Questions for Mr Obama

Mr Obama is the creator of the conditions which have produced Mr Trump and Mr Sanders as serious  contenders in the US Presidential race. Their candidatures make much of the failure of modern America to lift the living standards of many hard working Americans. Mr Trump is unhappy with Mr Obama’s approach to both China and migration. With Republicans Mr Obama’s big health care changes remain highly contentious.

As a UK citizen I do not presume to tell Americans how I think they should vote, nor do I have preferences myself on who should be their next President . As a good ally of the USA, democratic politicians in the UK accept that we will work with whoever the US electors choose and we respect their right to decide.

Mr Obama came to office promising much. I liked his pledge to shut Guantanamo Bay. I too thought that the west in defending and promoting democracy should remember to practise its main principles at the same time. The right to know the allegations against you and the right to a fair trial surely are fundamental to the defence of liberty.  I liked his promise to change the relationship between the West and the Middle East, and his apparent commitment to ending the war in Afghanistan.

Instead Mr Obama left Guantanamo open. He increased troop commitments in Afghanistan before eventually reducing the military engagement. He admits himself the western intervention in Libya has not resulted in a happy let alone a democratic country. His actions and inactions with the EU over the Ukraine have allowed Russia to take Crimea. The war in Syria has not gone well for either the Syrian people or for the  rebels against the regime that  he supports.

He now expects us to take his strategic advice seriously when his own Presidency has fallen so far short of its early promise. Why should we believe him? If he wishes in the closing weeks of his period in office to be a true friend of the UK he should leave us to make our own decision about our best relationship with the EU.

If he is any advocate of democracy he should see just how undemocratic the EU is. He should let us leave to restore our independence, an independence which he expects and takes for granted for his own country.

If he wanted to be helpful he should lecture the EU on how its failure to engage with many of the voters of Europe, and its failure to understand the wishes of millions for better economic policies and less EU lawmaking and wasteful expenditures at the centre is doing great damage. The EU is impeding the pursuit of prosperity and happiness in many of the countries held in its legal grip.

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  1. Richard1
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    This was debated on TV between James Rubin, former US Treasury secretary and Liam Fox, who wasn’t very strong. Mr Rubin made 2 points: the EU along with the US is one of the great forces for liberal democracy and free markets, and a weakening of the EU by Brexit will weaken this force for good in the world; and (in answer to the point why doesn’t the US agree a similar union with neighbouring countries) the US being a superpower has no need to be part of any regional power bloc, for the UK it’s different as we are no longer a superpower.

    The first argument would seem to have some validity – and I’ve yet to meet anyone in European business who thinks Brexit would be anything other than an economic disaster – but the second is strange. There are many successful and prosperous countries even much smaller than the UK which are self governing democracies independent from any regional grouping. New Zealand, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada etc. I wonder why Mr Fox didn’t make this point.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Obama, no friend of the British people, has chosen to oblige Cameron by trying to soft soap them with a false vision of the UK leading the EU to do good works.

      Both halves of that are wrong: in reality the UK government now has little influence over what the EU does, not least because it has abandoned its veto power in so many areas, and arguably the EU is doing far more harm than good.

      • Know-dice
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        I discussed this with a friend last night. He was intending to vote remain mainly because the company he works for does 40% of its business with the EU countries. He came up with the old chestnut ” we are better together”, “we would have more influence in than out”…
        A quick we used to be 1 of 9 in 1973 with an absolute veto, we are now 1 of 28 with “qualified majority voting” how much influence do you think we have?

        Then had a go with the “where do you think the EU will be in 5 years time”? does it make sense for us to be on the periphery of the EU and not fully participate in the Euro and Shengen?. I didn’t manage to “convert” him there and then but certainly put doubts in his mind 🙂

        • Know-dice
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink


          The USA will always do what is in the USA’s best interest regardless. Always have, always will…

          • Hope
            Posted April 22, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

            Trump will be president by November and Cameron insulted him recently!

            There is no way that Obama would entertain even telling his electorate what he is saying here. I appreciate traitor Cameron will allow or stand by silently any other nation leader making disparaging remarks about our country. As for the brave souls who dies Obama and Cameron could not insult them any more than they have. They fought for the values of their country, democratic self-governance, not qualitified majority voting among 28 countries and being told what to do by unelected bureaucrats led by a Germany! Mayor of Scicily states his twin is more like Istanbul or Beirut than a Euopean city! With thouasands arriving every day who could blame him sharing his view? Cameron and his likes will make third world countries out of all the proud countries of Europe.

          • APL
            Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            Hope: “Trump will be president by November and Cameron insulted him recently!”

            Here’s hoping Trump refuses to permit Cameron entry to the US.

            After all, Cameron is but a bit part puppet who’s strings are being jerked by the global elite.

            Whereas hopefully, Trump will be the leader of one of the three most influential countries in the World.

            Trump will be good for the USA, whereas Cameron is an unmitigated disaster for the UK.

        • alan jutson
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          Know dice

          Ask him to Google “the five presidents report” as that will tell him what the EU want by 2025, and that is what he will be voting for if he votes to remain.

          Written in their own words, so no argument or spin applied.

        • Terry
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          He, like all Europhiles, is doing it out of self-interest. They do not consider the Sovereignty of this country which is paramount to any Nation’s democracy. We must elect our Parliament to make our laws and we cannot have an unelected body of persons deciding them for us. That is the stuff written by the USSR. And that is exactly where we shall be heading if we remain.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      I don’t believe the EU could be considered a good force for liberal democracies or for free markets, not when it is hollowing out our democracy and disenfranchising the people, nor is it good for free markets, not when it is a customs union.

      As to what business men consider good for the economy, they should be reminded that functioning liberal democracies , not hollowed out ones that are dictated to by a super national bureaucracy, always produce better standards of living than any other system. So the restoration of our Parliamentary democracy , and the chance that this ‘contagion’ spreads to other nations of the EU will be good for our economies and their businesses.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        I think people are concerned about invisible trade barriers, possible disruption to supply chains if extra costs get imposed etc. I concur with KnowDice above – the overwhelming majority of internationally focused business is pro Remain. I’m surprised Leave arnt trying to come up with a more coherent argument to persuade these opinion formers instead of focusong on irrelevances such as a possible saving of a few £Bns in contribution and ‘controlling our borders’ which will almost certainly be little different from the present arrangement.

    • forthurst
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      What is absolutely fascinating from an etymological perspective is the nuances between American English and English such as for example the word ‘democracy’ which presumably, at some point, had the same meaning on both sides of the Atlantic. When an American talks about ‘democracy’, the last thing he has in mind is that the people should get to choose their rulers if they the Americans hav a better idea of who would be more suitable or who would be less suitable from their perspective. This equally applies in the USA as abroad. In the USA, the Republican and Democratic parties are currently attempting to ensure that popular candidates are deprecated in favour of an unappetising Canadian neocon, and Hilary Clinton. When Americans refer to the projection of ‘democracy’ abroad, it is usually a signal for Russian speaking Ukrainians or (other foreigners ed)to head for their nearest air raid shelter or basement.

    • getahead
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      ” the EU along with the US is one of the great forces for liberal democracy .”

      The EU is not a democracy. It is an autocracy. It does nothing for the European people.

    • Dennis
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      “Mr Rubin made 2 points: the EU along with the US is one of the great forces for liberal democracy ” and “The first argument would seem to have some validity ”

      What? The US is famous for overthrowing democratic states and imposing their favoured dictators. How Liam Fox and Andrew Neil let Rubin’s remark pass without comment was a lapse. Have they forgotten recent US history?

      And don’t forget that US Presidents use the privilege of pardoning their criminally convicted cronies. They cannot even organise a fair criminal justice system. The US is a rogue state which is very good at terrorizing people.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        Compare it with Russia, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuala etc etc. Talking about the EU as if it’s the USSR will never win this referendum.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        I’m right with you Dennis. Generally, people are in dire need of a proper education and an awakening to modern world history. Everything America does, is for America’s interests, or more precisely, for the benefit of those at the top of the heap whilst the ‘dung’ at the bottom are compelled to fight their battles for them so the elite can make more money.

        They only need to follow the money and see who it is that profits from these catastrophes.


  2. Mick
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Hopefully the true patriotic Brits are not going to take abit of notice of Mr Obama, yesterday after watching everything about our Queen and all the tributes to her except the ones from traitor Cameron the outers should be banging home to the voter that this is what we are in fear of losing

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I think this could actually blow back on Obama, and I sincerely hope it does because we need to see the US for what it is.


  3. Lifelogic
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Indeed the EU is hugely impeding the pursuit of prosperity and happiness. “Impeding” is rather an understatement, stifling/destroying might be more accurate words.

    Outside we will be more nimble, quicker to react, freer, richer, have cheaper energy, be more democratic and in control of our own destiny. We will have far better relation with the EU too when we cooperate rather than obey.

