This week a statue of Ronald Reagan was unveiled near the US Embassy in London on American Independence Day, it was built to commemorate the man who supposedly "won" the Cold War without firing a shot (at least not at Russians). Apparently the Iron Curtain fell because Reagan stood up and asked Gorbachev to "tear down this wall", it had nothing to do with the internal situation of the Soviet Union. Though we know that the Berlin Wall fell because of people power, it had nothing to do with American foreign policy, the Soviet Union was a house of cards and it collapsed from within. The statue will stand beside Franklin D Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower, who look left-wing compared with the wasp-ish ferocity of Reaganomics. Supposedly the 10ft Reagan will remind us of the "power of freedom", which the Reaganites loved so much they supported Apartheid and Nikolae Ceaușescu right up until the bitter end. The irony being we have a statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square, Mandela was condemned as a "terrorist" by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.
I have written about the deification of Ronald Reagan in the past and now the time has come to remind people about the reality of Reaganism as the media fawn over him once more. We can read at Sky News about how Thatcher shared his "idealism and conviction". In the comments you'll notice references to a "golden era" heralded by the Reaganites, for which there is no substance. You have to notice that the praise of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan is always particularly shallow and characterised by vague language, preferably with the Union Jack and the Old Glory in the background to symbolise trans-Atlantic unity. Back in February, President Obama praised Reagan for the way he "restored" a sense of optimism in America and "transcended" politics. It seems as though people are a bit lost as to why there should be a statue to this man in London. The reasons range from a centenary (in which case it's only 5 months late) to Reagan accomplished "Peace through Strength" by killing thousands of Latin-Americans and propping vile despots all over the world.
Thatcher's words were read out by William Hague "'Ronald Reagan was a great president and a great man - a true leader for our times. He held clear principles and acted upon them with purpose. Through his strength and his conviction he brought millions of people to freedom as the Iron Curtain finally came down." The Reagan years were marked out by a slaughter of thousands of people in Latin America and the Middle East, whilst dictators oppressed millions more on his watch. The Iron Lady finished with this "It was a pleasure to be his colleague and his friend and I hope this statue will be a reminder to future generations of the debt we owe him." The only debt incurred by the Reagan era was in the form of a $3 trillion debt which turned the US from the biggest creditor to the largest debtor in the world. All of it was used to pay for enormous tax-cuts for the rich, unprecedented protectionist barriers to foreign competition and a bloated military budget. The fawning British press is a disgrace.
It is appropriate that this man joins other overrated and misguidedly praised politicians as John F Kennedy and Jan Smuts as immortalised statues. Though it is most unfortunate that we build statues of such people in juxtaposition to statues of great men like Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. It is more of a testament to the warped age in which we live, I suppose in twenty-odd years we'll be building statues of George Bush and hearing about how he fought so valiantly for freedom and democracy against Islamo-fascism. We find ourselves in Britain worried to death about the fucking Eurocrats in Brussels whilst Trident is a part of the US nuclear command system and we have been led into six "humanitarian interventions" in the last 20 years. Have we even made an independent foreign policy decision since Harold Wilson refused to send British troops to die in Vietnam? We are America's Trojan Mule in Europe, the British elite are aware that without the "special relationship" we have no role in world affairs.