Britain’s PM wants Relationship with U.S. Re-Evaluated


Toronto Sun | May 16, 2010

PARIS - "Nations have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. Only permanent interests," Britain's Lord Palmerston famously said in the 19th century.

Contradicting Palmerston, Winston Churchill later proclaimed a "special relationship" between Britain and the United States, an undying bond of brotherhood, loyalty in war and friendship transcending politics.

This transatlantic myth has gripped both nations ever since. But Britain's new 43-year-old leader, Conservative David Cameron, has stated he wants U.S.-British relations re-evaluated and made more pragmatic.

In a sharply pointed reference to the era of Britain's former PM Tony Blair, the newly appointed Conservative foreign secretary, William Hague, called for Anglo-American relations that were "solid, not slavish."

Last month, a special multi-party parliamentary group suggested an end to the use of the term "special relationship" and a review of "unbalanced" (read: Onesided) U.S.-U.K. relations.

Britain's new deputy prime minister, Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg, said the time for "unthinking subservience to U.S. interests" was over. Clegg has long opposed Britain's involvement in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and Washington's one-sided Mideast policies. ...

Many Britons, including Conservatives, were appalled by Tony Blair's servility and sycophancy towards President Bush and his arrant lies. Proud Brits were rankled to hear Blair called "Bush's poodle," mocked as bootlickers by French and Germans and branded an American protectorate. Many Europeans shared DeGaulle's view of Britain as an American Trojan Horse whose mission was to sabotage European unity. ...

Britain remains an important mid-level power. According to geopolitician Zbig Brzezinski, Britain provides American power a stepping stone onto the European continent, as does Japan in Asia. ...

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