Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lincoln, not Churchill

It is certainly a new broom in Washington, determined to sweep away whatever is irrelevant, or unimportant, to his own fancy, inclination and substratum politics . The latest item to be cleared away by the new occupant in the Oval office was Winston Churchill.

According to The Telegraph:

A bust of the former prime minister once voted the greatest Briton in history, which was loaned to George W Bush from the Government's art collection after the September 11 attacks, has now been formally handed back.

The bronze by Sir Jacob Epstein... enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office during President Bush's tenure.

But when British officials offered to let Mr Obama to hang onto the bust for a further four years, the White House said: "Thanks, but no thanks."


American politicians have made quoting Churchill, whose mother was American, something of an art form, but not Mr Obama, who prefers to cite the words and works of his hero Abraham Lincoln. Indeed a bust of Mr Lincoln now sits in the Oval Office where Epstein's Churchill once ruled the roost.

Churchill has less happy connotations for Mr Obama than those American politicians who celebrate his wartime leadership. It was during Churchill's second premiership that Britain suppressed Kenya's Mau Mau rebellion. Among Kenyans allegedly tortured by the colonial regime included one Hussein Onyango Obama, the President's grandfather.

The rejection of the bust has left some British officials nervously reading the runes to see how much influence the UK can wield with the new regime in Washington.


At 4:03 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough, Abraham Lincoln brutally suppressed, mass murdered, and abused the civil rights of another people, the American South.

At 4:21 PM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Such an intelligent observation!

At 5:24 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone has their own hobby horses.


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