President Obama’s “unplanned” visit to Stonehenge

Does the Telegraph really think that we’re all fools?

The US president shocked onlookers when he turned up unannounced at the monument in Wiltshire, squeezing in the visit after the final day of the alliance summit in south Wales.

Mr Obama, who asked helicopter pilot to make the unscheduled stop, told reporters that seeing Stonehenge had been on his “bucket list” of things to do before he died.

Being the good West Country Boy that I am I can tell you that this is entirely bullshit.

Really? We’re to believe he just told his pilot to drop in as he was passing?

The 500 police with dogs and guns, the 25 car motorcade plus the various unbadged large gentlemen just happened to be passing as well?

It’s bollocks.

33 comments on “President Obama’s “unplanned” visit to Stonehenge

  1. It is indeed bollocks. I live just up the road. It wasn’t just a helo passing by and a “set down there, my man!” (or whatever the Colonial equivalent is). It was 7 helicopters (well, 4 and 3 tiltrotors) into Boscombe Down then a 20+ vehicle motorcade to the stones – I kid you not. The airspace from Celtic Manor to Boscombe Down to Fairford (to catch Air Force 1 home) was closed via an edict published that morning, and hence obviously worked on prior to that. At least a couple of days notice to whoever did the detailed planning, perhaps – but I bet the idea had been gestating much longer.

  2. Further to what Rob says haven’t the fucking press got a duty to report shit like airspace being closed off and obvious prior preparations, rather than parrot the shit that politicians think makes them look edgy and spontaneous? What purpose does the press have these days, exactly?

  3. What purpose does the press have these days, exactly?

    They lost their job wrapping fish’n’chips, and have yet to find a new role.

  4. Tim Newman,

    “What purpose does the press have these days, exactly?”

    I don’t know. Mostly to keep pals of pals in jobs until the ship goes down.

    One problem I think is that no-one really needs them much now. Look at that family in Spain. They didn’t call a paper or a TV company to tell their story. They filmed it and stuck it on YouTube and it did the job. If say, a warehouse near me caught fire and the fire brigade arrived, would I call a journalist? Hell no. I’d be out there with my smarphone, stick it on YouTube and collect some ad revenue. By the time local news arrived, they’d have a 2nd rate story of a smoking shell of a building.

  5. Lucky the relevant Heritage managers were there.

    I have two reasons for loathing the Telegraph:

    1) The difference between what it is, and what it was
    2) My dear wife still insists on taking it, and having it delivered. The cost is horrific.

    (Btw, I remember when Stonehenge was entirely open, and I’m not that old).

  6. “the 25 car motorcade plus the various unbadged large gentlemen just happened to be passing as well?”

    Well, someone clearly has no idea how the Potus travels. Yes, they have to be. If the Prez decides to take a sudden detour to a random location fifty miles away, it is the Secret Service’s job to get there first and check it out – warning or not.

    That doesn’t mean this wasn’t pre-planned, but it’s entirely possible it was spontaneous even with the level of protection.

  7. Dave,
    Don’t be a dumbass.

    The simple fact of the who was there to greet him should alert you.

    It’s called bollocks.

  8. Jack>

    I didn’t read the story, because I really have no interest in it. I was just talking about the security. Having had some experience working with it, I can assure you that the level surrounding the Prez is so extremely over-specced that a sudden detour wouldn’t leave him with any less protection than normal. Ridiculous as it seems – as it is – they really do have a spare convoy if necessary, and that kind of thing.

  9. Mr Obama, who asked helicopter pilot to make the unscheduled stop, told reporters that seeing Stonehenge had been on his “bucket list” of things to do before he died.

    He should tell Malaysia Airlines about his bucket list, he might win flights or an iPad.

  10. You are all being far too cynical.

    As I write I hae a 21 vehicle motorcade in my garage ready to go, and 7 helicopters on the shed roof.

    Did they manage to sell POTUS a burial in the long barrow?

  11. You are all being far too cynical.

    As I write I have a 21 vehicle motorcade in my garage ready to go, and 7 helicopters on the shed roof.

    Did they manage to sell POTUS a burial in the long barrow?

  12. There was some high level shindig here a while back with lots of world leaders including Hu Jintao, Cameron, Merkel etc. – basically about 90% of the current crop of world bigwigs. Most of em came with a moderately-sized entourage, booked a few rooms in a hotel and had done with it. Obama turfed everybody out of a huge hotel (cancelling large numbers of people’s reservations) and shut down the largest shopping mall in the country on a Saturday (it was adjacent to the hotel). Roads were closed and flights in and out of the airport suspended while he was in the vicinity. It caused absolute fucking chaos. Mughal emperors didn’t move about with this level of ceremony and ostentation. It’s all so pointless anyway. History has shown that the US can afford to lose a President from time to time without any ill effects.

  13. BiCR>

    The experience I was referring to was in a similar situation, and I have to say, it’s a bit like an iceberg – for all that you saw, there was a hell of a lot more you didn’t.

    Perhaps a simple illustration of the scale of the whole thing is the presidential limo. We’ve all seen pics, it looks like a big car, but in fact it’s based on a heavy-duty commercial truck.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Kodiak

    And of course they have to take several of them everywhere the Pres goes. The whole thing’s turned up to at least thirteen or fourteen, not just eleven.

  14. When Killer Rabbit calls time on this guy, all the armoured limos, helos, and tiltrotors will be chaff in the wind.

  15. Dave: The whole thing’s turned up to at least thirteen or fourteen, not just eleven.

    Which is wasted really on an acoustic gig with broken strings and laryngitis.

  16. Yet another personality trait Obama shares with Richard Nixon: The pathological need to lie about everything. And like Nixon, Obama often lies when it is neither necessary nor convenient.

    And as an aside… Has anyone else noticed the more than passing resemblance between Obama and Karl Pilkington?

  17. All true. But when I lived in Wiltshire the local constabulary were very keen on descending on Stonehenge with guns dogs and helicopter at the merest sniff of a hippy. They really loved their helcopter.

  18. @Dearieme

    ‘I suppose we’re tending to the conclusion that POTUSs are extraordinarily cowardly.’

    I find it amazing really that more people in the States are not outraged at the fact that Obama would like people living in South Side Chicago to be unable to purchase firearms legally for the purposes of self-defence and yet everywhere he goes he is protected by blokes with firearms.

    The hypocrisy of these people is astonishing, mostly for its blatancy.

    Obama is a psychiatric case in my opinion.

  19. Guy Herbert:
    “All true. But when I lived in Wiltshire the local constabulary were very keen on descending on Stonehenge with guns dogs and helicopter at the merest sniff of a hippy. They really loved their helicopter.”

    Perhaps Obumbag can arrange for them to receive a complimentary armoured car as a souvenir of his spontaneous visit. His puke of a mate Holder has zillions to hand out to every one horse cop gang over the pond it seems.

  20. Lame would be one word to use – but the PR crew copy ‘n paste pawprints are all over this trash.

    Like no comments …. The DT is circling the plug’ole

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