The UK-US “Special Relationship”

I might upset some people with my somewhat unpatriotic view of the Special Relationship that our Government says we have with America.

We seem to think that because Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, John Major and all who came before him, right back to Winston Churchill in 1946, have bleated on about it, that it actually means anything at all.

Lets face it. China and Israel both have a “special relationship” with the US in the same vein as ours, but for different public reasons. In actual fact, America and France have a special relationship but they don’t go on about it. France is America’s very first ally, when England was the enemy during the War of Independence. Germany has a special relationship for other reasons.

Essentially, America forges what it calls a special relationship with just about any country that can make it look bigger and better than it is without doing the hard work itself. Britain is known for its intelligence service, economic prowess and innovation. America wants in on the action because quite frankly, and as we’ve seen recently, they’re downright poor on all of these fronts.

OK, they invented the Internet – well, the ARPANet actually, the precursor to what the Internet is today. But it was a Brit, Sir Tim Berners-Lee who came up with the concept of the World Wide Web. That’s not to say some real innovation hasn’t come out of our good friends across the pond, but the big things have either been British and recognised, or from elsewhere and stolen. Yes, stolen. Alexander Graham Bell did not invent the telephone. He was the first to patent the idea, true, but there was plenty of prior art. Something the US Patent Office still hasn’t quite understood even to this day. The eletric lightbulb? A Brit named Humphrey Davy, not Thomas Edison… and so the list goes on.

On this basis, why is our Government so proud of having a Special Relationship with the USA? What benefit does it really bring to the table for us Brits? Not much really. Some dead soldiers, a war based on zero credible evidence, and McDonalds, which makes everyone fat.

So a request please of the media, and the Government of the UK: Please can you stop going on about this stupid Special Relationship. It is only harmful to us Brits, and only favours our chums a few thousand miles away. Oh, and if they ask you to go to war, it’s because they need a scape goat, not because they really want to give us credit for anything.

By Tomislav Simnett

Tom runs Initforthe, a software development consultancy in Manchester, UK. He's been programming for over 30 years. In his spare time, he enjoys motorbikes, skiing, cycling. He has a wife and two children, and he spends as much time not working with them, and trying to see life through the eyes of an eternally curious child.

One reply on “The UK-US “Special Relationship””

Britain needs to use sharp elbows in its dealings with Washington because is less sentimental about the historic links between Britain and the a former ambassador to the US has claimed.The warning from Sir David Manning who was Tony Blairs main adviser during the Iraq war before serving as ambassador to Washington was cited by a Commons select committee which called today for a reassessment of Britains special relationship with the US.Prime ministers of all hues from Harold Macmillan to Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair have fostered the idea that the two largest English-speaking countries enjoy a historic bond which elevates their relationship to a special level.But MPs on the cross-party foreign affairs select committee said this romantic vision had had its day. The use of the phrase the special relationship in its historical sense to describe the totality of the ever-evolving UK-US relationship is potentially misleading and we recommend that its use should be avoided the MPs concluded.

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