I recall, shortly after I first got myself on-line, frequently seeing the phrase ‘ROFLMAO’ appear on various chat rooms and fora. I had not a clue what this term meant but, after a little judicious detective work, I discovered that is was an acronym for the phrase ‘Rolling On the Floor Laughing My Arse Off’.
Well, I was ROFLMAO when I read this:
TORY leader Michael Howard has been barred from the White House and told he will never meet President George Bush, it emerged last night.
The bombshell ban was slapped on Mr Howard after he called for Tony Blair to quit over the Iraq War….
What particularly upset the White House was Mr Howard’s comment: “If I were Prime Minister I would seriously be considering my position.”
They were also angered when the Tory leader accused the PM of “serious dereliction of duty”.
Mr Rove, who speaks with the President’s full authority, said: “You can forget about meeting the President full stop. Don’t bother coming, you are not meeting him….”
And it has deeply damaged the decades-long alliance between the Republicans and the Conservative Party.
Senior US Right-wingers blame Mr Howard for undermining the coalition in Iraq and say they are privately rooting for a Labour victory in the next election.
A Tory source said: “They see Tony Blair as a true ally against terror and the Tories as a bunch of w*****s.”
Wherever would they get that idea??!!
Although the cause of this spat is laid at the door of Mr Howard’s apparent equivocation over Iraq, I get the feeling that the real friction lies elsewhere. Strange as it may sound, I have been reading what sound like reasonably reliable reports in the UK press about squadrons of young British Conservative activists hot-footing it off to the USA to work in the Presidential election campaign…for the Democrats!.
In the interests of accuracy, I think it ought to be said that this is far more about the Tories trying to pull some sort of rug from under ‘Teflon Tony’ than establishing any sort of link with either the US Democrat Party or Mr Kerry. But in any event, it is still a deeply ill-judged political blunder. The article alludes to an ‘alliance’ between US Republicans and British Conservatives and while I think that ‘alliance’ is too strong a term, there certainly has been a traditional affinity between these two centre-right Anglo-Saxon political tribes.
That being the case, one wonders what these jet-setting young Tories were hoping to achieve by throwing their lot in with Mr Kerry? There is nothing to suggest that a President Kerry would somehow undermine Tony Blair. If the Tories cannot make a dent in him at home, then how are they going to land any meaningful punches on him via Washington? And if they imagine that they are going to be the subject of any outreach by either the US Democrats of the Guardian-reading classes at home then all I can say is that they are even stupider than they look (and they look fairly stupid).
In short, the British Tories have managed to alienate one of their few powerful friends for no gain whatsoever and, since I assume that the leadership either gave their blessing to these transatlantic jaunts or, at the very least, turned a blind eye, then it merely reinforces my view that the British Conservatve Party is in the hands of buffoons and political pygmies.
I understand that the streets of New York will be plagues this week by throngs of the Great American Unwashed wearing ‘George Bush=Hitler’ T-shirts. I do not imagine that any such items of radical apparel will be making an appearance at the next Tory Party convention. However, I do wonder if would get any sales with a ‘Michael Howard = Chief Wiggum’ version?