend the Withdrawal Agreement did not go down well with Biden and the Democrats. Biden himself cited the Good Friday agreement in his tweet on the subject and Nancy Pelosi stated that there was ‘no chance of the House passing a trade deal if the Good Friday Agreement was undermined!’

It is therefore feasible that a Biden administration would be openly hostile to Britain regarding Brexit and less willing to help Britain flourish once it leaves the EU. Indeed, a new trade negotiator would be appointed, and this process could delay UK/US talks by months.

The UK Ambassador to the US, Sir Christopher Meyer, stated that Prime Minister Johnson’s actions regarding the Withdrawal Agreement were, ‘profoundly clumsy and stupid. It immediately ignited the Irish American lobby in Washington, which is second in power to the pro-Israeli lobby.’ Furthermore, ‘…The Democrats think Boris (Johnson) is a pea from the same pod as Trump!’

As such, in the eyes of many Democrats, the British version of Trump is as poisonous as Trump himself.

It would be unfair to say that Trump and Johnson have always seen eye to eye. There have areas of foreign policy disagreement between the two administrations concerning the Iran Nuclear Deal, the UK reluctance to sideline Huawei in the creation of Britain’s 5G network, as well as disagreements concerning the Paris climate change agreement.

Furthermore, many Democrats believe Britain lacks any global clout when it comes to tackling challenges such as China and Russia.

All of this negative rhetoric would make it seem that a Biden Presidency is not what the British government would prefer. 

However, Biden is not anti-Britain as many would have you believe. He backed Britain over the Falkland Islands, when President Reagan did not. His heritage is not solely Irish either. His father’s family come from Sussex.

Additionally, what has not been considered so much by mainstream analysis is firstly Britain’s support and respect for NATO. Whilst President Trump had to create waves amongst fellow NATO members who he felt were not pulling their weight when it came to respecting their NATO commitments, the US has always had a natural and powerful military ally in the United Kingdom. 

Finally, the UK is the single largest investor in the United States, with British companies having invested $560 billion in the US, accounting for 15% of all foreign direct investment, and the US is the largest investor into the UK.

With all this taken into account, it is likely that US/UK relationships will remain pretty much unchanged as a consequence of a Biden election win, resembling perhaps previous UK/US relationships when there was a Democrat administration.

However, with 24 hours to go, there is still all to play for and it is not over for President Trump just yet. Could we be waking up on November 4th to another shock? Well, 2020 has been a peculiar year, so don’t bet against it just yet.

Andrew Crawford. 2nd November 2020.

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Diplomacy must change to going up with the Sound of the Trump!

mercredi, novembre 23rd, 2016

I never thought that I would say this, but I have to admit that Donald Trump has now convinced me. The present conventions of diplomacy are wrong and must be changed.

Which country is the more affected by the choice of an ambassador, the host country or the country sending the ambassador. The question clearly answers itself. The host country has to put up with his presence; the country he represents merely gets rid of him. Therefore, from now, it must be the host country who decides whom the ambassador shall be.

So, if President-elect Trump wants Nigel Farage, he should have him; subject only to another country where his presence would be more appropriate, I have in mind North Korea, having the right of pre-emption. Think of the benefits this system could offer. Perhaps we could persuade Zimbabwe to demand Boris Johnson, or outer Mongolia David Davis. A left-wing English friend of mine says that Britain should claim Bernie Saunders as its American ambassador, my personal view is that most British, or perhaps I should say most British men, would prefer Scarlett Johansson. Of course the British would ask for Carlo Bruni from France, even if that meant them having to put up with Sarko coming with her. That would save money, as she could represent both France and Italy à la fois.

Inevitably there would be some minor disadvantages; the UK would have to make it clear that neither of the Middleton sisters are permitted to reside outside Britain, and can anyone think of three famous Belgians whom other countries could seek? But such difficulties are made to be overcome. As someone has not quite said, the sound of the trump means the sound of the trump.

Robin Baker
BCiP Member

Promising Future of Tea Party – Evelyne Joslain

jeudi, juillet 11th, 2013

?L?Avenir Prometteur Du Tea Party? by BCiP member Evelyne Joslain, a specialist on US politics and the American Conservative movement, was published in – Politique Internationale ? La Revue n°139 – and a link to this article is given below.

In summary, the article considers a more promising ?New Conservatives? future for the Republican Party following its defeat in the last two US presidential elections, beaten again by Barack Obama despite the impasse on his budget, 8% unemployment, a sharp increase in American poverty levels, chaos in the Middle East and, above all, a public debt exceeding $16 trillion (including $5 trillion of deficit contributed over the past four years of his term in office).

Defeat of the compromise tandem of Romney (Establishment) – Ryan (Not Quite Tea Party) left a party divided between moderates and minority Conservatives (Tea Party or traditional) each unwilling to take responsibility for the result, although the Tea Party blamed the Right for imposing a weak candidate in Romney.

According to the media and in Europe, the Republicans had lost because the ethnic minority votes gathered together by Barack Obama had, for the first time, submerged the White vote. The GOP had also become dangerously rightist under the influence of the Tea Party, a party from the past and approved by no more than 8% of the population. This was summed up in Newsweek by the headline ?You?re Old. You?re White. You?re History?!

The majority of the electorate had found Barack Obama?s progressive ?tax the rich? message more attractive than the detailed, austerity programme of the Republicans. Perhaps due to excessive courtesy and a fear of the racial factor in a politically-correct America, itself a prisoner of positive discrimination, Romney (and McCain in 2008) never dared point out Barack Obama?s weaknesses on the economy, ill-defined foreign policies and other scandals. This allowed Romney to be painted as an out-of-touch businessman insensitive to the problems of ordinary people. The Democrats were able to build a coalition of minority voters whose personal concerns came before national needs. Even though the electorate still remains majority white at 60%, 41% of the latter voted for Barack Obama, along with 93% of African-Americans and 71% of Hispanic/Asian origin. Romney also compounded his problems by openly stating that 47% of the electorate would never vote Republican.

Yet the Republican Party owes a debt to the Tea Party for revitalizing it after its defeat in 2008. An injection of fighting spirit enabled an improved showing in local elections and a majority to be gained in the House of Representatives (for the first time since 2006). The Tea Party was less prominent during the presidential elections although all the Conservative candidates (Tea Party or not) performed well, all Tea Party Senators getting elected and with just one loss in the House of Representatives.

The question is posed, therefore, whether there is a middle way between Republicans who want to collaborate with President Obama and those who don?t, the latter where the supposed ?extremists? of the Tea Party reside. Barack Obama relies on a Democratic Party which is nothing like the party of Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy, dominated as it is by a majority of ?Far Left? (who label Tea Party Conservatives ?Far Right?). The answer then to this cultural problem or split within the Republican Party can be found in what are termed ?New Conservatives?.

New Conservatives should find little difference between ?Fiscal Conservatives? and ?Social Conservatives?. The Tea Party can bring together its majority, fiscally conservative members with those more socially traditional but not so rigid in the Republican Party. A common aim would be to win back through ?New Conservatism? that part of the WASP electorate charmed by Barack Obama?s socialism but likely to find its current lifestyle progressively undermined by increasing taxes on the rich.

Administrator?s comment

Within the context of UK politics, this ?New Conservatives? reinvention of the Republican Party has a certain resonance with Tony Blair?s ?New Labour? and David Cameron?s development of a more socially responsible Conservative brand.