Obama Leaves London. And Unpaid Tickets Behind

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Headed for the G8 summit in France, President Obama left Britain today on Air Force One. He left a pile of unpaid traffic tickets behind. London’s Mayor Boris “BoJo” Johnson announced that he will bill the U.S. government 10 pounds for each car in the presidential motorcade, including The Beast that either did or did not get stuck in Ireland. The money is for the London congestion charge, abbreviated to C-charge. “Our roads were not closed during the President’s visit so his motorcade will pay,” the Mayor told London’s Evening Standard. “The Beast will pay the charge, I’m delighted to say.”

While it looks like The Beast will be billed, payment is a completely different matter.

A number of embassies in the capital insist the congestion charge is a tax, and that they are immune. The U.S. embassy carries the highest balance, with well over 45,000 notices since the C-charge was introduced in 2003. London insists it’s not a tax, it’s a toll charge.

A spokesman for the Mayor later said: “They already owe £5.3 million so it is probable the bill for the motorcade will just go on top of that.”

Meanwhile, back at the Buckingham Palace, they still are not amused by Barack Obama raising his glass to the Queen during the rendition of “God save the Queen.” He looks at her, thinks “well, if you don’t drink, I won’t either” and puts down the bubbly.

Join the conversation
5 of 30 comments
  • AJ AJ on May 27, 2011

    All Obama has to do is to sell one of Michelle's dresses to pay the tickets. Very simple!

    • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on May 28, 2011

      Oh yeah, like that's going to happen! She not only wears the dresses in the family she wears the pants too.

  • AlexG55 AlexG55 on May 28, 2011

    If Boris really wants the US embassy to pay the C-Charge, the solution is simple. Stop enforcing parking regulations to the advantage of the Embassy. Start simple, like taking away/not enforcing the diplomatic parking spaces. If they still don't pay up, ramp up the inaction until people can park across the gates of the ambassador's residence and not get towed (and given that parking spaces in that part of London are like gold-dust, they will).

  • Obbop Obbop on May 28, 2011

    I have NEVER heard nor read of the Brits returning and repairing, repainting, etc. the USA White House after the rampaging Redcoats marched in and pillaged, plundered, trashed and set alight one of the USA's most venerable monuments during that fracas in 1812.

  • John Horner John Horner on May 29, 2011

    Did the Royal Family pay appropriate congestion fees for all of the vehicles used in the recent wedding of the Prince?