    Of course Osborne’s bonkers nation living wage, his pension mugging, endless tax increases everywhere, the work place pension, his landlord and tenant muggings, his record trade deficit, his huge PSBR, his attacks on nondoms and his IHT ratting hugely damage the UK economy too. We should vote Brexit and be rid of this dangerous & silly man too. He needs to be replaced with someone sensible like JR. Lower and simplify taxes, cut down the bloated state and leave businesses and people alone. Osborne does not have a clue about how to run their businesses.

    They are far better at running them themselves and investing for the future than governments ever are. Top down demands from governments, over taxation and over regulation is hugely damaging weather it comes from the EU or from Osborne.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      Brexit will lead to NHS cuts says Osborne – But Brexit will mean we can insist on stopping the huge health tourism of hundred of thousands from the EU every year. We can insist they have health insurance and pay. We can also take the best doctors and nurses from anywhere in the world rather than just the often poorly trained EU ones.

      We can then choose the best doctors and staff from anywhere, have more money per patient and less demand from the free health tourism scam. We also get rid of the hugely damaging working time directive, get cheaper energy for the NHS and can be more nimble in managing the service.

      What is not to like for the NHS about Brexit George perhaps you could explain?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        Schools, universities and many other public services will benefit too. Less demand, and more freedom to recruit the best staff.

        Violent crime up by 27% and 77% even in West Yorkshire, I wonder why and which people are committing these crimes? Has the population of Yorkshire suddenly become violent due to something in the water perhaps or has the population mix changed somewhat recently? Perhaps augmented by the absence of much in the way of any real deterrents to such crime and a very poor record of detection and prosecution. In the Ken Clark mode of criminal justice, let’s save money and just sent out victim of crime leaflets instead.

      • hefner
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        Don’t you think it might even be better if the UK were to teach, train and produce its own doctors and medical staff?
        Why is it that this has been close to impossible now for years? Are British students not interested in going into nursing and medical studies?

        I would personally prefer this to the current poaching of nurses and doctors from developing or not so developed countries, poaching, which to me is also a part of what you call “health tourism”.

        • Antisthenes
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

          “Why is it that this has been close to impossible now for years?”

          Have you not noticed the attitudes of the younger generation in the last few decades as progressiveness overtook traditional standards and values. No. Then look at the junior doctors strikes. Are they about the improvement of patient care or about about them retaining their rights and privileges at the expense the patients? I say that it is by any measurement the latter.

          • hy
            Posted April 22, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            Applicant numbers for medical school still greatly exceed available places. Not sure how much longer that will last though.
            A reduction in terms and conditions is proposed by a monopoly employer intent on privatising the NHS. The starting basic salary for a junior doctor is less than the maximum that can be claimed on benefits and they’ve had year-on-year salary increases below the rate of inflation. Spreading an inadequate number of doctors more thinly over 7 days compared to 5 will not improve patient care. Why should they be treated so poorly given their sacrifices over many years and accumulated student debt?

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

            If it were a Labour government that brought in these changes then they would have gone ahead more easily. They don’t like it because it is the Conservative government that is trying to change things. Perhaps if they could do a 16 hour week like some do and get benefit top ups they would prefer it.

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

            Antisthenes, as Liam Fox stated on Question Time last night, doctors had to work much longer hours in his time. Everyone wants part time hours now for full time pay.

        • alan jutson
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink


          Agree absolutely with your comment about us training our own medical staff..

          Problem is they (the establishment) only seem to want university trained personnel, (old school type training for nurses scrapped years ago), and we do not have enough places on offer for training,.

          Seems as though it far cheaper to raid a third world country than to produce our own staff, although I would suggest the quality is questionable in some cases, as is the language competency of some.

          How ironic that we only want the very best standards from those we train here, but will accept far less when we recruit from abroad.

          • M Davis
            Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            Alan, you have it in a nutshell!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

          The reason is the government is saving money and the absurd way they have to train EU doctors too. The real cost of training a doctor is perhaps £35K for perhaps 5 years plus living costs. Yet they charge only 9k PA to anyone in the EU and given them a soft loan for that too (often never to be repaid). With the working time directive and far more females (who often choose to work far fewer hours or part time after qualifying) we need about twice as many doctors as before.

          I agree lets train UK ones who are rather more likely to stay in the UK and make any others pay the full costs of the training. Even the UK ones should perhaps have to pay more than the £9K PA or pay back the cost of training by working in the UK for a certain period.

          Also training could be reduced hugely changing the structures of medical training. Perhaps having doctors who are limited to certain areas of activity but trained in fewer years just for that area of medicine and can start work earlier. But of course there is often the powerful medical unions standing in the way of progress!

          • stred
            Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

            A friend of mine has a daughter who obtained a nursing degree and left to work in a bank for more money. She did not like the physical demands of nursing. As he said, you don’t need a degree to wipe someone else’s backside.

            The BMA and Nursing unions play the numbers and status game. The NHS then poaches foreign staff who train on SRN type courses. etc ed

  4. Richard1
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    We should also recall that Mr Obama said that the day of his election was the day when the “seas stopped rising” and something along the lines of ‘the planet began to heal’. Has anyone checked whether he has managed to bring this about?

    • stred
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      The seas have been rising at between 2 and 3.5mm pa for many hundreds of years. Tidal gauges prove this. Satellites increased this by a few mm recently. Obama visited Alaska and was shown becoming upset while he looked at the flooding shore. He may have been told about the AGW doomer’s forecast of one metre by 2100 and 9m by 2500. What a shame that anyone cold become president of the USA and think it had already happened or that he could stop natural rises in sea level. President Canute could have done better.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink


        Some parts of the North-western coastline of the United States are being subsumed beneath the Pacific tectonic plate. So it isn’t so much a question of the sea rising, it’s more a question of the land falling.

        It is a very volatile area and that’s the reason why there is so much volcanic activity on the Pacific rim. Obama could have chosen a better place, but perhaps he just wanted to con people.


        • stred
          Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:26 am | Permalink

          Tad. Some parts of the UScoastline are rising and some falling.Same in the UK. The rate is only mm and makes the small centuries old sea level rise slightly more or less. That Obamy thinks Alaska has already sunk shows his total ignorance. Much the same as his knowledge about the EU and England.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted April 23, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink


            Greece is another place where the land is gradually sinking below a tectonic plate and there are many ancient buildings now below the waves.

            In the next few tens of thousands of years, the whole of the Greek mainland might disappear, and probably before their debt is paid off.


    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      No, because it is impossible.

  5. bigneil
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    “Mr Obama came to office promising much” – Same speech writer as Dave?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Say one thing, but do the complete opposite, this seems to be their modus operandi.

      No if no buts about it, that is what the self proclaimed, cast iron, low tax Conservatives at heart seem to do.

      How is Osborne’s PSBR deficit coming on eliminated yet is it? It will be even worse when his living wage takes effect. How are the trade figures looking too?

      • Antisthenes
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        Unemployment up. Is that about George’s living wage. Not according to the stayer it is because of us naughty Brexiteers. One day they will say something that is true. They must do it is the law of averages that it will happen. However the stayers appear to be defying that law because ever since we joined the EU/EC they have yet to say anything that later was proven to be true.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

          It certainly will go up far more if he keeps his absurd living wage agenda and greencrap energy agenda. This could affect about 30% of workers in some areas. Some people’s labour is not worth £X per hour so they will be legally prevented from working other than as charity volunteers I suppose.

          What lunacy from Osborne.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know how they keep getting away with it! If only lying to get elected were a criminal offence punishable by being incarcerated for ten years. We’d see a lot less of it.

      It seems like they are Teflon-coated. I vividly recall a few years ago, a senior Tory MP (who is now on the ‘remain’ side) rang me at home to say he thought Cameron was an opportunist. Yet he keeps voting Cameron’s way, and this is what I mean when I say there are people who are loyal to the party, and people who are loyal to a principle. Give me the latter any day!


    • turbo terrier
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink



  6. Margaret
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Mr Obama it is reported has said that he feels as though he cannot make any changes anywhere . He feels ineffectual. If this is so then any opinions about staying in the EU should run along the same vein.
    He was polite enough to wish Queen Elizabeth a happy birthday . As a head of state there hasn’t been anyone to equal her . As a commonwealth builder she is second to none. Perhaps if all citizens were as loyal to our Country as she then we wouldn’t entertain being the lowest of the low in the EU and respect would be given for those who have given most to keep Britain British yet enjoy and welcome other cultures who are also loyal to their own.

  7. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Clearly Obama is no friend of the British people; on the other hand it goes beyond that for the man who invited him to chip in and help dupe the voters, he is behaving like an enemy.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink



      America fought us to gain their independence, but do not want us to simply leave the EU for ours.

      Double standards.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink


      I watch lots of political and historical documentaries on YouTube, and wish the general public would do the same. They might learn something, and it isn’t good!


  8. eeyore
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood’s last paragraph is pertinent and constructive. I hope that after the British Press has finished beating up the President for his hypocrisy over Brexit, they will find time to ask him what message he has for the EU. An organisation which can generate and tolerate youth unemployment on a scale so heroic certainly needs guidance; if Mr Obama does not think to offer it his ignorance, and his partisanship, will be plain to all.

