England, an American colony?

I surely don’t mean to insult, or in any way annoy, our British friends. :slight_smile: And I know the US is a long way from colonising England. What kinda troubles me is Tony Blair’s apparent (to me) fawning over Bush. The way he supports US policy. We want England’s support, and Blair’s over here, sitting at the feet of George Bush. Why not the other way around?
I know, as much as I can from news coverage, that a lot of people in the UK don’t share their government’s enthusiam for current events.

Not a colony by any stretch of the imagination , but more of a federation of like minded states, membership paid up.


Churchill’s vision of the future, recognizing the growth into world power status of the U.S. effectively during his lifetime, was that of an “English Speaking Union” in which the British Empire, including “the self-governing dominions” (which would of course in his view follow the U.K’s lead), and the United States would exert a sort of joint hegemony towards the goals and ideals of the Atlantic Charter and the original United Nations (the WWII allies, not the organization as it’s evolved).

I think Tony Blair is trying to resurrect that vision, in a small way, to assert Britain as an equal-but-smaller partner in Bush’s effort to make the world safe for democracy, at least as he (Bush) envisions it.

The cynic in me thinks Blair wants Britain to be seen as the one country that can moderate the US’ actions – a bit like the small, puny kid, with a massive, slow brother. He doesn’t want to put all his eggs in the EU basket, so he’s playing up this role as the man who has Bush’s ear, a Grand Vizier in a grey suit. It looks like fawning because that’s one way you can approach someone bigger than you who really doesn’t need your help.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always sit well with the British population. In general I think there is majority support for the war – well, maybe not support, but majority apathy towards stating a strong opinion either way. Blair is gambling on the war being over before opinions shift. Should things go well, Britain gets a large share of rebuilding contracts and a louder voice on the international stage, backed in disagreements with the rest of the EU by an increased ability to call for US help and to rely on non-EU trade links.

Many people in the UK feel closer to the US than the EU (for example when a British person talks about Europe, they usually mean mainland Europe, not including the UK).

In fact there is a small but not insignificant group of people (mostly right-wing Conservatives)in the UK who want to leave the EU and join NAFTA.

Because, on principle , Blair believes the removal of Saddam is the correct thing to do – this fits with his pro-active actions in Kosovo and Sierre Leone, as well as the long-term involvement of UK forces in the no-fly policy. That doesn’t mean he shares the Bush agenda in any way, just the single objective of getting rid of Saddo
Because it sits well with (self-serving) UK long-term (strategic) foreign policy apropos the US. Purpose; to ensure the UK punches well above its weight on the international stage in general, and diplomatically in particular.
Because he believes there’s not a snow ball in hells chance any other US president during Saddam’s lifetime will have the balls / stupidity / whatever to actually do something about the threat he thinks Saddam *potentially * poses, directly (through acquiring gear) or indirectly (supplying terrorists).
Because people don’t understand how committed is Blair to his vision of – hold the soft-focus – a more inclusive, equal, democractic world where dictators face judgement in world courts, etc, etc, etc … the whole debt relief thing, Kyoto, the speeches about Africa … he does believe in all that stuff and, more importantly, believes he can do ‘good’

Fwiw, I suspect there’s a whole bunch of Muslim Kosovans who agree with him.

Finally, the “poodle” thing is getting pretty tired, IMHO. Whatever else Blair is, he’s damn bright, rational, principled – if it’s not harming to himself, and (to some extent) religious. People like that don’t – as he currently is - send men to their deaths on a daily basis simply because they’re “poodles”. One might not agree with his reasons and rationale, but they do belong to him, not the half-wit in the White House.

UK = England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

Britain = England, Scotland, Wales

Britain =! England =! UK

“UK” is the correct term for the government of which Blair is the PM.

