Originally published at algemeiner.com on 31st July 2012
Much has been written over the past week about Mitt Romney’s visit to the UK, Poland and Israel. He is obviously keen to exploit the feelings within those countries that Barack Obama is not as nostalgic as his predecessors and often appears to be dismissive of the so called ‘special relationships’ that exist between the US, Israel, Britain and yes, Poland.
Barack Obama visited London prior to his election as President. This visit was of a similar nature to Romney’s – an attempt to cement the emotions that exist around the special relationship. Only it didn’t quite go according to plan. The press was awash of the cold relationship that existed between Gordon Brown and Obama, despite being of sister political parties. At the time, the then leader of the opposition David Cameron was eagerly preparing for his own General Election and was desperate to get some press attention over his meetings with Obama, especially as Obama had developed superstar status in the UK. David Cameron, as with all opposition leaders around the world wanted to borrow some of Obama’s prominence.
Obama’s team had none of it, and despite the frosty relationship between the man himself and Gordon Brown, they still followed protocol. Obama had meetings with Cameron, but they were discreet, and did not give any impression of endorsement. Obama was also careful not to criticise or offend British officials.
Whilst in the UK, only a day before the opening of the Olympic Games – a global event that puts Britain and London into the world’s spotlight – Mr Romney questioned whether London was properly prepared for the Games, even appearing to question whether the British public are really behind the event.
How dare he.
I completely disagree with Boris Johnson, the Conservative Mayor of London on almost everything, but he was completely correct to use the stage in front of over 80,000 people in London’s Hyde Park to attack Mitt Romney for his comments. This man could be the next President of the United States of America. The people of Britain are not sad he has left our shores.
Mr Romney managed to completely mess up his visit to Britain, and it looks like it continued to Jerusalem.
Romney moved on to Israel where he cancelled a meeting with Shelly Yachimovich, Leader of the Israeli Labour Party. Ms Yachimovich was the Leader of the Opposition up until Kadima withdrew from the coalition last week. Mr Romney was following protocol, and was only meeting with her as she was the Leader of the Opposition, just as he met with Ed Miliband from the British Labour Party.
Reports claimed that the meeting was cancelled due to pressure from Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. The line coming out of Romney’s camp is that as she is no longer the leader of the opposition, he no longer needs to meet her as protocol dictates. This is a poor excuse. It is common knowledge that an election will be taking place in the not too distant future, and it is clear that Shelly Yachimovich and her party will have a pivotal role in the next government of Israel or as the official opposition. All polls since she became leader of the Labour Party have shown this. His refusal to meet with her due to pressure from the Prime Minister’s office should be noted by all.
Is Romney really his own man?
In Britain, a string of mistakes, errors and gaffes in the last budget presented by the British Government was given the title of ‘Omnishambles’. The newspapers this week have given our current government a rest and just focused on the ‘Romneyshambles’.