    • getahead
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Right on eeyore.

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Wildly off-topic and somewhat recondite:

    “Cyprus to lose haircut case appeal”

    “The European Court of Justice (ECJ) looks set to reject an appeal case brought by haircutted depositors against EU institutions following the opinions of Advocates-General Wathelet and Wahl issued on Thursday.”


    “Neither the Eurogroup statement nor the Memorandum of Understanding finalised between the ESM [European Stability Mechanism] and Cyprus can be imputed to the Commission or to the ECB [European Central Bank], so that the EU Courts have no jurisdiction to hear the actions for annulment brought against these texts and the non-contractual liability of the EU cannot be incurred.”

    “The Commission and the ECB do not intervene in their own name in the financial assistance procedure, but simply act as agents of the ESM in negotiating, monitoring and signing by proxy the Memorandum of Understanding … the ESM is not an institution of the EU”, the Opinion stated.”

    So that’s a nice let-out there, “Nothing to do with us, guv, it’s that ESM not us”.

    • Know-dice
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Weasels…who will stand-up and take responsibility?

      Too many layers of bureaucracy covering each others back sides…

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        ………….and that’s the kind of thing we in the UK are paying for.

        It would be nice to see how much this lot costs us, but when the EU’s own auditors refuse to sign off their books because of the fraud, waste and mismanagement, I think we begin to see the nature of the problem, that the EU is an unwieldy, ungovernable, wasteful, unaccountable monolith.

        I wonder if Obama fully appreciates that?

        If he doesn’t, he’s ill-informed and a poor excuse for a world leader.

        If he does, and he still wants us to belong to the EU, we might reasonably ask, would a true and loyal friend really give us such poor and potentially damaging advice?

        You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig. No matter how much others might paint a rosy picture of the European Union, the truth is, it’s still a pig, and the figures, the debt, the unemployment, the lack of growth, and the austerity, confirms it.

        I say forget Obama, we’re best out of it.


    • acorn
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      The ESM ended up as an intergovernmental treaty between nations that use the Euro currency. It would have been an EU entity, but the UK gave it the finger.

      The whole thing is typical EU smoke and mirrors. The ECB as the Euro currency issuer could have funded the whole job with sovereign debt, to be paid back over the next century. But that would have increased Cyprus’s Debt / GDP and lost its AAA rating; which would have been relevant only because of the stupid Bond system the Eurozone uses.

  10. Horatio
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Mr Obama by his own anti-imperialist design, has succeeded only in diminishing America’s place in the world and in consequence made the world a less safe place. By ignoring his own red line over Syria he destroyed US credibility and smashed the established foreign policy approach of FDR; walk quietly but carry a big stick. Syria is, as such, his mess. This emboldened Putin; the Crimean crisis is also his mess. Premature withdrawal from Iraq, against the advice of his generals, opened the way for IS there. His ridiculous recent treaty with Iran, giving them hundreds of billions of frozen assets in exchange for a halt to nuclear work and missile testing, has already been broken. Not forgetting the Arab spring, so encouraged by Pres O in the famous Cairo reset speech; strongmen were deposed, Muslim brotherhood and fellow terrorists flourished. Not that he has ever called Islamic terrorists just that, preferring descriptions of workplace violence (Fort hood) or the terrorist group IS.

    Yes he has kept Gitmo open JR, but the intelligence gained from prisoners there has foiled multiple terror attacks worldwide. These people are implacable enemies, I say one life for thousands, not that anyone has actually died in Gitmo.

    As for his domestic policy; the poverty gap has widened. More (ethnic minority people ed)are on food stamps now than when he was elected and America is more divided than ever before. 42% of Americans dont pay income tax and Pres O, just like socialists over here, is creating a dependency culture. Falls in US defence spending mirror almost exactly the rise in welfare payments.

    Regardless of all that; If you have read the dirge that is ‘Dreams of our father’ you will recognise how much Obama holds the British in contempt and even anger over events in his native Kenya. It was no surprise that in his first occasion in the oval office he ordered the bust of Churchill removed. Why would a man who dislikes the Brits so much ever want us to be great again?

  11. Cheshire Girl
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    I am reserving judgement until I hear what President Obama actually says when he arrives in the UK today.
    I dont think he should entirely get the blame. He may hold certain views, but he may have been encouraged to support our continued membership of the EU, by our Prime Minister. Nothing would suprise me. Even so, I think he would be wise to remain impartial, and leave the British people to decide for themselves the direction in which they wish to go.

    Reply Obama has written in today’s Telegraph repeating the tired old mantra of Remain lies.

    • formula57
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      I just read Obama’s “Telegraph” article and was struck by how thin it is in offering reasons supporting Remain: indeed is comes close to damning with faint praise.

      Perhaps Mr Obama recalls and agrees with his Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland’s famous dismissal of the EU.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        I remember her famous words, and at the risk of giving a clue to my own earthy nature, I have said the very same thing many times!


    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Indeed the USA would never allow themselves rules by the EU. Obama is saying what he thinks is in the USA’s interests, but he is wrong even that that basis. A Brexit will surely encourage and speed up the EU and member countries to abandon their current damaging direction of travel or better still just break up and return to cooperation only.

      One assumes Cameron approves of Obama’s line and extended the invite or he would not be here. I suspect it will back fire, just like his tax pay funded propaganda leaflet and most of his other moves.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Looking up something else I came across this article from March 2009:

        “Barack Obama will back a federal Europe”

        “America’s support for a more united Europe betrays both US and British interests, says Nile Gardiner.”

        “Barack Obama heads to Britain and Europe in two weeks’ time as the leader of the first U.S. Administration to wholeheartedly back the creation of a federal Europe. In contrast to earlier U.S. administrations, including those of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, the Obama administration is avowedly Euro-federalist in outlook, and is keen to help build a European Union defense identity as well as support the foundations of a European superstate in Brussels.”

        Still, he got it badly wrong about this:

        “A Eurosceptic Conservative government led by David Cameron, committed to halting further European integration, will find itself increasingly at odds with a left-of-centre U.S. administration that is actively working against the principle of national sovereignty in Europe.”

        • Jagman84
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          I think that he left out the word ‘fake’ before Eurosceptic.

        • acorn
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          JR naturally dismisses Bernie Sanders as a left wing “socialist”, but he would be nearer the centre in UK political terms. Bernie has managed to raise $140 million for his campaign from small donations from the little people. He doesn’t get funding from the Super PAC corporate lobby groups, like Clinton and all the Republicans. The latter all being basically Wall Street candidates.

          Sadly, the neo-cons will bury him, as he is a major threat to neo-liberal capitalism and the US global perpetual war machine.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted April 23, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

            You’re probably right, but I hope you’re wrong. These are dangerous people! They are both directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of people.

            Sooner or later, the people of the United States will react against the way their country has been usurped. The last time that looked like happening saw the emergence of FDR who gave the people a ‘new deal’ but perhaps he only bought the rich and the powerful time to consolidate their position. They really wanted to take the US over and oust Roosevelt in a coup, but events went against them (people might like to research this for themselves and Smedley Butler’s book ‘War is a Racket’ is perhaps a good place to start).


      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        LL, if the EU is so fantastic, we ought to send Mr Obama an invitation for the US to join it!


        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, they could take the UK’s place perhaps? I am sure they will be more than happy to give up “poole” their democracy, their fishing waters, their cheap energy and their defence policy and submit the the ECJ and the ECHR. I wonder what line the ECHR would take on Guantanamo Bay? Are they allowed to vote there for example?

    • Antisthenes
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I believe he is credit with saying that sovereignty no longer matters. Fine thing to agree with when your own sovereignty is not under threat. If he said that then he is another politician to add to those others on that long list of hypocrites.

  12. matthu
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Last night Lord Ashdown used the threat of an increase in interest rates should we choose the path of Brexit as a reason to remain.

    Yet the ECB admitted yesterday that near-zero interest rates are vital across Europe to ensure price stability “for the whole of the Eurozone not only for Germany”.

    What chances then that UK rates will be forced up in the short term – and would this be in the interests of the EU or not?

    Reply So far this year with Brexit around UK rates have fallen.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Indeed the UK should be more credit worthy, not less, when it is fully free of the EURO bail out problems, the huge membership fees, has cheaper energy and is free of all the endless damaging red tape.

      A safe haven outside the EU disaster zone for your money. Even better still if Osborne is replaced by someone remotely competent for a change.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Interest rates will rise ?

      The best argument the Brexiters can use (now that mass immigration is taboo) is this:

      How is it a good thing that we are ruled by remote politicians whom we can neither cross examine during Question Times, fire during elections nor hold accountable for anything whatsoever ?

      I have mentioned earlier the Bluewater rape incident (words left out ed) I suspect the reasons for the lack of public information is that it is to protect the EU and not minority groups.

      The same happened in Cologne. The EU project and its leaders must not be seen to fail so they lie to the people.

