The London Daily Telegraph is the highest selling daily newspaper in the UK. It is read by the upper echelons of British society including a good proportion of ex-high ranking army types. The paper is written for people with power, by people who were educated in the breeding schools of power.
Yet last week, on the morning after President Obama arrived in the UK for the G20 summit, it treated its readers to an inadvertent 1st April fool day joke of an editorial in the print edition of the paper. It was such a verbose lark, albeit a posh one.
It first of all, commented on the near contemptuous disdain that the President Obama exhibited for the British Minister upon the latter’s recent visit to Washington or to put it in posh-boy Telegraph speak, it was “...perfunctory, bordering on the dismissive.” A sort of post facto – “how dare that wog of a President of America treat Great Britain in this manner!” But why should the President of “Change” treat the man who bankrolled the British end of the illegal war on Iraq – a war Obama called “dumb” and “not based on reason” - as anything else?
The fact also that Obama, as a person, has every reason under the sun to despise the UK totally eludes the silver spoon fed, has-been imperialist, of the average Telegraph editorial writer. Putting aside that his own grandfather was tortured by the British in Kenya, the entire Kenyan population, not just the Mau Mau, brutally suffered at the hands of the British in the 1950’s, a period, incidentally, when the current Queen of England was in the early years of her reign. This brutality included the forcible relocation of over 1.5 million Kenyans into concentration camps and no one in the UK and I mean no one, had the morality to bat an eyelid. Professor John Newsinger, a British historian, refers to the British public and media’s response British barbarism in Kenya as “muted”.
According to the academic, Dr.Laleh Khalili, the methods used to crush the Mau Mau were first employed by Britain to crush the Palestinian uprising against the British mandate between 1936-1939.
Returning to the Telegraph editorial, it goes on to warn Obama, not to make the mistake of some past Presidents (without mentioning who), that is “to treat the United Kingdom as simply another EU country.” You see, the United Kingdom is a lot more than say France and Germany, countries which did not unsolicitidly join and provide, “coalition of the willing” legitimacy for the Bush regime in its illegal invasion and brutal destruction of Iraq.
Obviously, there will be an immediate reward for Obama’s correct behaviour this time round. The land that gave America, inter alia, Willie Lynch, will allow Obama to return to the UK, “...in the near future for a proper state visit to enjoy the pomp and circumstance...”
Maybe President Obama could agree to this pompously empty and superficial state visit on the condition that the British Government will provide a full hearing to the Kenya Human Rights Commission campaign to claim reparations for the surviving Mau Mau for atrocities committed against them by Her Majesty’s Government in the 1950’s.