Friday, 27 July 2012


Before Mitt Romney came to "England" on his pre-election tour, he had already set the tone with this beauty of a quote about the United Kingdom:

“England [sic] is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy."
Well, it might be true, but it isn't really very delicate.
On the day he arrived in London, Romney was asked about his wife's horse, Rafalca, which is in competition in the dressage, and whether Britain looked ready to host the Olympics. 

"There are a few things that were disconcerting," Romney said of the event which has been 15 years in the planning and is expected to cost over £30bn.
"The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials – that obviously is not something which is encouraging."
That put a bit of a dampener on Romney's meeting with David Cameron on Thursday. "We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world," the prime minister said, pointedly. "Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere." (Romney ran the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake Ciy, Utah.)
Just for once, well done to Lord Snooty. Although strictly speaking no matter how much of a tosser the visitor is, a real diplomat should smile and be courteous. Snooty is not much of a diplomat though.
At a meeting with Ed Miliband Romney seemed to forget Ed's name. "Like you, Mr Leader, I look forward to our conversations this morning," Romney said. 
OK, Miliband isn't the most engaging of people, but once again, if you're able to be the president of the USA, you should be able to remember one simple name. Alright I know DubYa couldn't.
Then he met and talked with the head of MI6. OK, we now know it exists, but no one ever mentions it....except Rhomboid who said: "I appreciated the insights and perspectives of the leaders of the government here and the opposition here as well as the head of MI6".
Shhhhhhh, ya numpty.
Then a Romney adviser was quoted as saying the Republican contender would be better placed than Barack Obama to sustain the transatlantic relationship with the UK because of a shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage.
Racist and bigot are two words that come to mind, while I howl with laughter at the irony. I think the adviser might want to review that notion.
And describing his visit to meet the prime minister he said he had been "looking out through the backside of No 10 Downing Street"
What he does in his own time is his own business. This, however, is something we'd all rather not have known.
He was in England for a fund raising dinner being run by none other than the Barclays the Thieving Bastard Bank Unlimited. It appears, however, that interest in tickets for this event has been about as great as it was for the North Korea v Columbia Women's Football. The reputedly fabulously expensive tickets have been  discounted so much that even I could afford to go. (Barf.)
Mr Romney has been waiting a long time for his chance to be president. Perhaps he still isn't quite ready. I suggest a retreat to Utah and some serious hard work...2028 maybe?


  1. Great post Tris! Since in an election year, I generally do what I can to avoid Republicans and Republican politics, without your article I would have missed all this.

    I'm still laughing about "through the backside of No 10 Downing Street." Such a phrase is manifestly in the great tradition of the last presidential-level Republican, DubYa Bush. And as an American of course, he felt the need while in England, having said "No 10," to point out that of all the No 10's in England where he might have met the Prime Minister, he was referring to the one situated on "Downing Street."

    Since an American President is never addressed by name in conversation, but rather as "Mr. President," no doubt Romney was calling everyone in the British establishment "Mr." Very convenient of course since he likely didn't in fact have a clue about Ed Miliband's name. But you can bet money that he addressed Mr. Cameron as "Mr. Prime Minister," rather than "Prime Minister." Americans always do that.

    And Kudos to Mr. Cameron for responding to Romney's criticisms by suggesting that it's rather easier to deal with an Olympic venue that is situated in the middle of nowhere. This perfectly describes Salt Lake City, in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah at the foot of the Wasatch Range! Just the place the Mormons were looking for after being attacked, killed, and burned out of Illinois and Missouri. "This is the place," patriarch Brigham Young is supposed to have said. In the middle of nowhere indeed!

    Somewhat off topic....But a great Englishman named Alistair Cooke made his way to Utah in 1970 to film a documentary.

    If this opens in Scotland when you click the GO arrow, the first three minutes or so gives a flavor of the "middle of nowhere" place where Mr. Romney managed to organize a Winter Olympics.

  2. He's still probably make a better president than Obama, which sadly tells us a great deal about the intellectual disparity in USA politics at the moment.

  3. Morning Danny. Thanks.

    I know exactly what you mean. Normally elections here are carried over only a few weeks. A year of the official campaign would drive even political nerds like me absolutely insane.