      This incident could well change the public mood towards Brexit if details got out.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink


      There was a member of the Question Time audience who declared that he was an economist, and told how he had absolutely destroyed George Osborne’s projected figure. He had worked out that we could actually eliminate our entire national debt if we came out of the EU. Well worth listening to.


    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply. My friend who is changing Sterling into New Zealand Dollars says the reason the pound is so low on the exchange market is due to Brexit. I say he isn’t right. What say you?

      Reply Its not Brexit. This week, a week of maximum anti Brexit attacks by the UK government, has seen the pound rise against the dollar and the Euro! The large balance of payments deficit, partly caused by big payments to the EU, is the main cause of a lower pound.

  13. Antisthenes
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Obama is no great lover of democracy if his insistence on using executive powers in the way he does is any thing to go by. The US supreme court is the the only curb there is on this power but they appear reluctant to use it. His presidency has resulted in a rise in racial tensions and crime (especially in Democrat controlled areas) and the budget debt is out of control. He has managed to alienate many of the US’s allies and given advantage to her enemies. He has been not much of a friend to the UK and the special relationship we had is no more.

    In short his presidency has made the USA worse off and has accelerated her decline. Clinton to follow him will see the completion of the destruction he started. Trump only time will tell but I am not optimistic he will be much better. Obama epitomises what the left does when in government; bad policies and practices coupled with incompetence.

    Also put their noses into things that is none of their business. So him coming to the UK to lecture us about remaining in the EU is no surprise. Unfortunately he is seen by many in the UK in quite the opposite way to me in fact in some cases to the point of idolisation. So his opinion will carry a lot of weight which is not good for the leave side.

    David Cameron has shown that politics has been elevated to a new level of corruption by the way he calls in favours, bribes or coerces business and political leaders to back him. On top of which the level of state backed false propaganda he is churning out is staggering in it’s audacity.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Indeed even if Cameron scrapes a win through his tax payer funded propaganda and lies he will spit the Tories in half. Hopefully his LibDim, no nation lot will be kicked out or better still tried for treason and trying to fix the referendum.

  14. formula57
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Mr Obama has disappointed, although he has had a tough watch. Yet his credentials for commenting upon the EU may be stronger than is supposed if Mr Varoufakis’s analysis (in his 2013 lecture “The dirty war for Europe’s integrity and soul”) is accepted for he says: –

    ” The European Union began life as an American design conceived by the New Dealers and implemented in the context of the Cold War in order to stabilise Western Capitalism as part of America’s Global Plan, a Plan that included the Bretton Woods System of Fixed Exchange Rates.”

    Varoufakis also says (and hence points to the origin of much of today’s ills of the EU): –

    “Recapping, out of necessity and in a remarkable display of pragmatism, Washington embraced the idea that European Unity would be built upon a cartel of heavy industry, rather than on their cherished principle of competitive markets. While of a democratic disposition themselves, the New Dealers went to bed with traditionalist Frenchmen like Jean Monnet who felt only disdain for their New Deal, who harboured a Platonic contempt for liberal democracy, and whose vision of a United Europe was beholden to the idea of some central European cartel administered by ‘technocrats’. .”

    (The lecture can be found at )

  15. Anonymous
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Should read: The Dad`s Army of Brexiteers

    (Project Fear is bigger than I ever imagined)

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    The Telegraph has an editorial today:

    saying that we should pay more attention to the now longstanding and still unresolved problems in the eurozone, and concluding with this paragraph:

    “Those who advocate a vote to leave the EU could argue this gloomy picture is precisely why Britain should quit, that we would be fools to shackle ourselves to a failing project. The Remain campaign could retort that it would be self-harming to leave now – that the EU needs Britain more than ever and Brexit would only deepen the crisis. Either way, the very fact that the economic state of the continent does not feature highly in the referendum debate might itself be a reflection of Britain’s sense of detachment from the EU.”

    Personally I would take a somewhat different view, that the continuation of the eurozone crisis creates a favourable opportunity for us to leave the EU with minimal disruption to our established trade with both the other EU countries and the rest of the world.

    If the eurozone was in robust economic health the eurofederalist zealots in the German government would be in a much better position to carry out their implied threats against us, threats against the British people which their own elected Prime Minister has not only welcomed but actively encouraged, to his enduring shame.

  17. agricola
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Did Cameron or the Queen invite him or did he invite himself. As has been said he or more accurately the USA would not tolerate the anti democratic ethos of the EU. If you have talent like Bill Gates or James Dyson you get on with it and make a fortune. If you are a low grade player like Obama, despite which, you (make ed) your way to the Presidency, you write a book or lecture others on how to conduct their national relationships.

    Of one thing you can be sure, any lecture he gives will be in his perceived interests of the USA. Having presided over the anti democratic obscenity of Guantanamo Bay one can understand his misplaced sympathy with the political mindset of the EU.

    Reply I thought Obama campaigned for the Presidency on great poetry. The trouble is he has governed in poor prose.

    • agricola
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply.
      However poetic or prosaic he might be,
      as a President he lacks credibility.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Obama was seen by many as ‘the last best hope’ to reverse the powers of the pro-corporate lobby, and to stop the military industrial complex consuming vast amounts of US tax dollars (at this juncture, I would like to say something about the assassination of JFK, but if I did, this might not get posted).

      Instead of Obama giving the ordinary US citizen a better deal, he has largely been impotent and a hostage to big money. Rather than bringing the much promised change, he is something of a mere caretaker until the other parties can find another candidate who will do the bidding of the big money men. He never will go down in history as one of the truly great presidents, it’s far too late for Obama to achieve anything significant. He certainly won’t achieve that great lasting legacy by urging the UK to stay in the EU.


    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Like that comment John.

  18. JimS
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget his Nobel Peace Prize! The EU got one too!

    P.S. Can I have one?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      It rather devalues it Jim! It turns something that should be an aspiration, into a joke.


    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Jim, don’t be silly. You’re just a mere member of the public. Just like Cameron your strings can be pulled.

  19. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I am sickened by Obama’s visit. The arrogance and ignorance of the swaggering man knows no bounds. And who wrote his piece in the Telegraph lecturing and patronising us on how we should vote, one of Cameron’s clique I imagine.

    As far as I am concerned Obama is not welcome and he should get off back to the US immediately. The whole thing stinks, he is no friend of England.

    • stred
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Obama lectures us about the brave young US soldiers who died in both World Wars. Many British, Canadians, Aussies Kiwis, Indians, South Africans,Irish, Free French and Poles and others fought the Nazis from 1939. The help fro 1942 was most welcome.

      After the war, I told my parents off for making jokes about GIs (e.g.s removed ed) When in the 60s, friends had gone to Vietnam protests yelling ‘Yanks go Home’ and the feminist muckers were camped outside the missile base, I disapproved. I thought Ron, Maggie and Gorby did the World the biggest favour ever when they sank Communism. Even when Bush II took us to war, I argued that he was not really that thick.

      I learned to drive in a borrowed Ford Anglia. We had a Prefect, and then I bought a Popular, Fiesta, Escort and now a Focus. I even bought a Jag because it was really a Mondeo. Now their boss tells us to give up being a country and take orders from the EU. Kraft took Cadburys away to the EU and Terrys went too. From now on its Range Rover and Thorntons. Also, when there was an oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Obama always named British Petroleum and forgot the US subcontractors which were involved.

      Since Obama was given his peace prize, the USA has been pushing its transformational diplomacy and using the USE as a base. We have civil wars in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, parts of Africa and are working on more in the ‘stans east. The refugee crisis is causing chaos.

      If sensible Americans choose a new president who values the UK as a country and not a useful agent, then it will be time to take holidays there and buy American products (except chocolate). Perhaps it would be best to moderate this piece JR. It may be considered impolite to interfere in another country’s decisions.

      • stred
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Apple’s boss has told us what to do too. I was thinking of buying one but he can stick his apple too.

  20. Tim L
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink


    Here’s an idea for the BBC and perhaps Vote Leave.

    Challenge leading EU officials to appear on live TV debates in the UK with questions from the audience. Let’s see where they think the EU will be in 15 years time.

    On Obama, my wife asked me the other day what the ‘special relationship’ was. I gave her all the usual guff and said that I find it all rather embarrassing when I hear it, but I don’t know why.

    She replied, “It’s pathetic, you men make me laugh! I have lots of friends, they’re all special to me. They all know I have a ‘best friend’, not because I like her more but because we do more together, we think alike and our histories have made us closer. I wouldn’t dare insult my other friends by continually referring to her as my ‘special friend”.

    Reply I like the idea but I don’t see either the BBC or the EU officials buying it.

    • Know-dice
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      The special relationship is:

      The USA says “Jump” we say “How high”….

  21. a-tracy
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Let’s ask Mr Obama what we have achieved in Europe as one of the biggest net contributors?

