As the scandal surrounding the Clinton emails continues to grow, private criticism of British politicians by the Democratic Party establishment has been revealed. A close ideological ally of Hillary Clinton described Prime Minister David Cameron as snobbish, his deputy Nick Clegg as suffering from “inbred arrogance” and then Foreign Secretary William Hague as disingenuous.
In Britain the political impact of the Clinton emails may be muted, more a point of interest rather than a full blown scandal, however what they reveal about how the Democratic Party establishment views the Conservative Party is very telling.
Many Conservative Party supporters in the UK, both within and without Parliament, like to burnish their ‘moderate’ credentials by seeking to distinguish British Conservatives from American Republicans. This political form of ‘virtue signalling’ (a phenomenon described here by The Spectator) leads to senior Conservative Party members endorsing Democratic campaigns.
A great example of this was Daniel Hannan’s endorsement of Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign in 2008. In an extended metaphor where the MEP likened bullfighting to political campaigning, he wrote:
“…occasionally, a matador comes along with such perfect instincts, such natural grace, that he can turn an emergency into a moment of perfect liquid sculpture. Such a man will break the classical canons and still be cheered by the connoisseurs; but he may appear no more than once in a generation.
“Obama is such a man.”
To Hannan’s credit he did later recant, writing starkly “I was wrong…No one denies that Obama was dealt a rotten economic hand; but he has played it ineptly. His policies are serving to make his country poorer, less free and less respected. And that is a problem for all of us.”
The problem is that other Conservatives still believe their ideological partners in the United States are in the Democratic Party whereas the Clinton emails reveal they hold them in contempt, at least insofar as establishment Democrats are concerned. Clinton responded to the emails saying she had shared the memos with her husband, reports The Guardian, who thought them “brilliant” and adding: “Keep em coming.”
Sycophantic ‘Clintonistas’ in the Tory ranks, such as the senior MP Simon Burns who even sports a Clinton watch, should be asked what they think of their Democratic friends’ description of a “snobbish” David Cameron. A longterm ally and friend of the Clinton’s, Sidney Blumenthal, writing in his capacity as an unofficial adviser described the Deputy Prime Minister with reference to Cameron:
“Clegg had an “inbred arrogance (from no less a privileged background than Cameron, though seeming less snobbish because he went to Westminster instead of Eton).”
Even more importantly, leaving personal digs aside, Conservative Clintonistas should also be quizzed about actual policy differences. For example on the European question, writing to Clinton while she was American Secretary of State, Blumenthal described William Hague, then British Foreign Secretary as “deeply anti-European” warning “he will be disingenuous with you.”
The starkest differences arise in economic policy. Blumenthal told Clinton: “On economic policy, the UK is no partner and no bridge to Europe.” He added: “At no other time since World War II have the US and UK governments been at such odds over international economics. ”
He also predicted some form of economic Armageddon would follow Labour’s defeat in the 2010 general election, writing “Cameron must be let alone [sic] to receive the consequences (within 18 months) of his ideologically driven economics.” Blumenthal even shared an article from The Independent newspaper with Clinton which recounted favourably comments from economist Joseph Stiglitz predicting a “longer, slower and harder” British economic recovery than need be and a rise in VAT that “could even tip us into a double-dip recession.”
It is not known whether Hillary Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal now accept how wrong they were back in 2010. What is certain is that their mood on seeing David Cameron enter No.10 Downing Street as Prime Minister was rather worse than the mood the Clintonista cheerleaders in the Conservative Party will enjoy if she ever enters the White House as President.