A few days ago, Boris Johnson made some risible remarks in the Sun Newspaper about Obama getting rid of the bust of Sir Winston Churchill from the Oval Office.
“Something mysterious happened when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office in 2009.
Something vanished from that room, and no one could quite explain why.
It was a bust of Winston Churchill – the great British war time leader. It had sat there for almost ten years. But on day one of the Obama administration it was returned, without ceremony, to the British embassy in Washington.
No one was sure whether the President had himself been involved in the decision.
Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender.”
This seems like a very weak, shoehorned attempt to suggest that Obama is in some way anti-British, presumably in an effort to discredit his motives and his position about Britian staying in the EU. Otherwise why reference it? This is the opening paragraph of his article, so Boris has clearly deemed it an important point on which to hang the rest of the argument.
His manner of writing engenders a feeling of conspiracy: “Something mysterious happened when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office in 2009 …” “Something vanished from that room …” Boris does his best to keep the atmosphere of conspiracy alive, by writing: “No one was sure whether the President had himself been involved in the decision.
Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire …” Clearly this is just vague conjecture then, as Boris is tacitly admitting, only veiling it in the cloak of conspiracy and intrigue.
I’m sure many Sun readers will be sucked into Boris’s style of writing, and will already be horrified by Obama’s Anti-British audacity, to remove a bust of this “great British war time leader.” He clearly added that description of Churchill to stir up patriotic emotion within readers, unless he honestly thought that the people reading might not know who Churchill is.
Perhaps he was worried that some people might get confused and imagine that Obama removed a bust of the nodding dog from the insurance TV adverts. I suppose that would put a different spin on Obama’s decision. Boris wouldn’t want to discredit his entire article by having his readers completely miss the point and assume that Obama had spotted a bust of a dog from a British TV advert, and decided to remove it. Boris’s readers would be confused as to why Boris was making such a big thing of this. After all, it seems like a perfectly logical thing for Obama to do. I mean, this was a bust of a dog from an advert that wasn’t even on American television. Of all the iconic things that could possibly be hanging from the Ovel Office, surely a bust of a talking dog from a British TV advert was a highly odd and dubious choice.
Boris had said that it had been hanging there for almost ten years, since 1999. The Churchill dog only started appearing on British television in 2004, so there would have been five years when even British people visiting the Ovel Office wouldn’t recognise the bust. Perhaps the bust went largely ignored for the first five years. No one quite understood what the heck it was and why it was there, but it was harmless enough and so it was just left to hang. But then 2004 came and the TV adverts started appearing on British screens and every time someone from Britain entered the Ovel Office, they would mysteriously turn towards the dog and say “oh yes” in an odd voice, before laughing. Obama might have heard about this strange British quirk and the mysterious and parculiar affect that the dog bust had on British people.
He’d been told how Gordon Brown found it all highly amusing, sometimes spending minutes lost in his own world having a conversation with the dog, then replying to his questions in the dog’s voice. “Will I still be PM after the election?” “Oh yes,” “Should we keep spending?” “Oh yes.” Obama consequently had the dog bust removed both for his sanity and the sanity of Gordon Brown and all the other weird British people who took up hours of precious presidential time talking to the dog and saying “oh yes” and then laughing, rather than concentrating on the important reason for their visit.
Despite Boris’s best efforts to make his Sun article opener sound like an interesting, worthy conspiracy theory, all he really does is highlight how much of a none story this is: “No one was sure whether the President had himself been involved in the decision.” And surely that’s the point Boris; no one was sure. You’ve chosen to hang your argument on this weakest of threads, and you yourself have had to admit that the decision to remove the bust might not have had anything to do with Obama anyway. So you can dress it up as an interesting conspiracy theory if you want, but essentially it’s a none-story, which has subsequently been debunked as complete bollocks. Apparently the bust was removed before Obama entered office, although, in fairness to Boris, no one was sure that Obama didn’t employ a psychic to send telepathic messages to people in the white house to have the bust removed before he became president, in order to make it appear that the decision had nothing to do with him.
The fact that he also writes, “some people said …” is also very vague, and is extra indication that this theory of Boris’s is just that, a theory, a very weak conspiracy theory on which he pins his argument, clearly as a way to try and get the idea across that Obama is in some way anti-British.
Fortunately, the leave campaign has much more credible people behind it, and doesn’t solely consist of Boris Johnson and his peculiar fatuous conspiracy theories, otherwise they might be in trouble. The good news for the leave team is that they have Nigel farage onboard, who’s much more level headed and wouldn’t waste time concocting peculiar, spurious theories about Obama.
Nigel Farage was dismissive of Obama’s comments about Britain leaving the EU. Obama said that Britain could face being pushed to the back of the queue when it came to drawing up trade agreements with the US. But Nigel Farage wasn’t having any of it, accusing Obama of merely parroting the British PM. But as you’d expect, Farage wasn’t going to make such a statement glibly, he hadn’t merely jumped to this conclusion on next to no hard or real evidence. Obama might have got away with merely parroting the PM, were it not for Farage’s impressive intellect and powers of deduction. This is what he said to Sky news:
“”He said ‘We’d be at the back of the queue’. “Interesting, isn’t it? Americans don’t use the word ‘queue’. They use the word ‘line’ … So he’s clearly just parroting Cameron.”
Yes, very interesting Nigel. An observation that both shows off your amazing detective skills and also clearly showcases your abilities as a worthy contributor on Countdown’s Dictionary Corner. The Pro leave people were jubilant, ecstatic that Obama had been found out by Nigel’s incredible powers of deduction. If he’d have only said “line” then presumably Farage and the leave campaigners would have been more accepting of Obama’s words, but he said “queue,” didn’t he? He did, he said “queue,” and American’s don’t say “queue,” so he was obviously merely parroting the PM. In fact, no one was sure that David Cameron didn’t have Obama hypnotised to repeat that phrase whenever someone asked about how leaving the EU would affect Britain drawing up trade agreements with the US. No one was sure that that didn’t happen. If only they’d hypnotised him to say “line” instead of queue, then Cameron and the pro EU team would have gotten away with it, but they didn’t, did they? He was programmed to say “queue,” not “line,” and of course, Americans don’t say “queue,” they say “line,” don’t they? What a bunch of mind-manipulating idiots Cameron and the Pro EU brigade are. If only they’d said “queue” not “line,” then it would have all been fine.
Except … Americans do say queue. It’s in the American Dictionaries. I’ve checked. It took me less than two minutes to find the definition of queue in five different American dictionaries. You’d have thought maybe Farage could have spared a couple of minutes to do some cursory linguistic research before he presented his theory to the media. But in fairness to farage, it sounds like a really good theory, and it would be a shame to have it ruined just because it doesn’t happen to be factually accurate.
Granted, the word queue is less common in America than it is in England, but it’s not as if the word is never used and would be completely alien to Obama. Also, Obama does tend to travel quite a bit, and has been to Britain before, so it’s not unlikely that he’s picked up some of our lingo. After all, Farage is married to a German woman, who presumably speaks English, but I assume that Farage is happy to accept this and doesn’t accuse her of merely being his parrot? But I might be wrong. After all, no one is sure that Farage doesn’t force his wife to put on a costume made of feathers, flap her arms about, squawk and then repeat everything that Nigel says, only in the voice of a parrot. Some people say that he does this because he finds it sexually arousing. Some people say that he does this because he is an oddball with a weird power complex. No one is sure.