Joe Biden doesn’t hate Britain, he’s just not fawning over the special relationship

There is a certain neediness in some aspects of the British mentality that’s hard to explain.
US President Joe Biden has been accused of hating Britain.US President Joe Biden has been accused of hating Britain.
US President Joe Biden has been accused of hating Britain.

To be born in the United Kingdom is to win the lottery of life, to paraphrase a coloniser, or at least have better life chances than a lot of the world.Sure there’s growing abject poverty, the economy is shrinking, companies are shutting due to issues with trade but broadly, being born in these isles gives you a far easier ride than the likes of Yemen or Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, what it also creates, though thankfully only for a select few, is an innate neediness, an all consuming desire to have your country praised and loved all the time.

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There is a belief Britain is good, has always been good, and everyone should at all times say just how good it is.

Britain’s relationship with its history has always been to celebrate it selectively, praising Winston Churchill’s actions during the World War II, but dismissing talk of the Bengal Famine as wokery and anti-British.It’s the same in Britain's colonial past, with those having the temerity to think slave owners responsible for mass death and misery should not be glorified with statues criticised for not understanding historical context. This obviously ignores the fact the Anti-Slavery Society were arguing for an end to the practice in 1823, and slaves had always rebelled. It’s not a modern thing to know it’s wrong.

This attitude has also infected our politics, with Liz Truss incapable of answering if the French President Macron was “friend or foe” because patriotism also means hating other countries not aligned entirely with your interests.

It’s not as simple as just being patriotic and loving your country, it’s also needing everyone else to love and praise it all the time as well. It is here where the US President Joe Biden has got in trouble, having visited Ireland, the home of his ancestors, for a four-day tour.

This has prompted a bizarre backlash from those who feel he should have more for the special relationship, whether holding press conferences with Rishi Sunak or personally handing Paddington Bear the keys to the White House, which would at least save our government deporting him.

Deeply proud of his Irish roots, to the extent it's funny, Mr Biden’s ancestors fled the Great Famine for America in the 1850s. He talks of how Irish he is, is passionate about protecting the Good Friday Agreement because the personal is political, and quotes Seamus Heaney.

Now, having not held a press conference with the Prime Minister, the unionist former first minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster has claimed Mr Biden "hates the United Kingdom". This is not an isolated view on the right, with many questioning just how seriously the leader of the free world appreciates Britain.

There is no rational reason for this, beyond again, acting in his own country’s interests. Mr Biden has condemned Boris Johnson before, sure, but the former Prime Minister claimed Barack Obama disliked Britain because of his “part-Kenyan” ancestry so it was deserved.

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The President has been to Britain several times, praised the Windsor Framework, and just enjoyed a visit to the home of his ancestors. He doesn’t hate Britain, he just has other more important toys to play with.