Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Random_Task, Nov 30, 2006.
The heart of the site is the forum area, including:
Britain's special relationship 'just a myth'
Daily Telegraph Link
Agreed. Nothing more to add at this stage.
I still think there is! I voted that way too!
Britain got fecked into going to war on a whimscal excuse that had nothing behind it other than the chorus of "God told me it's the right thing to do."
Of course it's a myth. The US Looks out for it's own intrests. That is what a govenment is paid for.
I think it's about time our Govenment Did the same.
The special relationship has always been "we give the US everything and tow the line or else they hang us out to dry". (in Churchills terms) This still applies therefore it exists. Gosh I wish we didn't let that original rucus slide. No offence meant
Typical post for you! WTF has this got to with a 'Special Relationshop' between our countries?
It depends what you mean by 'special relationship'.
People are usually light years ahead of their petty governments and visionless leaders and it cannot be said that the majority of the citizens of the USA voted for Bush any more than it is possible to say that the majority of British subjects voted for Blair. Both were elected by a small enfranchised minority. Neither leader has been given an overwhelming madate to speak for those they purport to represent!
If there is any special relationship at all than it is that which exists between citizens of the USA and subjects of the UK on an indvidual basis united by a common language rather than the one-sided relationship that exists governmetally on the part of those who purport to exercise a representative democratice mandate; who claim a legitimacy of a popular mandate they do not have.
The special relationship is not a legal concept, it does not exist as a tangible measure of international law, it exists in peoples hearts and their minds, and in the way they interract with each other. In other words, it exists outside and beyond the reach of amoral self-serving and sometimes corrupt politicians who claim to represent and who do not; who claim to lead, and do not and who claim dominion over the moral guidance system of an invidividual while offering nothing of lasting value to replace it with.
Regards and best wishes to all across the pond
Well stated Iolis! I think you have it, at leaast that is how I feel about it!
The notion of the 'special relationship' seems to owe a lot to Churchill. With an American mother, and a devotion to the concept of 'the English speaking people' as a cultural (almost spiritual) idea rather more simply linguistic Anglosphere, he arguably had his own 'special relationship' with the US.
It has been usual to see it as depending on the quality of the personal relationship between PM and President. You could further see it as historically contextualised by issue as well as by personality.
Churchill saw a historical affinity between the UK and US and was well aware that Britain needed US help to win WW2. He was also suspicious of Stalin while Roosevelt was suspicious of Churchill's imperial agenda. Churchill, for personal and political reasons, seems to have cooked up this idea of a special relationship to suit his needs and aims at the time.
Later you could argue that Maggie and Ronnie actually came closest to making it a reality rather than a piece of rhetoric or propoganda. Warm mutual regard, a similar domestic agenda and foreign policy stance led to, one could argue, a mutually beneficial relationship (US logistical aid for the Falklands War, Brits doing some of Ronnie's dirty work sans Congessional oversight in Afghanistan/Colombia/Cambodia etc).
With Tony and George there is clearly not much mutual regard ('Yo Blair'?). There doesn't seem much in common with their domestic agendas and, in foreign policy terms, how much can you hope for from a convinced unilateralist?
I think the special relationship was mythic at inception, is a myth now but has had some substance in times past and might conceivably have some again.
I believe the term 'special relationship' was coined in World War 2 to describe intelligence information sharing between Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the US.
It seems this limited definition was stretched in the years that followed to make us feel better, possibly as a palliative to disguise our steadily diminishing importance in the world. As time has worn on it appears that we have permitted ourselves to need the yanks more than they need us. Whatever one thinks of the French they have not allowed this to happen.
When all said and done the USA is a foreign power (not always benign), and one that systematically undermined UK foreign policy in the aftermath of WW2 (not just Suez). Let's not forget it was touch and go during 1982 whether or not the US NSA would provide sat photos of Argentine positions to the task force. Maggie T. pushed President Reagan to provide this information as it was not automatically forthcoming. How long did it take the Americans to clamp down on IRA fund-raising and weapon-purchases?
As a Vietnam-era Australian SAS soldier wrote (and I paraphrase) "I fought the Viet Cong because they were the declared enemy. I would have just as easily fought the Americans."
Healthy view that for a professional soldier.
A couple of interesting POVs on this subject.
Iolis couldn't have put it better.
Governmentally the special relationship is non existant today , ref: "Yo Blair" wtf, If Blair had said "Yo Monkey Face" he might have had my respect then.
Now The American people have been nothing but friendly toward me, My ACF ID card was accepted for free entry to museums, Galleries and other Discounts, Many US citizens will have British ancestry going back years, many would love to visit Britain, but cannot afford to do so, which is a shame.
perhaps some sort of English Language union to provide subsidised travel for the less well of to meet their Linguistic cousins would eb a good idea.
not forgetting our "Special Relationship" with Canadians, Australia, New Zealand, other colonies such as Gibraltar, Falkland Island and many other Colonies that wished to remain British.
we have had special relationship with them as tehy have helped us in WW1 WW2, much kudos to them.
The official relationship has a lot to do with whos in charge. Maggie and Ronnie had a very similar world view, so the countries mostly had a good relationship.
The current pair are a bit odd. Tony must want to act as a stabalising influence, but W is a bit of a loose cannon. There must be some friction, considering that following W's line has made Tony very unpopular over here.
more on this, the Title reads: Bush 'routinely ignoring Blair'
not very good reading
one of the text says this :
"It was a done deal from the beginning, it was a one-sided relationship that was entered into with open eyes... There was nothing, no payback, no sense of reciprocity."
the rest sounds pretty much spot on and this is by an American, who seemed to care for Britain.
Separate names with a comma.