    Did Gordon and Tony manage to persuade the other European nations to follow the US equally into these wars? How was it just the UK, if we’re so insignificant without Europe, that had to go and help the US out in their campaign, were the other European nations even asked to help us out with monetary funds to support our forces on behalf of Europe when theirs weren’t there to put in an equal effort.

    Give us examples of what the UK has achieved in Europe in the last five years?

    How as it come to such a sad state of affairs that we are so reliant on financial services and they will stay if we offer them a better deal than the EU would. We should talk of reinvesting some of the money saved into UK manufacturing and jobs to make us less dependent on imports. We should talk of investing some of the money saved from creating more wealth ourselves into a free Energy market to make us self-sufficient, we should engage our own outstanding Universities in harnessing wave energy and look at creating energy from waste products to produce cheaper energy for our new manufacturing bases concentrating in areas of high unemployment first like the North East.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      The energy systems listed here will not give us cheap energy. they will all require subsidies. We need to frack for gas and oil like they have in the USA to give us security of supply and not be reliant on others for our sources and to make our energy prices lower.

  22. Bert Young
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Obama is a “failed” President ; his foreign policy is as inept as Bush and those before . John is absolutely right to point out that the “advice” he gives should focus on the failures of the EU rather than the consequences of a “Brexit”. The USA has for years wanted to put itself in the top spot of the world and to reduce the influence of this country .

    We have no lessons to learn from Obama and we should not give the impression that everything depends on our special relationship with the USA . Any relationship we have with them and other countries should only depend on the integrity and background of the standards we are noted for and can be trusted to keep . Independence is the key word .

  23. mickc
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Whilst deprecating Obama’s speechifying about Brexit, I think he has generally played a poor hand of cards rather well.
    For domestic political reasons, he is effectively a prisoner of the Neocons, yet has not started any wars, and has brought Iran in from the cold, whilst solving the “nuclear threat” it was alleged to pose. Of course, it posed no such threat, but he has negated the propaganda value it represented for the Neocons. He has simultaneously thereby reminded the Saudis that they are no longer the only game in town.
    His actions with regard to Russia have been measured, rather than hysterically hostile.
    When Hillary wins, we will wish Obama was back.

    Reply Wars in Syria, Iraq and Libya still continue

    • Antisthenes
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      That nuclear threat is not solved. In fact by bringing Iran in out of the cold it has now given it all the resources it needs to complete making a nuclear bomb. The Iran deal was an Obama vanity project. Not to make the Middle east a safer place but to have a legacy to point at when he leaves office because he has not been successful at achieving anything else. He may end up with a legacy that will blow up in his face. Hopefully metaphorically.

    • mickc
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Indeed, but Obama inherited, not created, the Middle East catastrophe. Bush and Blair did that, and have profited greatly thereby….

    • turbo terrier
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Sadly John so true.

      Where are the statesmen to try and solve the problem and not keep talking about solutions?

  24. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Obama should be reminded of this:
    “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” –
    The Gettysburg Address by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered by Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863.

    The Americans fought a war with the UK for their independence. They would never give away powers to a foreign organisation as Obama expects us to do with the anti-democratic EU. This country fought two world wars to preserve our freedom and independence only for third rate politicians to give it away.
    Clearly, Cameron and Osborne are not capable or competent to govern an independent, self-governing country. They should step aside for those who have the leadership qualities they do not possess.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Lincoln actually had a significantly different version in his message to Congress of July 4th 1861, which has sometimes been entitled “A War to Preserve the Union”.

      “And this issue embraces more than the fate of the United States. It presents to the whole family of man the question whether a constitutional republic, or a democracy – a government of the people by the same people – can or cannot maintain its territorial integrity against its own domestic foes.”

      So then it was “a government of the people by the same people”; a criterion which is not satisfied in the EU, where different peoples are presuming to govern each other through transnational majority voting.

      • Mitchel
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Funnily enough that is probably the only time when the USA and Russia have (voluntarily)been on the same page in history.Russia had just emancipated it’s serfs,the USA followed with the abolition of slavery;Russia was putting down a rebellion in Congress Poland,the US was fighting the Confederacy.They pledged mutual support to each other and Russia was invited to station a naval squadron off San Francisco (which it would have used to raid British and French possessions in the Americas should the allies of the earlier Crimean war have intervened in Poland).The commander,Admiral Popov,exceeded his remit by also letting it be known that he would defend San Francisco against any Confederate raids(and,indeed,none took place).

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 23, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

          Thanks, interesting.

  25. matthu
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I think President Obama and Mr Cameron should both admit that whether we have Brexit OR NOT the Eurozone is in for a particularly rocky ride as migrant numbers increase and the Euro crisis re-emerges.

    I have yet to hear anyone deny that either or both of these issues are likely to derail the Eurpoean “project” and then it simply remains to be argued whether the UK being in or out is likely to affect matters one way or the other.

    Once we accept that the world economy is in for a particularly sticky time, we should just focus on not enmeshing ourselves any deeper than we currently already are, perhaps reflecting how it has all come to this when the electorate never consented to being enmeshed to this extent, and welcoming the fact that we have a last golden opportunity to emerge from this mess and forge our own way to freedom and self-determination.

    Yes, it may turn out more expensive than we originally expect, but so will the other route.

    But what price our pride, our freedom and a better way of life?

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      There should be more fear of staying than there is of leaving. The future of the EU looks bleak to me.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        Anonymous, it looks bleak to me too. Liam Fox summed it up nicely on Question Time last night when he said that there were still several poor countries wanting to join the EU and that the UK will end up supporting them all. Let’s get the hell out of here while we still can.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Once again, I noticed that the vast majority of people rescued from the capsized boats were young men. There will be an imbalance of men versus women in the EU eventually and that will result in problems big time. The cracks are already showing in that the men show women no respect.

  26. AndyC
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    How did it go again? Ah yes. ‘We hold these truths to be self evident’. Fine words then, and now.

    Were I in the business of giving advice to people in foreign countries, I’d urge the current US president to learn a little of his own history. Luckily, this time next year he will be on the golf course, and there will be a new US administration, of whatever stripe.

    The more these overpromoted no-nothings (both domestic and foreign) try to scare, bully and intimidate, the more determined I am to vote to leave.

  27. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    “Lame duck arrives in London to meet The Queen.”

    Consequently there is no need to give Obama’s opinions much credibility on any subject.

  28. John Bracewell
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Well said, Mr Redwood. President Obama promised much and says he is a friend to the UK but he has delivered little and it seems he has become a friend to Cameron lately, it was not always the case. Cameron has wheeled out the PMs of Australia and New Zealand also to do his bidding about Brexit, either Cameron is calling in favours or there are some sweeteners just around the corner, or even more likely the UK remaining in the EU is in the self-interest of those countries. Paddy Ashdown was trying to make much of the long list of ‘friends’, countries and business organisations, who have come out for the status quo as far as the UK’s membership of the EU is concerned, since they represent the establishment it is not surprising, they all want life to carry on as now (not that remaining in the EU is the status quo), so ‘don’t rock the boat,UK’ . They seem to have swallowed the doom and gloom being put round by the UK government about global financial armageddon. The Remain side are over exaggerating everything to the detriment of their credibility, long may it continue, the UK people will see through it this time. In passing I have to say that the BBC got something very wrong on Question Time, not only with a 3 to 2 count for Brexit on the panel but the audience seemed largely Brexit oriented too, some minor BBC heads will roll for that. It probably means that the BBC have aired the 1 program with a Brexit bias and the next 6 or 7 up to the referendum date will revert to normal BBC practice of bias towards the EU but they can now turn round and use last night’s program as the example of even-handedness.

    • Know-dice
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      I had to turn Question Time off last night…before I threw something at the Television, Lord Ashdown was awful…unfortunately both Dr Liam Fox & Kate Hoey were pretty limp 🙁

      It was interesting when asked if the audience were will to gamble the UK’s future on Brexit it seemed like most were 🙂

      Worth having a look here at about 15:40 into the programme:

    • miami.mode
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      JB. Leanne Wood seemed a bit ineffective on Question Time so it was almost comical how Lord Ashdown (another Jeremy) was virtually wringing his hands in despair that the argument was not going his way.

      As you say, a severe cock-up by BBC based on their normal approach, and it’s sometimes noticeable how chairman Dimbleby has trouble finding members of the audience who are full of praise for the EU.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        I loved the programme last night. Support for Brexit seemed pretty strong to me.

  29. NickW
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    It is important for the Leave campaign to get across to the electorate that all those forecasts of doom and gloom have been written with the primary purpose of manipulating the electorate into voting to remain, they are not accurate, impartial and honest appraisals of the consequences of Brexit.

    To help do that, here is a report, written by the French bank Natixis, before the propaganda campaign began.

    Flash Economics, Economic Research, Nov 18th, 2015, No 887

    It won’t work as a link, but copy and paste works.