    The independence campaign looks like being 2 years plus long... Can you imagine. probably only real hard liners will be listening at the moment. But we are all going to be fed up with it long long before it comes to the day.

    Mitt made a bit of an ass of himself over the backside comment, if you'll pardon the pun.

    Interesting story the Mormons. I have a friend in Australia who is a Mormon, and a nicer bloke you couldn't hope to meet, but some of them are pretty weird.

    I'm looking forward to the Alistair Cooke piece on Utah and SLC.

    As you know I have a great deal of respect for Mr Cooke, and I'm interested in how the "lesser" western states like Utah operate, so it will be a treat. It does work here, I checked it out.


  4. Hi QM. I guess that depends on your politics. I don't think anyone could say that Mr Obama has been a great president, although he inherited a complete wreck of an economy. Danny can talk expertly on his merits and demerits.

    Romney is a flip flopper with a pretty bad sense of what to say and when to say it.

    I think where Obama would keep America, and of course consequently "England" as they like to describe us, out of a war, Mr Romney would probably have us in one pretty soon, showing yet another nation that doesn't want to know, just how people should live in a civilised the USA.

    Much I think would depend on his VP, as Romney appears never to have made a decision and kept to it for more than a few weeks.

    If they chose a hard right wing religious nutter to ensure the vote from the south (unfortunately Romney worships the wrong Jesus for the Baptist nut jobs) it could be interesting.

    Remember according to Bush, God actually speaks to American Presidents...

    So, quite literally, god help us.

  5. He looks like another vacuous suit who can't string a sentence together.

    He'll be perfect for the job no doubt.

    Although I have next to no grounding for it, I think Obama is ok, insofar as he's not a total arsehole like his predecessor.

    I also like how he occasionally breaks into song and has a wee dance.

    Ok, he might be totally crap and the spawn of satan, but at least he's mildly charming with it.

    As for Mitt? The name says it all. Mitt. No, seriously, Mitt?

  6. Hey Tris! Great post,although I do have to disagree about Utah being in the "middle of nowhere"! My girlfriend lives in SLC and,consequently,I've spent a lot of time there! If you can ignore the constant presence of "The Church",which isn't easy,Utah and Salt Lake are actually really,really cool! I wouldn't read too much into a documentary that was made in 1970 either,things have moved on in Salt Lake a wee bit since then,yes,even with the LDS Church.It has to be said though that Romney is a complete fanny! Slainte! Iain

  7. Salt Lake City is indeed quite a cosmopolitan place these days. I think it's a beautiful city in a beautiful location. However it can certainly seem to be remote at the end of a long day's drive from the East across Wyoming to get to it. And I have no doubt that Cameron's comment was a reference to Romney's stint with the 2002 Winter Olympics. (After Romney's odd implied criticism of the London Olympics. Odd for a high profile political figure visiting the city.)

    The Alistair Cooke program, a part of a series, was made in the early 1970's. So it's dated in showing modern places. But his comments on Mormon history in Salt Lake City and Utah are still pertinent I think. Specifically, he touches on the church's authority in various aspects of life in the city and state, which may be as true today as then.

    The scene of the young Mormon missionaries leaving the Salt Lake airport is surely still played out today. At least I know that they show up at my door from time to time.....LOL.

  8. If you sent over to central casting to get someone to play a president, they would send you Mitt. With the stars and stripes behind him and the Marine Corps band playing "Hail to the Chief," Mitt is your man.

    But from a political perspective, he does indeed seem to be something of an empty suit. He's a conventional Republican from the Wall Street/Country Club branch of the party. But he's just not very good at politics. He doesn't even seem to like it very much. Going back to his race for the US Senate against Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts in 1994, he seems to have taken just about every side of every political issue, at one time or another. And as he just demonstrated in London, he has a way of saying precisely the wrong thing at the wrong time. Shades of George W. Bush, God help us!

  9. I think Obama's OK too, Pa. Of course he isn't the demi-god that America wanted, even needed, and he vacillated over the healthcare reforms and allowed them to be watered down and turned into something that will profit the insurance companies.

    Overall he's at heart a good man, unlike his predecessor who was dim and basically nuts ('Yo Blair...God spoke to me; he told me to bomb the life out of Iraq and kill them all"..."Yes Mr President sir, he told me the exact same thing, and that I was to do what you told me, kiss kiss"). nNt to mention Bush's VP who is evil and greed personified. Frankly for the sake of the world I always wished Darth Vader would have one final heart attack and die and take his evil plans with him.