I agree with Crusoe.
The UK has always been a bit reluctant to be on an equal footing with the rest of the EU, it still has “visions of grandeur”. It doesn’t want to give up its currency, and it’s still in loggerheads with Germany and France over “who actually runs the EU”.
I think that Blair is now looking at a way of getting Britain a bit higher up the “power ladder”, by playing America’s closest ally. I do believe that Blair genuinly thinks he’s got an influence with Bush (and maybe he has, who knows?). But he’s looking to the US, as Crusoe is saying, for future military help, backing when there’s disagreement, and to get a cut in trade links that are not open to EU members.
my two cents worth, anyway.

I should add that I don’t believe my view and the claim that Blair is acting on principles are mutually exclusive. He may very well be genuinely convinced of the rightness of the war, seeing himself as the man to influence Bush’s handling of the conflict to achieve his own aims. Regardless, though, I believe he is a clever man who is positioning the UK to take advantage of US gratitude for staying loyal.

We’ve had this debate before.

At that time I quoted from the Government fact book for about 1974 which stated clearly that ‘Britain’ was an acceptable abbreviation for The United Kingdom of Great BRITAIN and Northern Ireland’.

Thus differentiating Great Britain (ENG WAL SCO) from Britain=UK (ENG WAL SCO NI)

Oh yes. Sorry, I concur.

Anyway, it’s not just England.

Holy cow! This means England is going to revolt against our three branches, defeat us, and install a monarchy!!


It does feel like we are an American colony sometimes…

I would agree with most of the responces above though. The UK still wants to “punch above its weight” in international affairs, and this is one way they are trying to acheive that.

I personally also believe that Blair does believe in this war for moral reasons. However it does frustrate me though that we seem to get very little back for such unstinting loyalty to the US. Its as if Blair is afraid to push the US too much on any particular issue, because the Iraq war is a cause he believes in. If he wouldn’t have any qualms about privately threatening to withdraw UK support then i believe he could extract a lot more concessions out of the US.

I guess this is (Blairs’) morals getting in the way of fully taking advantage of the situation. Normally i’m all for morals over self interest, its just a shame i don’t totally agree with Blairs morals in this case!

Oh, knock it off.

I think it’s more the case that Blair doesn’t feel the UK can be seen to oppose Bush’s initiatives in this regard without damaging the “special relationship” that benefits the UK in various ways, and so it is left to him to try and make the US position as internationally palatable as possible (by means of the diplomacy that the US should have been doing itself, but never mind). I suspect Blair would much have preferred that the US had tried to maintain a more constructive relationship both with the UN and with other traditional allies in general.

I would first like to state that as an ardent right winger I have a lot of sympathy for Tony Blair, as he’s currently the nearest thing to a Thatcherite in British politics (only half joking there)

As such I do get amused at the media’s constant criticism of him. First he’s damned as a master of spin who never goes with his own beliefs. Then he’s damned as a presidential style leader who doesn’t listen to the people.

Now it appears that the game has spread worldwide, with world media damning him as a fawning puppet to the americans. Personally I find this almost laughably contradictory (if he was going to fawn to anyone it’d be to his electorate who he very nicely pissed off by ignoring the biggest demonstration the uK has ever seen) and far less likely than L_C’s hypthesis - that he’s actually doing what he believes in. Good luck to the poor sod.

I tend to agree with Crusoe on Blair’s motivation for allying himself so closely with Bush. I’d like to add, though, that I think part of the reason he doesn’t want to “put all his eggs in the EU basket” is because Euro-sceptism, even within his own party, is so much stronger than any anti-American sentiment within the UK. Sure, there’s a lot of anti-Americanism present in the UK (some of which I got the opportunity to experience first-hand), and many people are concerned about America being too strong a world power, but I think more people there have concerns about being a part of the European Union. Even though the majority of the Eurosceptics are Tories, I suppose it’s not in Blair’s best interest to alienate those voters who pulled for Thatcher/Major throughout the 80’s and early 90’s and now vote for him.

And, IMHO, what’s Blair got to gain by going against the US, really? He won’t gain any converts from the anti-American fringe, who already hate him for an array of other concerns. And he will likely lose a fair number of the small-“c” conservatives who vote for him now.