UK - US' poodle
The Guardian today: “Conservatives promised to run ‘pro-American’ regime”; they go on to describe the “humiliating detail” of what the Americans describe as the UK’s “paranoid fears” about the special relationship. Humiliating is right. The UK has lost its integrity and right to respect.
Personally I love America and the Americans: their openness, hospitality, humour, and there are no more loyal friends in the world. The Founding Fathers were the perhaps the most extraordinary collection of polymaths ever to have come together in one place, at one time on this planet. They were not perfect as individuals but they were incomparable together. Yet the American paradox is that, even as the Great Experiment got underway, their history suffered as many chapters of shame as those written by past great empires. It doesn’t get much worse than slavery and genocide.
But, back to the main point: For an intimate relationship to have value, at it’s core must lie mutual respect, and it must be an enduring respect. When Blair was advised to hang onto US coattails at all costs, what he and the FCO missed was that Bush was a blip – a huge and earth changing blip, but nevertheless a blip. Britain should have taken a short term hit to her relationship with the US in order to secure its long-term future. No one trusts or respects an ass-licker – and that is what we’ve become. The Yanks know that whatever they do or say, whatever they want of us, we’ll be there.
The UK needs to stand alone first and foremost, and then decide to whom she will ally herself as events unfold. A closeness to the US is always going to be on the cards because of our shared history and cultures but it should not be a given and it should not be taken for granted. Hugh Grant for PM, I say!
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