Lame-duck leaders in the US, UK and France? – John Gelmini

Barack Obama, President, talked with David Cam...

Barack Obama, President, talked with David Cameron, Prime Minister, and Angela Merkel, Chancellor, at the 36th G8 summit in Muskoka District Municipality, Ontario Province on June 25, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

François Hollande

François Hollande (Photo credit: photogreuhphies)

Dr Alf’s question is a difficult one to answer but based on the time that they have left in office and their legacies, David Cameron has just 19 months left in office, and Barack Obama has just over 2 years. For convenience let me restate the open question:

Who is the biggest lame-duck leader out of David Cameron, Barack Obama and Francois Hollande?

Barack Obama was put into the Presidency to enact certain draconian laws, increase the surveillance powers of the American State and foment a Middle East War, in my view.

On all objective measures, he (Obama) has only completed half of this agenda, and has been forced to backtrack on Syria, whilst leaving America in a position where his attempts to make headway on gun control and the green agenda have been blocked by powerful interests within the country and by a public who are only too aware of what he is being told to do.

The American military themselves, whilst willing to defend the country and America’s rightful interests are no longer prepared to waste blood and treasure on Presidential whim, so President Obama and his mentors overseas have been checkmated.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I put him as an 8 in the lame duck stakes because after November 2016 he can never serve as President again.

David Cameron is already in the lame duck state but could in theory come back again in another Coalition but in reality has already been earmarked for a big job at the UN even though on every occasion he has had a confrontation or been faced with one he has “bottled it”(cut and run).

Time is not on Cameron’s  side in his present role, whilst Boris Johnson, now practicing his newly learnt Mandarin to leapfrog over all his potential rivals is lined up to take his job.

I would put David Cameron at about a 9 in the uselessness stakes, and as a joint lame duck with President Obama.

That leaves the invisible man, Socialist, President Hollande, who is this weekend struggling with civil unrest in France and a strong rise in the popularity of the extreme right.

He (Hollande) is as useless as the other two leaders but is not yet a lame duck because he has the military forces to be able to assist the Americans, whereas the UK with all the current and impending cuts, lack of aircraft carriers and new recruits no longer does.

Economically France, under Hollande, is avoiding proper reform in favor of Socialist dogma, so to my mind, he has some power but is not yet a lame duck just a fairly useless leader controlled by others.

John Gelmini

 

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David Cameron and Sun Tzu’s Art of War – John Gelmini

Barack Obama, President, talked with David Cam...

Barack Obama, President, talked with David Cameron, Prime Minister, and Angela Merkel, Chancellor, at the 36th G8 summit in Muskoka District Municipality, Ontario Province on June 25, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would like to thank Dr Alf for reblogging the Telegraph article entitled “Francois Hollande: France will not help David Cameron with EU reforms”.  In answer to Dr Alf’s question, I think that we should be worried about David Cameron‘s poker playing skills as statesman. Let me try to share clarify my views.

David Cameron is good at making speeches and grandstanding but one only has to look at his negotiating skills to see that 90% of the time he loses and others ranging from the Chinese to Angela Merkel, run rings round him.

Tony Blair and Sir John Major, for all their faults, were much better at this sort of thing but I’m afraid that David Cameron is simply not in the same league when it comes to horsetrading and political skullduggery.

What Cameron does is make grand announcements about what the EU or whoever needs to be doing, tries to negotiate, comes away with nothing but a bloody nose and then makes another speech pretending that he has achieved something.

He tries to talk tough to experienced operators, like Vladimir Putin and Lavrov, when he lacks the military and other means to back up his rhetoric, and then wonders why they treat him with contempt as they have done on the matter of Syria where Assad looks more in power than ever.

The world is a tough and dangerous place, where one has to be prepared to back words with deeds, or as Sun Tzu would put it “know how to win without fighting”.

David Cameron does not know how to win or how to fight because his life has been one of inherited wealth, privilege and being given things on a plate.

He said that he wanted to be Prime Minister because he thought “I would be rather good at it”. Sadly, he is not in the same league as Margaret Thatcher, who knew how to negotiate or that great Edwardian gentleman, Harold MacMillan, who although he was a grandee, understood ordinary people through his experience of commanding them and fighting with them in World War 1.

People who you negotiate with look at who you are, where you have come from, and the strength of the hand you hold. They prepare, they look you in the eye, get your measure, and if they see you are unprepared and “winging it”, they will in the words of “the Donald”, “Eat your lunch” and regard you as the Chinese regard many Western leaders as “Children playing in a sandpit”.

They look at David Cameron, as I and others do, and sadly find him wanting.

I fear it may be too late for David Cameron to add Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” to his holiday reading list.

John Gelmini

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