    So yeah, Obama ain't perfect but he's a million per cent better than these two scum.

  10. Hey Iain... well, it was actually Camernob that said it, rather than me, and as we all know, he doesn't know his arse from his armpit!!! :)

    Yeah. Thanks for the up to date info on SLC. it's a place I'd love to go to. I'm fascinated by places that are, despite modernity, hugely tied to a church. Although I've not any time for the shenanigans of the RC church, I find the Vatican City State endlessly interesting. Likewise Tibet or Bhutan...

    Of course, I guess it is bound to have changed since the 70s, and what Cooke produced would have to be seen in the light that more than 30 years later, much will have changed.

    I'd love to visit one day...

    LOL and yeah, Romney is absolutely that... Slainte :)

  11. For sure Danny. There is a Mormon church not far from where I live and it own an apartment in the street where I live. Every so often a different couple of serious, well dressed young men arrive from the USA, and go out every day on a mission to convert the population to Jesus, or their version thereof.

    You can't park your car without them popping over to ask if you'd like to let Jesus into your life... when all you want to do is let your car into the small space.

    But they are so well mannered and so clean and smart that it really is hard to be rude.

    It is though harassment, because they really don't give up, no matter how many times you tell them no.

    I often wonder what kind of fuss there would be if Muslims were coming round the door pestering us to take Mohammed into our lives...

  12. LOL, Danny... you got it there. Mitt is central casting's perfect president.

    Tall, middle aged, not bad looking, distinguished, flecks of grey in the hair....

    And terribly rich!

    Talking of how rich he is....any luck on getting him to cough up details of his taxation?

  13. Nah Tris, no way on earth that Mitt is going to cough up those tax returns. You know the trouble he is having justifying his 15% tax on all those capital gains, compared with the much higher rates paid by people who actually have to work for a living. Well, the informed speculation is that the economic collapse in 2008 and 2009 likely allowed him to pay ZERO (or very nominal) tax in those years. And zero tax, however legal it is, would be a lot harder to explain to voters than the 15% stuff.

    As for Mormons, they are historically a thrifty and hard working people. They are also a text book example of a cult. A Vermont-born farm boy named Joseph Smith, Jr., as a teenager, began to see visions and receive messages from God. He became their prophet and the rest is Mormon history.

    There is nothing too weird for a Mormon to believe. Jesus appeared to the ancestors of the American Indians. They wear special spiritual underwear. And (at one time, before they were seeking statehood) they said it was OK to have a lot of wives. The guys liked that one a lot.

    All their weird cultist beliefs have one advantage today. When you ask a Mormon who is running for president of the United States anything at all about the details of his religious faith, he won't tell you. He proclaims that religion is a private matter and simply refuses to talk about it. This is actually a good thing, since most Republican politicians want to beat you over the head with their religion.

    And Mormons want it both ways about their "Christianity." They advertise themselves as being a Christian denomination, but then privately believe that they are the one and only true Church. And if you want to know what the nineteenth century Mormons were capable of in Utah in 1857, go to Wiki and read about the "Mountain Meadows massacre," one of the most chilling acts of barbarism in the history of the west. And once a single scapegoat was chosen and executed for the crime, old Brigham Young up in Salt Lake City claimed to have known nothing about it. If so, it was the only thing that ever went on in Utah that Brigham Young didn't know about.

    Of course the Mormons had been persecuted terribly themselves, and Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob in Illinois. Now one of them might be elected president. And I'm not so much concerned about his Mormonism as the fact that he's a Republican. Not just that, but one who is an empty suit who looks and acts and speaks a lot like DubYa.

  14. LOL. What a relief. At least we won't have to listen to him bang on about how god is telling him to do stuff.

    Clearly god doesn't tell him to pay his taxes... but then god doesn't seem to tell any of them to do that, which means that god must not want us to pay taxes.

    Well, that's cool, but maybe one of those people like Blair or Bush would be good enough to ask the lord in their next conversation with him, just how we are supposed to build roads and schools and stuff....?

    Maybe one of these days I will ask these guys that come to the door on a mission to make me a Mormon, just what it's all about...