    The title is, “Would a brexit be a non-event”

    Here is the conclusion;

    “Conclusion: From the point of view of the economy, would a “Brexit” have visible effects?
    We have shown that:
    – The United Kingdom already has most of the degrees of economic policy freedom (exchange rates, interest rates, fiscal policy, taxation, social); this would not be changed by an exit from the EU;
    – In the event where the United Kingdom did not join the European Free Trade Association, even the introduction of customs tariffs would have only a limited impact on trade and real activity;
    – UK financial services may lose certain activities (investment banking) but gain others (hedge funds).
    We therefore see it as likely that a “Brexit” would have limited impacts on the UK euro-zone economies. But there would obviously be a negative impact on the European Union’s economic and diplomatic weight.”

    Thais is what the Banks actually think, rather than what they want us to believe they think.

    Media take note please.

    • NickW
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      The link is working, please can you remove the comment that it isn’t.


  30. Observer
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Obama failed in his wish to close Guantanamo and ending problems in the Middle & Far East. Perhaps we should advise him on gun control; Another policy on which he has failed.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Well I hardly think he could be blamed for failing in gun control. He has a majority of right wing nutters in the Congress against him to thank for that.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, this report has come my way:

    saying that the German people are rather going off the idea of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP.

    It may be recalled that back in June 2013 Cameron made a lot of fuss about the prospects for this EU-US trade deal, urging that we should not risk missing out on this cornucopia by leaving the EU. But this was totally misleading about the scale of the projected benefits, as I pointed out in a comment here:

    starting with:

    “I’m struck by the economic insignificance of the planned EU-US trade deal.”

    Then it worked out that the projected benefit to the UK economy would be a one-off boost of just 0.7% of GDP, and less than 1% for the collective GDP of all the EU member states; this new report says:

    “A study commissioned by the EU Commission (CEPR 2013) estimates an additional economic output of €119 billion for the European Union … ”

    but that would be a €119 billion added to €13070 billion, only 0.9%.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      The Daily Express also reported earlier this week that the Dutch Socialist party is organising a petition for TTIP to be put to a referendum of the Dutch people.Those pesky Dutch!

  32. ChrisS
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Obama is obviously no student of history.

    The EU had no role in establishing peace in Europe after WWll, it did not even exist. Peaceful coexistence in Europe was entirely due to the enlightened post-war actions of the USA and the UK. As a result, all of the former belligerent powers with one exception now have deep-rooted democratic governance. War between them is unthinkable.

    The exception, of course, is Russia and, it is NATO, led by the US and the UK and certainly not the EU that has restricted Russian ambitions in Europe and kept the peace. On the contrary, it was the EU that was largely responsible for giving Putin the excuse to annex Crimea.

    In its desire to take on more of the trappings of a Super State, Brussels decided to establish a diplomatic service, something it was ill-equipped to do. They should have left diplomacy to the very experienced Foreign Services of Britain and France.

    Instead of being an instrument for peace, the inept and inexperienced leadership of the ridiculously-named “EU Action Service” atempted to drag Ukraine into the EU sphere of influence. With his military bases in Crimea at stake, Putin was never going to sit by and watch that happen. The direct result was that these actions by the EU gave pro-Russian factions the excuse they needed to fermented violence. This led directly to Putin’s annexation of Crimea. As a result we now have a dangerously destabilised Ukraine on the border of the EU.

    Obama will not be judged by history as a great President. He has shown no International leadership and has sat on the sidelines while Syria has imploded and China has flexed its muscles in the South China Sea.

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    And that new report has taken me on to an English version of a 2014 report:

    “20 years of the European single market: growth effects of EU integration”

    according to which (for whatever reasons) some countries like Germany have benefited far more from the EU Single Market than some other countries like the UK.

    Indeed its Figure 3 has per capita GDP in the UK increasing by a measly €10 thanks to the Single Market, against €450 for Germany; although a table on its first page has the more moderate view that the supposedly all-important Single Market has added just 1.0% to per capita GDP in the UK, compared to 2.3% added to per capita GDP in Germany.

    So a rough summary of the data relating to the EU Single Market could be as follows:

    Benefits that were projected beforehand = 5% of GDP across the whole of the EU.
    Benefits that have been achieved in practice = 2% of GDP across the whole of the EU.
    Benefits that have been achieved for the UK = just 1% of GDP.

    Trend rate of UK economic growth, averaged back to 1956, = 2.5% a year.

    Therefore period needed for average natural growth of the UK economy to equal all the benefits of the supposedly all-important Single Market (without taking into account any of its additional costs) = just 5 months.

    Just 5 months; so without the Single Market the average person in the UK would have to wait until December to enjoy the level of prosperity they could have had back in July, if only we had been in the Single Market; and it’s for that pathetic mess of pottage that our politicians have been and still are willing to sell our birthright.

    • Know-dice
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      DC – Your task for today (if you wish to accept)…

      Can you find figures/graphs showing how much each EU country individually exports to the UK and their total exports, or how much UK exports are as a percentage of their total exports?

      And the other way around…UK exports to EU countries

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink

        The last part is the easier because it only involves official statistics from a source in one country, rather than a multiplicity of countries with which we trade, and here are the HMRC statistics for February 2016:

        The “Overseas Trade Statistics (Commentary)” digs down to the 10 top countries for our exports and imports, which between them account for two thirds of our trade.

        Unless we can find somebody who has already compiled the other data I’m afraid it will take too long to do it.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      If I have read this correctly the sum total of the benefit to us from the single market over 2o years is 1% on our GDP.

      The only comment to make on it is ‘ Is that it? ‘ is this really the sum total benefit of the single market, a policy our EU supporting politicians are using to make as a cornerstone of their argument to remain in the EU? If so then 2 years of not having to pay our EU payments having Brexited will make up for all the loss of not being in the Single market.

      If I am correct in my reading of it, then the Brexit side should be referring to this report at every opportunity.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:30 am | Permalink

        Yes, that really is it, or roughly it, and I’ve been saying something like this for many years ever since I saw something about it in Whitaker’s Almanack, in fact back in the day I even had a letter printed in the Times about it … and the same is true of TTIP, projected worth to the UK about 0.6% of GDP – it really wouldn’t matter very much if Obama’s successor did put us at the back of the queue, or the “line” as an American would normally say, we would just have to wait a bit longer before we squeezed out that extra quarter’s growth, in fact we’ve already been waiting for 11 quarters since Cameron first started making a great thing of it – and something similar holds for the predictions of what could be gained by completing the Single Market, and also for the costs of unwinding Schengen and reintroducing border controls.

        The only slight correction I would make to the above is to use the average growth rate for per capita GDP rather than for total GDP when making the comparison with the 1% which was for per capita. Correcting the 2.5% a year GDP growth for the 25% growth of the UK population since 1956 would make it an average of about 2.1% a year for per capita GDP, so that means it would be more like 6 months not 5 months.

    Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Mr Trump who will probably be US President in November is on video record as saying he believes the UK “will separate from the EU “…and “maybe it’s time… light of the craziness with migration…with people pouring in all over the place….I’m not endorsing it one way or the other…but that’s my opinion. ”

    • A different Simon
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Quote J.R. “Mr Obama is the creator of the conditions which have produced Mr Trump and Mr Sanders as serious contenders in the US Presidential race. ”

      Donald Trump is the best thing to happen to American politics in the last 30 years .

      Obama wasn’t the only one to create the conditions which have made Trump a serious contender . Every president since Reagan has done their part .

      Obama has his weaknesses ; a susceptibility to taking procedural short cuts and governing by decree .

      Everyone who meets Obama in person outside official business seems to like the guy and find him personable , for instance the late country music singer Merle Haggard .

      Whilst Obama’s presidency has been characterised by unfulfilled promise , any way you look at it , Hillary Clinton would be a downgrade on Obama .

      I’m looking forward to receiving a copy of Ambrose Evan’s Pritchard’s expose on the Clinton’s soon .

  35. Shieldsman
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Didn’t anyone read what Jean-Claude Juncker said in the European Parliament on Tuesday.
    “One of the reasons why EU citizens are stepping away from the European project is due to the fact that we are interfering in too many domains of their private lives and in too many domains where member states are better placed to take action.”

    “We were wrong to overregulate and interfere too much in the lives of our citizens,” he added, before pointing to the executive’s drive to cut red tape as evidence of efforts to improve the perception of the EU.

    He warned, “We will eventually end up with the ruins of this ideal; people who want more national things at the expense of European principles and they [the people] will find themselves defenceless and the European union will no longer be respected around the world.”

    Junker said, “Today we are facing very tough times. We have the global refugee crisis, we have attacks on our free societies, all of our institutions are under immense pressure today and sometimes are really pushed to their limits.”

    These are all the reasons we want out, they are not the concern of President Obama so why should we listen to his preaching. He acts like an old fashioned bible-puncher who is past his sell by date. I refuse to read his letter in the Telegraph, I am treating it with the contempt it deserves.

  36. Atlas
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink


    Another ‘Much ado about nothing’ – a bit like Junker.

    I just hope he will not try to lecture HM the Queen on political matters…

    • hefner
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      No need for it: HRH the Queen and other members of the Royal Family do not vote, thinking it would be unconstitutional.

    Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    When President Richard Nixon visited HM The Queen he presented Her with a signed photograph of himself. President Obama will be hard put to top that as a gift.

  38. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Obama is right that by being part of the EU we have been able to tackle climate change – by shutting down our steel industry with high energy prices. Also USA has free movement of workers with which other countries ? Oh … none. If it’s so good then why not ?

  39. Peter Parsons
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Why no mention of Congress or Senate in the original article? With Republican majorities in both houses, Obama has often been blocked from carrying out policies, e.g.Guantanamo:

    Obama’s policy failings can not be attributed solely to him, there are plenty of other culprits on the Republican side who have played a part as well.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      “Why no mention of Congress or Senate in the original article? With Republican majorities in both houses, Obama has often been blocked from carrying out policies, e.g.Guantanamo”
      I do not think it was so for his first term. At least from 2009-11. Maybe his poor performance (or voter distaste for his policy direction) put paid to the majorities?

  40. Tad Davison
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I have no love for Obama nor for the way the United States is run. It purports to be a liberal democracy, but scratch the surface, and it is nothing of the kind. The US system of government is skewed and favours big corporate interests via their system of lobbyists and pork barrel politics, yet the nation has third-world poverty in places. And some presidential candidates often quote the fact that some 46 million Americans are in receipt of food stamps, so when Obama said that ‘Change has come to America’, a lot of people will inevitably and rightly question that assertion as nothing has really changed at all during his presidency, apart from raising the debt ceiling.

    Contrary to the likes of Polly Toynbee who curiously described Obama as ‘great’, it is difficult to find any area where Obama has achieved anything worthwhile. Even the grounds for his receiving the Nobel Peace prize are questionable. So why should we in the UK trust the dubious advice of someone with Obama’s abysmal record?

    I suggest the United States aren’t really the friends the British would like to believe. They will always come across as being our closest ally when there is a mutual interest, but when we act unilaterally, as in Suez, they will employ any measure to put us back in our little box. I want this country to be great once again, and not a compliant little region of a country called Europe. Our right to self-determination is sacrosanct, despite what Cameron and Obama would otherwise wish.

    The United States is anything but free. I say to hell with the yanks, Obama included!

    Tad Davison


  41. Bob
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Mr Obama invoked the deaths of Americans in WWII to validate his opinions.

    – Does he know which country was responsible for those deaths?
    – Does he know that country dominates the EU?
    – Does he think that the men that perished would have agreed with him.
    Etc ed

  42. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Mr Obama perceives ‘Europe’ to be a natural nation with a demos, and therefore capable of becoming a Federal SuperState and likely to do so. He thinks that the UK wishing to be sovereign is roughly equivalent to Alabama wishing to be sovereign. It is a thoroughly ignorant misconception but many Americans, especially on the left, share it. Hilary Clinton is one of them – she famously moaned “When can I pick up the ‘phone and talk to a single person representing Europe’s foreign policy?”. It is a long time since a leading American stressed the rights of individual US States against the interests of the Federal government. Barry Goldwater was the last in 1964; he was rewarded by support from the KKK for his pains.

    Which brings me to Donald Trump. His bedrock of support is white blue collar workers who don’t like the consequences of globalisation. He has pledged to bring back the jobs to America, and the only way he can do that is by protectionism. His pledges to end Mexican and Islamic immigration also go down well. If he is elected, he will get a lot of resistance to his policies. Personally, I would like to see him elected, because it would be an interesting experiment, but America is not my country. Mr Obama should realise that interfering in the internal affairs of another country is a game that two can play at.

  43. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Obama is only following the US establishment view – ever since the Second world war ended the USA has been trying to use the UK as a buffer zone – he and his cronies have for years been applying pressure on the UK to join/stay with the EU for their own purposes.

    Who needs a friend like this that expects us to sacrifice our liberty so that we are between the USA and Russia. The idea being that our presence in the EU would make the EU more USA friendly, while helping to ensure that we would be attacked in the first instance should war ever break out with Russia.

    BTW – it’s not the case that a union between the USA, Canada and Mexico has not been considered, and I’m told the process – behind closed doors of course – is well advanced. The trigger point for more such unions would be the death of the UK as we were fully merged into the EU.

  44. Sue Doughty
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Independence Day. What was it the USA declared independence from? Oh yes, having any say in the running of Britain.
    It was America that insisted the Royal Navy chuck the pirates off the Falkland Islands and hold them so now how dare he side with Argentina on that issue?

  45. agricola
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    To quote Obama and inject some reality.

    ” As your friend, let me say that the EU makes Britain even greater.” No Barack, the EU dilutes the UK to one part in twenty-eight.
    “The UN and Nato, Bretton Woods, the Marshall Plan and the EU. Their efforts provide a foundation for democracy etc.” Yes Barack with the exception of the EU which is totally undemocratic. Someone needs to tell you how the EU operates.
    ” I understand that there is a spirited campaign under way here. My country is going through much the same.” No it is not, you are in the run up to a democratic election where neither side is advocating that the USA renounces its sovereignty to an outside power.
    ” The path you choose now will echo in the prospects of today’s generation of Americans as well.” This statement may be true, but as most Americans do not know what is happening in their neighbouring state, never mind the EU, please leave it to the good judgement of the UK electorate who on the whole do know.
    ” The EU has helped spread British values and practices- democracy etc.”……” The EU doesn’t moderate British influence- it magnifies it.” Sorry Barack, this is total fanciful rubbish.
    ” The USA sees how your powerful voice ensures that Europe takes a strong stance in the World, and keeps the EU open, outward looking etc.” Totally fanciful Barack, the EU is a very inward looking trading block, please investigate the CAP and then discuss it with your own farmers.
    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has hit the buffers of EU protectionism, which is why it has been so long in discussion. Swifter progress would be made if it was the USA and UK discussing a bi-lateral deal on trade.

    Barack, I do not wish to be rude to a guest who has come to honour our Queen, but as a representative of a friend of very long standing I do not think you fully appreciate what you are asking the British people to surrender in a continuing, in depth political relationship, with the EU as currently constituted. Were Mexico the EU, you would have an uphill task selling the surrendering of US sovereignty to them, even if Mexico was viewed through rose coloured spectacles.

    • bluedog
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the message was as this writer feared. The UK must be sacrificed as an independent entity in an attempt to protect the US interest in Europe as the EU spirals out of control. And if we are naughty and refuse, we will be sent to stand in the corner without our elevenses. We can trust the British people to give the appropriate gesture to this domineering bluster.

  46. stred
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    There is an interesting article in today’s Telegraph and a picture of the two ministers of truth, looking particularly grim.–wil-destroy-david-cameron-and-its-all-george/

  47. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Direct “back of queue” threat from Obama on trade. That’s it folks, Remain wins, a braver country than us will have to bring the EU down.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      That threat has a definite shelf life. About Jan 2017, I believe. In any event, trade is between companies and/or individuals, not tax-hungry Governments.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        You and I know that but it is irrelevant – lots of people (not me) in this country admire Obama and will vote accordingly. In fact his party in the shape of Hilary Clinton are being dragged towards a protectionist non-free-trade position by the success of Bernie Sanders who ascribes all sorts of ills to “trade agreements”.

    • Dennis
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

      ‘Back of queue’ – Obama had admitted that the US is inefficient and incompetent to do two things at the same time.

  48. Chris
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I prefer to listen to those with balanced expert knowledge on Brexit, and am not moved by Obama’s scare stories. See comments by leading German economist:

    “…Claims of impending economic doom if Britain votes to leave the European Union (EU) are exaggerated, a respected German economist has said.

    Martin Hüfner, a former Chief Economist at Germany’s second largest bank HVB, said that many who think Brexit would lead to a global economic catastrophe are underestimating the ability of markets to adapt to new circumstances.

    Writing on the German financial site Das Investment, Mr Hüfner said: “Of course there would be a variety of changes in Britain itself, in the EU and in countries with close ties to the United Kingdom. Britain and the EU would go their separate ways. This is a shame, in my view… but it is not a disaster.”

    A Brexit could even lead to a “Booming Britain” because Brussels bureaucracy will be eliminated, along with “protectionist and anti-competitive” legislation …”
    See Breitbart London.

  49. Margaret
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I have just listened to Mr Obama’s question time. I respect his views and like him , but I don’t agree with him. He is concerned with keeping a stronger frontier against the Soviet Union for the ongoing tepid war.

    Why should we be at the back of the queue ? that sounded like blackmail and angered me. He should not be in a position to dictate which businesses trade with us.

    We need to branch out and be bigger than we are at present and our 57 countries in the Common wealth are greater than the 27 Countries in the EU.

    In the Union our voice becomes dumbed down not greater. Pragmatically we would not be railing against the issues we are if our voice was strong.

    We are more concerned with the death of Victoria Wood who used gentle ethics in all her scripts rather than Prince who many enjoyed for his talent, but not for his sense of right and wrong.

  50. ChrisS
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    So Britain would be at the back of the queue for a trade deal with the USA would it, Mr Obama ?

