America has never got over her independence. Like a vexatious wife who has eloped with the game-keeper, she has spent the years since 1776 stalking the perimeters of the great estate, hoping against hope that she will be glimpsed or acknowledged; thrilling at the sight of the old house and the wizened matriarchs taking tea on the lawn, before retreating back into the arms of her sinewy lover and weeping (between damp kisses) over what she has left behind.
That is not to say that "America" has not tried to make her own way in the world of course. Indeed in her unique and often brash fashion she has done quite well. A little too tawdry on occasion and with an increasingly embarrassing attachment to lycra and "rock and roll" it must be said, but undoubtedly she has been an idiosyncratic member of the extended Anglo-Saxon family. And by and large The United Kingdom, who spawned and moulded her has been a benevolent patron.
That we have been so gracious and indulgent to "America" despite her petulance says a great deal more about the breeding of the United Kingdom than it does about the often rather coarse "United States." Inevitably there have been some contretemps along the way. One thinks of the unpleasantness of 1812 when the uppity colonials fell in with a bad crowd (The French) and took it upon themselves to be beastly in Canada. There was also the silly mid-century foot dragging over the Second World War, when they conducted themselves with all the tiresomeness of an ingénue, at a coming out ball, who can't decide with whom to dance.
Yet despite all our generosity and efforts to include her in things, whether they be wars or "international protocols", from the moment of our entry into the "Common Market" in 1973, America sought to replace us as the leader of the free world and in the process, it must be said, made a bit of a hash of it. British diplomacy in the Middle East, had long been conducted on established principles, by gentlemen in suits, quietly persuading chumps to hand over their oil. The Americans, by contrast, seemed to think from the off, that the best course of diplomacy was to gallop about the place in open necked "T shirts" hurling bombs at people and behaving like "Chuckle Norris".
It was quite clear, from early on, that the Americans were secretly delighted at us being subsumed into the failed "European Project." Like the camel in Aesop's fable, they slowly pushed themselves into the tent - and us out - and now they are settled they have no interest in letting us back in.
Having got his hands firmly on the jar of Turkish delights, the mendacious, Janus-faced "President" Obama has no intention of handing it back. Outside of the "EEC" Britain could flourish in much the same way that Iceland, Norway or Albania have and Obama and his administration seem hell bent on nipping that opportunity in the bud. This is the real purpose of his visit today.
The so called "special relationship" has worked for far too long in America's interests and it is obviously time to say enough is enough. The United States,quite rightly, fears a resurgent British Commonwealth and of course we must reassure them that they are quite welcome to rejoin. But like the errant wife and the gamekeeper, begging for a little mercy, we must do so on "our" terms - the first of which is to leave the European Economic Community.