A former Labour spin doctor has claimed that Ed Miliband wasted his time meeting Barack Obama, and should have seen State Governors instead. Damian McBride, who worked in Downing Street under Prime Minister Gordon Brown, wrote in the Times that stage managed meetings with the President tell Britain nothing about “real America”.
McBride worked at Downing Street shortly before the ill-fated meeting between Gordon Brown and President Obama. A meeting that was cancelled five times and in the end too place in the kitchen of the United Nations building in New York. McBride claimed this latest visit left “nothing to chance” and warm words about a “constructive dialogue” between Miliband and Obama will have been agreed in advance. Rendering the whole thing a meaningless publicity stunt.
He said: “The reality is that every presidential summit, visit, brush-by, drop-in, and walk-and-talk is nowadays so stage-managed that only someone as afflicted by bad luck as Gordon Brown could ever come a cropper.
“Provided Obama turns up and the White House doesn’t serve bacon sandwiches, today’s meeting will be the diplomatic equivalent of the speaking clock. So what is the point?”
He continued: “It’s a waste of everyone’s time, not least Mr Obama’s. More damagingly, every time a British party leader or prime minister goes through this charade, it just reinforces America’s superiority complex and shrinks our junior-partner status ever further.”
The former spin doctor then claimed that three years ago when the whole thing was first proposed he suggested meeting state governors instead. McBride said this help him understand “what makes the real America tick” and he’d find out that the country is much less interested in “interventionist foreign” than in the Obama White House.
Whilst McBridge left office in disgrace, having plotted to smear senior Conservatives despite having a government job, he is still a respected figure in the Labour Party. His words are likely to be echoed across a party nervous about how Miliband seems to lunge from one bungled photo call to another.