    Someone from the BBC should have reminded him that he already has trade deals with 20 individual countries, every single one of them has a GDP a fraction of the size of ours :
    Costa Rica
    Dominican Republic
    El Salvador

    If we really rank below these countries, the “special relationship” is now totally dead.

    It almost makes you want Trump to win, doesn’t it ?

    Fortunately Obama will be out of office by the time we will be talking trade deals and anyway, we don’t have one now so what difference will it make ? None at all.

  51. Dennis
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Obama, as do others, say we are stronger/better/more secure etc., etc. in the EU but never say how this works and no media person, to my knowledge, has ever thought to ask them.

    Does anyone here know? Mr Redwood?

  52. oldtimer
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Mr Obama says that the UK will be at the back of the queue in getting a trade deal with the USA post Brexit. Two observations on that.

    Mr Obama will not be President if or when the UK votes for Brexit – nor for that matter will be Mr Cameron who says he will step down at or before the next GE. Others will have to deal with the future.

    The second is, so what? There would be plenty to keep the next UK government busy on the trade front post Brexit apart from negotiating a free trade deal with the USA. Nor am I convinced that would necessarily be the position of a future US government. The US-UK alliance has a number of aspects that some in the US consider more important than trade, such as security, intelligence sharing, joint military actions and support at the UN. Why would they want to compromise those arrangements if a free trade deal was important to a future UK government?

    • miami.mode
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      ot. Interesting little piece in one of the newspapers online which says that an American would generally say “end of the line” rather than “end of the queue” which would suggest that it was scripted by Downing St.

      Perhaps, however, the Americans thought that as we Brexiteers seem to be incapable of understanding what is best for us, that we would also be incapable of understanding Americanised English.

  53. Terry
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Now that Mr Cameron has PROTUS onboard and given that many British citizens will have been already swayed by the former’s great deal with the EU, perhaps our Prime Minister can answer a simple question.
    “In the event that the UK does decide to remain in the EU, what steps has he taken to ensure that in the event of a rejection or any delay in impletmentation his hard won Opt-Outs, the referendum result will be declared null and void?

    If it turns out the Commissioners and/or the EU Parliament do not accept the negotiated changes to EU policies and they reject the propsals, thousands of British citizens will have voted to remain, under false pretenses.
    Rather like the original referendum in 1975 when the public thought they were voting for the EEC and not the EU.
    It would be deja vu all over again with the British citizens beguiled and ignored. And that would never be good for our democracy.

  54. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just returned home to see Obama with an arrogant smirk on his face threatening us by saying that if we vote to leave the EU there is no chance of getting any trade deal any time soon. That we are to be treated as an insignificant nation which he will, in spite, ignore.

    I have become today as a result totally anti-American – I am not interested in the politeness as displayed by Mr Redwood, it comes over as weakness – and if people in the UK have any pride and self-respect they will vote to Leave the EU, and to hell with Obama and his threats. Are we to believe that America is a friend of this country, clearly it is not.

    He is talking like an enemy, and if Cameron supports and approves these sentiments he is a traitor and does not deserve to be our Prime Minister. Cameron as has said before must be removed.

  55. Rose
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    We haven’t forgotten how Mr Obama persecuted BP.

    • stred
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Rose. And he never talked about the US subcontractors that were doing the work when the blowout occurred.

  56. John Vincent
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, can you help with a point which is shrouded in darkness? This is about the Common Customs Tariff on all goods entering the EU. If we left the EU would we benefit at all from getting rid of this impediment to free trade with the rest of the world and cost on our industry? What sort of rate do we normally pay on this tariff? Who gets the revenue? And why is it never discussed?

    BTW why are our fish never mentioned – the exclusion zone Mr Heath secretly surrendered?

    Reply Getting control of our fish would be one of the big wins which is why the government and other pro EU forces never talk about it. There is need to impose the external tariff of the EU when we leave. They have already made clear they don’t want to impose it on us

  57. fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    As soon as I heard Obama say that Britain would have to go to the end of the queue for trade with the rest of the world my mind was made up (it already was). How dare anyone tell us that we are not important, cannot stand up for ourselves and have our own opinions and our own identity.

    Obama may have made a big mistake and I hope many others will feel the same as I do.

    • stred
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      We could perhaps have second thoughts about the order for 138 F35Cs, especially as the latest news is the radar and ejector seats don’t work and it is slower than the F16 and costs 3x as much.. Norway and Denmark have been looking elsewhere. The US navy has only ordered around twice this number. re wiki

  58. fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Watching the face of Cameron tonight when Obama was speaking I half expected Sandy Shaw to come out singing Puppet on a String. That’s what he is. How dare he stand there agreeing that we are nothing in the eyes of America while Obama puts down our country. I am sickened by it all.

  59. bluedog
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Patronising drivel, Dr JR. And that’s not a reflection on Boris Johnson’s reference to Obama’s Kenyan ancestry. This Obama visit has Cameron’s finger-prints all over it. We’ve already had a French minister threaten to flood the UK with African migrants if we leave the EU, now we have the US president threatening a quasi trade embargo if we leave the EU.

    If the next US president happens to be half-Scottish, we must hope that the outcome would be very different. Not long to go.

    There is a pattern, and on the occasion of each threat, Cameron is close at hand. If Cameron despises the UK to the extent that he is encouraging these threats, why on earth is he still masquerading as British PM? Surely the Conservative Party contains enough electable talent to find a replacement for Cameron? After all, there is no general election for over three years, so plenty of time for the new PM to get his/her feet under the table.

    Oh to have been a fly on the wall at the lunch with the Obamas at Buckingham Palace. One can imagine that the Duke of Edinburgh’s asides would not have disappointed if Obama had made the mistake of talking down to the Queen in the way he talked down to her subjects.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      `Queue`instead of `line` ?

      (…will go to the back of…)

    Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Mr Obama is obviously haggling for a better trade deal from the UK. Ok. We’ll raise it to twopence for his thoughts but that’s the final offer.

  61. Dennis
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    No trade deal for a long time? Does that mean there will be no trade at all until then? No I think that wont be the case but how much ongoing trade and would it be reduced or the same as now until then?

  62. petermartin2001
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    “Mr Obama is the creator of the conditions which have produced Mr Trump and Mr Sanders as serious contenders in the US Presidential race.”

    Is this really true? For his entire presidency, Barrack Obama has been grappling with the problems created by the 2008 GFC, which happened at the end of President Bush’s watch, and largely without the support he asked for from Congress.

    The “conditions” you are presumably referring to relate to a high degree of dissatisfaction in the American population. There is a widespread feeling that the economy no longer works in their interests. At one time an increase in GDP was reflected in the rise of wages and salaries.

    That stopped sometime in the 1980’s. Although I would argue that President Bush is much more to blame than President Obama, he is not entirely to blame. Both Democrat and Republican presidents have adopted the wrong policies over the years.

    Reply It has been Obama who has relaxed the Mexican border which Trump is angry about

    • petermartin2001
      Posted April 24, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      My reply

      Whatever we might think of US internal economic and other policies, I think we are in agreement, probably for not all the same reasons, that Obama should stay out of the EU issue. Until, maybe, the time the USA agrees to share sovereignty with Mexico, Canada and other neighbouring countries. We could start to take some advice then.

      Would the USA offer ‘ever closer union’ to Honduras and El Salvador? And what about Costa Rica as a suitable location for the ‘Parliament of the Americas’?

  63. David Edwards
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Just to be absolutely sure that you saw it, Obama said today at it his Q&A in response to a question about TTIP that the EU already has tremendous trade with the US, and for a fraction of a second he panicked (and you can see it on his face) because he realised that everything he said yesterday about trade deals was irrelevant. He then rowed backed very quickly realising his mistake, as you would, and spoke about the importance of light bulb fittings.

  64. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 24, 2016 at 1:17 am | Permalink


    “The US isn’t going to strike a trade deal with the UK any time soon.”

    Fine, and
    – The UK isn’t going to welcome a Democrat presidential candidate ANY TIME SOON
    – The UK isn’t going to renew sanctions against Russia ANY TIME SOON
    – The UK isn’t going to support any more US wars ANY TIME SOON
    – The UK isn’t going to elect another pro-European Tory Wet as PM ANY TIME SOON
    – The UK isn’t going to argue for TTIP ANY TIME SOON
    – The UK isn’t going to tolerate US interference in Northern Ireland ANY TIME SOON
    – The UK isn’t going to accept the myth that America won WW2 ANY TIME SOON

    Do you get my drift, Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton?

  65. Margaret
    Posted April 24, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    In response to stred. Nurses who trained as SRNS’ were more academic than the degree types now. I know: I have done both. What is more the State Registered Nurse is for Great Britain only and if we were to go to other Countries we would have to take their exams. We were clinically more focused . The State Enrolled Nurses and the Registered General Nurse were trained as Bed side Nurses involving intimate care. If you are going to disrespect the caring profession at least get your facts straight.
    Degrees are necessary to save lives , but should be differently structured.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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