Although I only occasionally look in on the unsightly bear pit that is the Maily Telegraph blog room – the unintentional hilarity generated by so many self important gasbags is at times injurious to one’s health – I had not until last week picked up on the appalling prat that is Harry Mount.
Apparently, Mount has previously been a leader writer for the paper, which reinforces the thought that things have gone a long way downhill since the days when the Telegraph could be counted a paper of record. His post comparing the golfing appetites of US Presidents is jaw-dropping in its show of ignorance.
Barack Obama, Mount tells us, has played 66 rounds of golf since his inauguration just over two years ago. This is then contrasted with “Dubya” Bush apparently completing only 24 rounds in two full terms. Mount concludes that Obama “is by far the most golf-mad of all the Presidents in history”.
Er, hello? Harry isn’t looking very far back here, is he? A mere 66 rounds in two years would not have satisfied Dwight Eisenhower, who was notorious for delegating most day to day decisions to his vice-President (one Richard Nixon), and failing to keep his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, under control.
Adlai Stevenson, who challenged Eisenhower unsuccessfully for the Presidency twice, was right to make adverse comment on Ike’s tendency to be, as he put it, “absent and golfing”. That tendency enabled Dulles to veto the loan to Nasser’s Egypt for the high dam at Aswan: Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal to plug the funding gap.
Eisenhower was also “absent and golfing” when Fidel Castro arrived in the USA after ousting the Basista dictatorship in Cuba. So Castro met Tricky Dicky, who concluded that Fidel was a communist. Thus shunned by the USA, Castro was driven into the arms of the then USSR, and then became a communist. The USA has had a whole load of trouble with Cuba ever since.
Which concludes this brief history lesson, for Harry Mount and anyone else who thinks that Barack Obama is the keenest Presidential golfer ever.Harry, you’re a prat. Do some homework.