Us Brits used to enjoy the superiority we felt while watching American politics from afar.
The religious fundamentalism, the assertions of manifest destiny, the illicitly stained dresses of interns and mistresses, the militias in the woods shooting defenceless squirrels, the obscene level of corporate influence, the willing delusion to see America as a peaceful nation – all topped off with the American public falling for the promise of “change” every 4 years from whoever was next in line.
And then Britain elected Tony Blair and our superiority was replaced by a realisation that we had become what we had mocked. Ouch.
And so, when it was recently announced that Sarah Palin will speak at this years Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) convention in Las Vegas I choked on my wine-gums. What if the UK follows the WSWA example and asks Nick Griffin to become keynote speaker at this years London International Wine Fair?
In explaning his choice of Palin as the keynote, the WSWA president (Craig Wolf) said, “Governor Palin is a great supporter of America’s free enterprise system and understands that industries like the beverage alcohol industry play a key role in driving our national economy”.
The irony of this statement is not lost on the readers of Decanter Magazine with this particular contribution summing the situation up nicely,
“Anybody familiar with our 50 state tangle of restrictions on alcohol beverage sales knows that the system is hardly ‘free enterprise,’ and that in many cases the restrictions serve the wholesale tier of the industry quite handily. The WSWA has been very skillful at protecting its interests at both state and federal levels for years, and much of this effort has been devoted to measures that effectively block anything resembling free enterprise”
Although the content of Palin’s speech is not yet known, Mr Wolf gave us this frightening insight , ‘We expect she will share with the convention attendees her analysis of the current political environment and her vision for America’s future.’ Why is the WSWA providing a prospective presidential candidate a soapbox in this way? Has Mr Wolf succumbed to a schoolboy crush?
In the 1980’s p*ss poor drummer Phil Collins famously said that he would leave England if Labour came to power*.
If Palin wins the presidential race in 2013, I will leave the universe.
* n 2005 Mr Collins said he may return to Britain if the Tories regain power. Please remember this when you come to vote later this year.