Why Romney Insulted Cameron
July 26, 2012
Right now you're probably wondering: What possessed Mitt Romney to insult the Conservative Prime Minister of Britain--on a foreign trip meant to demonstrate Romney's supposedly superior ability to manage foreign affairs--by criticizing the U.K.'s handling of the Olympic games on the eve of their commencement? This blunder catches Romney in an exquisite trap of his own making. On the one hand, he seems to have genuinely angered David Cameron, a rare European ally in the lonely fight against European-style socialism.
Did you see Robert Blake on the “Piers Morgan Show” last week? You can catch up with it on the CNN website, even if it’s now become a series of bites or takes, with bleeps here and there. It was the movie of the week, where you couldn’t take your eyes off the screen and didn’t know what to believe. What more can you ask for? First, the contestants: Piers Morgan is 47, six-feet-one and barely shy of 200 pounds, I’d guess. He has a plush, self-satisfied poker face, not too far from David Cameron.
July 12, 2012
ASK WHO IS THE most charismatic Conservative in Britain right now, and the answer will come straight back: Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, once shadow minister for the arts, now mayor of London, columnist for The Daily Telegraph, comic turn-taker, and coquette. And soon to be leader of the Tory Party? Not according to him.
What ‘The Economist’ Gets Wrong About America
March 23, 2012
In this week's Economist, the Bagehot column (in the magazine's section on the U.K.) concerns itself with the improved relations between the basketball-watching pair, Barack Obama and David Cameron, raising the question whether British Conservatives are now closer to Washington's Democrats than its Republicans. It's all well and good until this bit at the close of the column: During his two days in Washington, Mr. Cameron did not meet any Republican presidential contenders.
How the IMF Got Its Keynesian Groove Back
December 02, 2011
In a speech before Parliament last month, British Prime Minister David Cameron posed a rhetorical question as he harangued the opposition Labour Party: “Is there a single other mainstream party anywhere in Europe who thinks the answer to the debt problem is more spending and more borrowing?” Cameron was meaning to taunt Europe’s Social Democratic parties, rubbing in the fact that they lack the power to implement the types of programs they’d prefer.
September 14, 2011
Mitt Romney has shed the dark blue suit, white shirt, and pale blue tie of his 2008 campaign for an open-neck tattersall shirt with its sleeves rolled up. His sideburns are graying, and his eyes are lined, but he still sports a boyish grin and radiates the can-do enthusiasm of a man who is promising to turn the country around the way he once turned around the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
Britain’s Embarrassing Collective Response to the London Riots
August 27, 2011
With the passing consolations of a royal wedding and a triumph at cricket, England endures a turbulent summer, as riots sweep through the cities, newspapers fulminate, and politicians pontificate. Yes, 1981 seems almost like yesterday—which makes it eerier that history should repeat itself just 30 years on. And repeat is the word. Four nights which saw a wave of looting and pillaging have been followed by two weeks in which the country has been swept by another wave, of blather and bluster driven by hot air. This tsunami of pontification has been as predictable as it was pointless.
It's the Austerity, Stupid
August 16, 2011
[Guest post by Simon van Zuylen-Wood] Yesterday David Cameron said that Britain was in the midst of a “slow-motion moral collapse,” while denying that his country’s austerity program was at fault for last week’s riots. Cameron is right that the early media hypothesis that the riots were in part anti-austerity protests, as in Greece, was largely incorrect. The London riots were not political in nature. No chanting youth, linked arms, or raised banners.
America’s Age of Austerity May Look a Lot Like London’s
August 16, 2011
The scenes of violence that emerged from London last week—the burning buildings and rampant looting, the police and firefighters under attack—were undeniably upsetting, but that’s not to say they were unfamiliar. The riots not only bore a strong resemblance to several recent instances of violent crime in the United States, they hearkened directly to the incendiary outbursts of racial violence that plagued this country from 1965 to 1968—from Watts in Los Angeles, to Detroit, to the H Street corridor in Washington D.C.
Amid the still-smoldering ashes of the past week’s riots, the British public is not only assessing the damage—it’s trying to figure out what sparked the conflagration in the first place. Where Prime Minister David Cameron has blamed a culture of entitlement and irresponsibility among British youth, the opposition Labour Party has targeted the government’s austerity measures, which have cut provisions for the poor. What everyone seems to agree upon is that police forces simply weren’t up to the job.