Using the occasion of a visit to London, American film-maker Michael Moore chose to offend his hosts by labeling the UK a “toxic place” with nothing to offer the world.
The Oscar-winning documentary-maker was promoting his new film, ‘Where to Invade Next’, which sees him visiting European countries to claim their best features for his home nation. The UK does not feature in the film as it has nothing to offer against the likes of Italian holiday entitlement, Norwegian prisons and French school lunches. Michael Moore explained:
“It was a conscious and purposeful decision to not come to the UK. I mean this with respect, we didn’t feel like there was anything left to learn here. And that you had given up on yourselves.”
In particular, the Guardian reports, Mr. Moore cited Tony Blair’s support for allying Britain to the 2003 invasion of Iraq in the poisoning of the UK’s reputation, saying:
“You may be over Tony Blair. We’re not. We expected George W Bush to start that war. That wasn’t a surprise. But he was able to do it because you – the Brits, under Tony Blair – gave him back-up. You made it possible for him to say: ‘Hey, it’s not just me!’
“Honestly, if Blair hadn’t supported that war, I don’t know that [Bush] could have pulled it off. We’re not quite over the damage that this country has done to us and to the world by so-called liberals here voting and revoting for an individual who was anything but a liberal.
“This is a toxic place.”
Mr. Moore did suggest that the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader atoned for some of the country’s sins, claiming: “that’s getting back to what Labour stood for, its roots. I wish Tony Benn were still around to see this.”
Nevertheless he identified what he sees as a further blot on the UK’s record, namely people voting for “bonkers” Brexit in the upcoming referendum.
“Why would you do this? You saved Europe. Europe today is, in large part, because of you, the UK. Why would you want to leave?
“Because, see, what are the arguments I’ve had to listen to this morning already on the news? ‘It costs too much money…it’s 50 billion pounds a day…immigrants, immigrants, immigrants, immigrants…’
“Really? You know, that’s not who you are.”
Mr. Moore went on to draw comparisons between the EU referendum and November’s U.S. Presidential Election. He believes it likely that Brexiteers are similar to Donald Trump supporters, being more dedicated to their cause and therefore more likely to vote.
“I’m guessing the majority of Brits don’t want to leave the European Union,” he said. “But on election day who’s going to be out there? The haters.”