RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
"Special relationship" is one of those phrases, much like "nation-building," that slips easily off the tongue, carrying with it the illusion of meaning.
Blair's dog-like adherence to Bush was described as the "special relationship" for years. And what did Britain gain through that?
Well, first, we all know what Tony gained. He's still running around picking up sinecures from American companies and American-influenced organizations.
He'll certainly be able to keep the charming Cherie in earldom-sized mortgage payments, thousand-pound hair-dos, and consultants to prevent her looking and sounding like Liza Doolittle.
But Britain as a nation gained nothing, not even a serious place in the considerations of American foreign policy. Britain's views have not added a gnat's weight to the decision scales on any issue.
Actually, that understates the case because Britain actually lost a great deal: lost billions of pounds, many lives, and a good deal of respect in the world.
Britain's place is at the center of the EU, yet American policy deliberately but silently works against that. The use of the silly phrase is part of the effort, imparting a sense of place and importance in the American governance of empire to British politicians that simply do not exist.
Euro-Luddites in Britain always fear the loss of sovereignty in a stronger Europe without in the least reflecting on the ghastly losses of their recent situation.