Home National Politics President Obama Addresses British Parliament: “The Time for Our Leadership is Now””

President Obama Addresses British Parliament: “The Time for Our Leadership is Now””


A superb speech by a man known for giving brilliant, articulate and inspiring addresses. Here are a few short excerpts to give you a flavor. Truly outstanding, great job President Obama!

*”I am told that the last three speakers here have been the Pope, her Majesty the Queen, and Nelson Mandela, which is either a very high bar, or the beginning of a very funny joke.”

*I’ve come here today to reaffirm one of the oldest, one of the strongest, alliances the world has ever known. It’s long been said that the United States and the United Kingdom share a special relationship…”

*”Of course all relationships have their ups and downs. Admittedly, ours got off on the wrong foot, with a small scrape about tea and taxes. There may also have been hurt feelings when the White House was set on fire during the War of 1812. But fortunately, it’s been smooth sailing ever since.”

*”Our relationship is special because of values and beliefs that have united our peoples through the ages.”

*”Through the struggle of slaves and immigrants, women and ethnic minorities, former colonies and persecuted religions, we have learned better than most, that the longing for human freedom is not English or American or Western, it is universal and it beats in every heart.”

*”Perhaps that’s why there are few nations that stand firmer, speak louder, and fight harder to defend democratic values around the world than the United States and the United Kingdom. We are the allies who landed who landed at Omaha and Gold, to sacrifice side by side to free a continent from the march of tyranny and help prosperity flourish from the ruins of war.”

*”…today, the competition for the best jobs and industries favors countries that are free-thinking and forward-looking; countries with the most creative and innovative and entrepreneurial citizens.”

*”We’ve also been reminded in the last few years that markets can sometimes fail…in today’s economy, such threats of market failure can no longer be contained within the borders of any one country.  Market failures can go global, and go viral, and demand international responses.”

*”…even when the free market works as it should, both our countries recognize that no matter how responsibly we live in our lives, hard times or bad luck, a crippling illness or a layoff may strike any one of us.  And so part of our common tradition has expressed itself in a conviction that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security — health care if you get sick, unemployment insurance if you lose your job, a dignified retirement after a lifetime of hard work.  That commitment to our citizens has also been the reason for our leadership in the world.”

*”Unlike most countries in the world, we do not define citizenship based on race or ethnicity. Being American or British is not about belong to a certain group, it is about believing in a certain set of ideals: the rights of individuals, the rule of law…”

*”As two of the most powerful nations in the history of the world, we must always remember that the true source of our influence hasn’t just been the size of our economies, or the reach of our militaries, or the land that we claim, it has been the values that we must never waver in defending around the world.”

There's no paywall on Blue Virginia, and we definitely want to keep it that way! If you want to help support our work, you can donate here - thanks! Also, you can sign up for our weekly email list here.