If the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney came
for diplomatic as well as fund-raising purposes, the Grand Old Party might just
as well have sent Sarah Palin.
Now, I no more care what Mitt thinks of Britain than I
like his particular brand of politics, so I can’t be bothered to take umbrage
at his disparaging remarks about this country’s supposed Olympic
preparations. But, dammit, if he finds a
way to win the election in November he’ll be turned loose on the Chinese, the
Iranians and the Russians, who might not shrug off such gaffes with the same
insouciance as the Brits.
The man is obviously a jerk.
Interviewed by NBC, the American television network,
he termed the recent kerfuffle over Olympic security as ‘disconcerting’, and a
threatened strike by airport immigration staff as “something which is not
encouraging”. Not content with those
less than ringing endorsements, he went on to say of the British public’s view
of the Games, “Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic movement? That’s something which we only find out once
the Games actually begin.”
All these remarks he made hours before scheduled
meetings with Prime Minister David Cameron, and other government figures, for
the purpose of establishing his credentials as a statesman.
Good start, Mitt.
He might be well advised to take a leaf out of David
Beckham’s book when it comes to courting Friends in High Places. DB may not represent one’s ideal of an
ambassador-at-large, but he sure knows how to get his phisog in the papers: since
yesterday he’s been photographed, in no particular order of seniority, with
Michelle Obama, Prince William, David Cameron and Mohammed Ali. He’ll probably be found later this evening chatting
with the Queen. I’ve no idea what he
talks to them about, but Our Dave seems to wave the metaphorical flag for Britain more
often, and more visibly, than anyone except HM herself.
Mitt, why don’t you have a quick word with David? You might pick up a few tips?