Now Wikileaks Reveals Paranoia Over 'Special Relationship'
Mark Seddon is the former United Nations Correspondent and New York Bureau Chief for Al-Jazeera English TV. He reported from eighteen countries during that time, including North Korea, China, Haiti, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has interviewed, amongst others, Ban Ki-Moon, Lech Walesa, Tony Blair, Hans Blix, Michael Foot, Mia Farrow, and George Clooney. In a journalistic career spanning over twenty years, he has been Editor of Tribune and an elected member of the UK Labour Party's National Executive Committee. He has written for most British newspapers and many magazines, including The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Times, The Spectator, New Statesman, Private Eye, British Journalism Review and Country Life Magazine. For a number of years he was a Diarist at the London Evening Standard, and has also reported for, amongst others, the BBC and Sky TV. He lives in Buckingham, England.
According to the latest Wikileaks, British Conservative party politicians lined up before the general election last May to promise that they would run a "pro-American regime" and buy more arms from the US if they came to power this year.
The leaked Embassy dispatches also reveal – in what The Guardian newspaper says is “in humiliating detail” – how US diplomats in London were amused by what they call Britain's "paranoid" fears about the so-called special relationship.
One said the anxious British attitude "would often be humorous if it were not so corrosive" and that it was tempting to take advantage of this neurosis to "make London more willing to respond favourably when pressed for assistance".
Liam Fox, now the defence secretary, promised to buy American military equipment, while the current foreign secretary, William Hague, offered the ambassador a "pro-American" government. Hague also said the entire Conservative leadership was, like him, "staunchly Atlanticist" and "children of Thatcher".
A disturbing picture emerges of politicians such as Hague and Fox acting as supplicants – and proving their own point that some of their colleagues did not share their views because they didn’t see why Britain should act as some kind of glorified supplicant.
Perhaps the British politicians in question were so paranoid about the so called ‘Special Relationship’, because deep down they know that this is a British construct, which is never referred to in the United States. Perhaps if they knew the value of real relationships, they wouldn’t have been so desperate to impress.
Of course, wars of independence and British expeditionary raids (including one that famously burned down the White House) notwithstanding, Britain remain an important ally to the United States. Bonds of language and culture tie the countries together. But let’s be honest and grown up! Britain is part of the European Union, which is a much more important trading bloc than Britain on her own. China, Russia and the Middle East are far more important than Britain to America, and of course America also has an unhealthy ‘special relationship’ with Israel – more so than with Britain.
The sight of British politicians queuing up in order to ingratiate themselves rather pathetically is altogether nauseating. They invite ridicule rather than respect.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.
A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.