In an unusual example of prescience - highly unusual on this blog! - I intimated a few days ago that the calibre of foreign service officers with the American State Department was beginning to make the members of our very own 'Ministry for Foreigners' look positively bright by comparison. I still remember the slight shock I felt when 'Hillbilly' was given the job of Secretary of State and upon arrival at the office she was met by a large crowd of cheering (so-called) public servants. Hang on a minute, I thought at the time, you are supposed to be politically-neutral civil servants not cheer leaders for the Democrat party. (Yes, yes, I know, how pathetic to still be a silly naive boy at the age of 73!)
Anyway, one of these third-raters, the US assistant secretary for European affairs Philip Gordon, opened his mouth and let his belly rumble, in public, by telling Britain it should remain in the EU. Now, the United States has every right to hold an opinion on foreign affairs which it is fully entitled to express in private but only in the most extreme of cases should it voice that opinion out loud. Whether or not this worthy did so on orders from his master in the White House I do not know, so perhaps the stricture contained in the title to this post is unwarranted. It could well be the case because I don't think President Obama has an opinion one way or the other about Britain and the EU except, possibly, that he prefers the latter to the former!
So what did Mr. Gordon think he would achieve by his public arm-twisting? Apart, that is, from stiffening the resolve of all those anti-EU Tories and placing Cameron in a position which will allow Mr. Farage of Ukip to call him an American puppet if he fails to come out of the EU. Needless to say, this country, like just about every other country in the world, possesses in its population a brooding body of anti-American opinion which is normally quiescent but can be quickly revived by the sort of crass interference perpetrated by the likes of Mr. Gordon. If my American readers are somewhat bemused by all of this (I doubt it because they are too bright) then they should ponder on what their re-action would be if Her Britannic Majesty's Ambassador to the USA was to advise the White House publicly on how to conduct its proposed gun law legislation, or, how it should behave in order to control its debt, or any number of other matters which are no damned business of the UK!