It occurred to me that the anti-American feelings of some Brits as perceived by a lot of Americans has subsided quite a bit over the last couple of years.
I think that we were being accused of hostility toward the USA because - since WW2 - we seemed to be compelled to jump over any cliff that Uncle Sam had jumped over before us, and in the spirit of 'not in my name', quite a few people were getting a bit fed up with getting into wars or conflicts just because of a political and economic pact made by Mr Churchill over 70 years ago.
The last cliff-edge at which we held hands with each other before jumping over was the banking and insurance one, so now we just can't afford to get involved with spreading the word of Freedom, even if we still wanted to.
The bad guys know this of course, which is why Syria is being ripped apart by factions of Al Quaida, and Nigerian gangsters calling themselves Muslims can set off bombs and carry off hundreds of schoolgirls without fear of reprisal.
We still help out a bit by sending drones and a handful of crack troops into and over the jungle, but it is all done in the spirit of Samaritanism rather than evangelism. Diplomacy still goes on in the places where the diplomats haven't either been expelled or run away, but it all runs on economics, rather than gunships.
At the same time as a pop-star actor got ostracised for quite legally salting away about £150,000, an American company - who swear they are not asset-strippers - made a hostile bid for our largest pharmaceutical company, and its board quite rightly turned down £55 per share, saying that the projected value would be more like £70. It takes 10 years of stringent testing before a drug can be put on the market here, so investment does not always produce overnight returns.
The reason this American company is so keen to sink billions of dollars into this drugs company is because that if they didn't put the money into a foreign or European business, they would be hit for billions of dollars more in taxes in their own country. Our drugs company is highly successful, having the biggest health-care system in the world as its main customer, so the American share-holders cannot lose either way.
If the sale went through, then a handful of people here - along with the government revenue office - would make a very quick buck indeed, so there is quite a lot of pressure to get the bidding going again, and get the board to agree to the final offer of £55 per share.
Assurances that job-losses would be kept to a 'minimum' should the sale go through are not taken very seriously. We saw what happened when an American company bought out our oldest and most successful chocolate manufacturing business - everyone lost their jobs after a 'necessary but regrettable' board decision to do with 'efficiency'.
It's all so short-term and greedy, and would actually be criminal if our government used the same criteria for global business as they do with an individual who is just trying to make sure he can go through old-age in the manner to which he has become accustomed by following the advice of his legal team.
There are gifted and dedicated pharmaceutical scientists who have been using charitable money to find new ways of combatting disease for years, and when it looks like they are getting close, the licences are bought by the private sector, just in case they have discovered something which actually works, so even more public money can be milked from countries all around the world by the sale to the hospitals whose duty of care to the sick means that they are compelled to buy the drugs.
We still have our good old Royal Family though. I see that Prince Charles is taking over from his father in the unfortunate comments business. Apparently he accused Putin of acting like Hitler the other day. The Ruskies won't be very happy about that, having suffered more casualties fighting Hitler than the rest of the Allies put together.
Good job it was a 'private comment'.
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