A Painful Read: the Truth about the Special Relationship

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by skunk, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #1
    http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_m_z/matthew_norman/article2631308.ece
    Sad but true.
     
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #2
    Encouraging, at least, that the article mentions that 64% of Britons recognize that the UK's place is with Europe. Indeed, the only way that the UK will be a significant international player again is if they throw their hat in with the EU. The relationship with the US is pathetic indeed.
     
  3. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #3
    It's interesting to see a plea for realpolitik couched in such sour, nationalistic grumbling. Kind of takes most of the edge off, if you ask me. It's also interesting to read a history of the U.S.-British relationship during the Cold War period with nary a mention of the Cold War itself. Ah, to be blessed with such a short and selective memory.

    If in fact a solid majority of Britons are today so clearly Europe-leaning, then why has Britain so conspicuously avoided becoming a full participant in the EU? Blair's seduction by George W. is hardly an explanation, not that we're offered one. So much easier to complain about how the U.S. done Britain wrong.
     
  4. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #4
    Perhaps you'd like to fill in the blanks? What should we mention about the Cold War?

    In what way? Not being a member of the Eurozone? In every other way the UK is a full and leading member.
     
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #5
    Something. Anything at all? The complete absence of historical context is pretty appalling really, especially if the writer is going imply that the U.S. invaded Britain quite against its will. This may even be the popular view today, but was is then?

    Yes, monetary union. This would be one marker in the relationship between Europe and Britain, which would seem to be not quite so completely warm and fuzzy as the writer implies.
     
  6. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #6
    I disagree entirely with the invasion hypothesis, but the relationship has certainly been marked by a long series of dreadfully one-sided agreements.
     
  7. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #7
    Oh really?????
     
  8. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #8
    I don't think that's entirely true, although I don't remember all the specifics. How has the UK voted on issues like strengthening the EU politically (like putting more issues under the qualified majority voting instead of unanimity), or militarily.

    I think the UK has been more interested in the economic union type of EU rather than a united states of Europe type EU.
     
  9. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    Yah, rly. Care to show where it isn't so?
     
  10. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #10
    The UK has certainly not refused alone. And after all, it was France which scuppered the EU Constitution.
     
  11. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #11
    It takes two to make a one-sided relationship. The really odd implication is that Britain has somehow been suckered into a dysfunctional relationship with the U.S., and that all this wool-pulling has somehow survived decades and a succession governments of various political stripes on both sides of the Atlantic. That reasoning is very difficult to accept right on the face of it.

    The irony here is that the writer is advocating for a more realpolitik approach to British foreign policy, which is fine, but then he begs the question "where have British interests been all along?" If Britain's interests have so clearly lain closer to their historical (ahem) friends in Europe than with America, then why haven't British governments pursued this alliance with more vigor?

    It's all well and good to look at the state of U.S.-British relations in the wake of six disastrous years of Bushism, provided we're not peering down the wrong end of the telescope. Also over here we're having a hard time forgetting that Mr. Blair survived quite nicely as Bush's dupe, if that's what this analysis makes him. A great deal more is going on here than the writer allows, I think.
     
  12. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #12
    The Eurozone is the most obvious as you've mentioned. It made sense in a way as long as the UK was a net exporter of oil. Now that those days are over, there seems to be little excuse to not come on board.

    Tony's insistence on holding his European partners at arms length is pretty obvious. Unless I'm mistaken, his time at the helm was more about what was happening outside of the EU rather than what was taking place within.

    The dumping of a foreign language requirement is another obvious move away from Europe and towards an imaginary world where everyone speaks English.

    Lack of leadership in such areas as Turkey and the Balkans, much less his lack of interest eastern Europe.

    Shall I go on?

    Of course, I'm mostly bringing up things about Blair but Brown ahead and Maggie and Major in the past weren't very interested in their EU partners either.
     
  13. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #13
    I love the people of the Isles. I am not embarrassed to say, on the whole I would much rather be amongst their company.

    I have often wondered why GB continued to support our misguided foreign policy. Unlike most Americans, they are actually learned about world events. it is almost shameful how great the knowledge difference is. I did not know we were extorting them to support our policies. I am ashamed.
     
  14. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #14
    A great deal of the fault is with the self-delusion of our own leaders. Blair by all accounts was as gung-ho on his own account as Bush on the Iraq question: I think he misread PNAC as "Project for a New Anglo-Saxon Century".

    A lot of good would come of dropping the absurd pretence that the UK has an "independent" nuclear deterrent, when it is common knowledge that it is entirely unusable without American agreement.
     
  15. Queso macrumors G4

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    #15
    Common misconception about Maggie. Although she made great statements saying she was anti-European, she did sign the Maastricht Treaty and take the UK into the European Monetary Union (which Major later removed us from). When EU interests were at conflict with UK interests she made a huge noise about it, as did Mitterand in France, but in the main she took us further into the EU.

    Blair also was the main advocate for speeding the expansion of the EU eastwards, leading to the 12 new member states from the old Soviet bloc. I think what was feared there was economic meltdown leading to political unrest. Having EU membership means not only that the citizens of those countries can find work anywhere in the Union, but also that EU development money becomes available for them to build up their own economies.

    EDIT : Thinking about it it wasn't Maastricht she signed after all. What is the one I'm thinking of?
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #16
    There you have it, in a nutshell. Blair's position on Iraq was not the result of his being duped by the U.S., and U.S.-British relations during the Cold War was a rather complicated business.
     
  17. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #17
  18. Queso macrumors G4

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