It was coincidence that Mr. Obama and I should be in London on the same day. President Obama had just arrived and began his attempt to charm the British public as he once did his own.
His arrival coincided with celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday at which he was without a doubt, the star of the evening. His actual purpose for the visit was to participate in a discussion which was not rightfully his to join. He came to talk the British public “out” of the idea of leaving the European Union.
The movement entitled “BREXIT” which is a clever combination of the words “British” and “Exit” has succeeded in bringing to a public referendum, the issue of whether Britain stays within the E.U. The debate has begun and is in full swing.
Among those in favor of the separation is the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who slammed Mr. Obama’s visit as totally against American values. He spoke on UK television hourly saying that America would never allow its culture, borders and legal system to be super-ceded by that of another entity which has made its own laws and regulations with miniscule input from elected officials from each its member nations.
England has become swamped with immigrants from the whole of Europe, all of whom can work in the UK. For many, the UK minimum wage is ten times what they would earn in their own E.U. nation. Short of stopping immigrants with actual criminal records, the UK is finding itself unable to stem the flow of new immigrants. The drain on its economy is becoming intolerable as a result of its massive health and benefit system put in place for its own citizens prior to the existence of the E.U.
Mr. Obama held his televised “town hall” meeting to speak to the young adult voters of Britain. It turns out that the American Embassy hand selected the audience to reflect how the embassy viewed the multi-culturalism of Britain. The number of Muslim young women in head coverings in the camera’s eye could not be ignored. The questions that came from the audience were largely deflected. One young woman asked how the United States under the next administration would deal with Ireland. No answer to the question came but a fifteen minute dissertation on other lovely and irrelevant subjects had her smiling at the end of the response. Mr. O. is a clever and eloquent speaker and by the time he finished each answer, the audience had actually forgotten the essence of the original question.
When interviewed about why he came to Britain to participate in the push to keep England in the E.U., he responded that in a free society it is good to hear different opinions. Where was this generous assessment when Prime Minister Netanyahu was invited by the US Congress to speak to them against the pending deal with Iran? There was no generosity of spirit toward democratic discourse at that moment in history.
Mr. Obama essentially threatened the British People with a massive smile on his face and in the gentlest dulcet tones imaginable. He warned them that if they were to vote to exit the EU, that they would be putting their future negotiations regarding US-UK trade matters at risk. His term was that they would go to “the back of the queue,” speculating that UK trade discussion would be put off as much as seven years if they are not included in the E.U. package. Essentially he threatened the future of the UK economy if they do not do his bidding.
For a man with only one year left in his presidency to be making claims about seven years down the line, was unreasonable. He had no way to project such a figure or to implement it one way or another.
The biggest shock in his presentation to the young adults was his assessment of the idyllic world in which they live today, which he contrasted to that of their parents’ generation. When he addressed the “fact” that in their lifetimes, violence has decreased around the globe, I was stunned. Has he not seen American cities rioting in racial chaos? Has he not seen the Middle East imploding under his watch? Has he not seen the streets of his own country awash in blood from mass murders on a daily basis? Has he not noticed the murdering violence in Paris or Brussels and throughout Africa and the Middle East?
When someone of Mr. Obama’s stature tells even one bold faced untruth in order to lull his audience into a false comfort zone, the rest of his charm offensive must be totally discredited.
Europe is quite justifiably terrified by the increase in violence and terrorism in recent months. It is a large part of the UK’s public concern about the free flow of immigration as a result of their membership in the EU. England is on a precipice and the BREXIT vote on June 23rd will determine its future.