Cameron foot in mouthitis

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by shagnasty, Jul 22, 2010.

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  1. Cameron WWII 'junior partner' gaffe - Yahoo! News UK

    "I think it's important in life to speak as it is, and the fact is that we are a very effective partner of the US, but we are the junior partner," the PM told Sky News.

    "We were the junior partner in 1940 when we were fighting the Nazis."

    Downing Street on Thursday insisted Mr Cameron's comments were not intended to belittle the efforts of Britain's troops at a time when the UK and its empire stood alone against the Nazis.

    Shame that expensive Eton education didn't include any history lessons.
  2. I guess it depends whether he was talking about the first half of 1940 or the last half?
  3. 1941 was the year the USN outstripped the RN in terms of tonnage.....

    The US outproduced the entire global economy combined by 1944 (it was 67%+ of global manufacturing by 1945). We were 'officially' the Junior Partner after the breakout from Normandy when Churchill caught on.

    So he got the date of critical lend lease (which was equal to or greater than national production in several critical areas) wrong along with US entry.

    But fuckit, one mistake in a slick presentation plus a bit of a sign pointing out that WWII started long before Pearl Harbour is always useful with the Yanks.

    I presume you would prefer Gordon 'I saved the world' Brown, or the gaff per sentence Prezza over there?

    Pointless story.
  4. Well, I suppose in reality we already were technically the 'junior' in 1940.

    Churchill was doing everything in his power to get the Yanks on board as he knew our only hope of defeating Hitler was getting the Yanks in. Roosevelt was also doing everything he could to keep Britian in the fight until such time as he could get the US into the fight.

    The Destroyers for Bases Agreement of 1940 set in train the mechanisms that would lead to the dismantling of the British Empire post war.

    So yes, we were effectively playing second fiddle in 1940.
  5. The first or last half of 1940? What's the difference? The US didn't enter the war till the following December.
  6. In terms of actual fighting power in theatre the date is rather later, but as SF aptly points out in 'Total War' terms we were the junior partner from the Fall of France onwards.
  7. And who was the "senior partner" after the fall of France?

    France capitulated on 22nd June 1940
    The Germans invaded the USSR a full year later
    The USA did not enter the war for another 6 months after that.

  8. Follow the money dear boy, follow the money. We were utterly broke by the middle of 1940 and it was US money that kept us in the fight.
  9. I was focusing on the junior partner part, not the US part vis-à-vis the size of the French army compared with the size of the BEF in early 1940. Just me being obtuse. :)
  10. I think you might be mistaken there SF, Lend Lease did not begin until March 1941, prior to that the USA gave us nothing without cold hard cash (well, gold actually) or in some cases the transfer of British bases around the world to the USA.
    It was only once the treasury was emptied that the USA entered into Lend Lease and that was considerably after 1940 and the fall of France.
  11. Jag we still imported vast quantities of war specific material from the states in 1940 beyond our own productive capacity, namely machine tools.

    I am not saying that Cameron was correct in him saying 1940 but it could be said that the global balance of power shifted from the Anglo French pact (which on paper was really rather powerful) to the USA and in terms of dictating the direction of the conflict with Germany they became the major influence if not the senior power. If the US had chosen to take isolationism to its next logical step and stop the sale of goods to belligerent parties we are looking at the near total collapse of the British Empire by 1941.
  12. No problem! Anyway, CMD's blunder is minuscule in comparison to some of Cyclops' clangers (Obama Beach, the Battle of Allemagne etc.). As has been said, bit of a non-story.
  13. We did, but we bought and paid for it, in gold, right up until March 1941
    The USA intitiated Lend Lease in the full knowledge that they could shift the balance of world power by mortgaging Britain (for the following 60 years) for war materials. Lend Lease accounted for around 25% of British munitions etc, we would have survived without the USA and Lend Lease, we wouldn't have survived without the rest of the Empire. We may not havebeen in a position to mount an invasion of France in 1944 but we would still have won in North Africa
    I am not making a moral judgement on it, its just the way it was.
  14. "I think it's important in life to speak as it is, and the fact is that we are a very effective partner of the US, but we are the junior partner," the PM told Sky News.

    "We were the junior partner in 1940 when we were fighting the Nazis."


    Just how has he put his foot in his mouth in that factual statement. Unpalatable yes, untruthful? not in mho.