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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - The "special relationship" Register and log in to post!
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Jonny_English
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#1 Posted on 25.4.05 0559.55
Reposted on: 25.4.12 0600.48
A little background. I don't know how much of a news story this is in the US, but we have a general election in the UK on May 5th. For the last few weeks, the respective party leaders have been interviewed by one of our leading political journalists on national television. This Friday was the turn of the Conservative leader, Michael Howard.

During the interview, it was put to him that should he be elected to serve as Prime Minister, GWB has made it clear that he is not welcome at the White House (supposedly due to his criticism of Tony Blair for the flawed[?] legal basis of the war in Iraq). For saying that we have enjoyed a "special relationship" with the US for many years, would there have been a reaction in America if Howard answered "screw 'em, we don't need America"? Could that be a potentially dangerous thing to say, seeing as W has in some cases adopted a "if you're not with us you're against us" stance? I'd be very interested to read your thoughts.
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Stilton
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#2 Posted on 25.4.05 0928.34
Reposted on: 25.4.12 0928.47
    Originally posted by Jonny_English
    ...saying that we have enjoyed a "special relationship" with the US for many years...


The UK can feel free to add itself to a very long list of sovereign countries upon which this honour has been bestowed by the US. It's really one of those "Ah shucks, I'll bet you say that to all the countries" scenarios. Canada gets it all the time. Mexico, too. Australia, anyone?

Now, Johnny, since GWB took office a few of our politicos, both back-benchers and high-ranking mucky-mucks alike, have made the mistake of saying what they really think about the current President and his administration (i.e. they no likey). From our experience, I think it's safe to assume that there would be a reaction if Howard were to say such a thing in public.
redsoxnation
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#3 Posted on 25.4.05 1031.50
Reposted on: 25.4.12 1031.57
First, the Conservatives should make inroads, but I doubt they get inside of 40 seats, let alone an outright majority. Bush would actually be better off with a Conservative outright victory occurring than a narrow Labour victory, as Blair probably doesn't survive as leader, and Labour might go to its Left, and I doubt Bush would like where that could lead.
Now, the 'Karl Rowe is an evil genius theory' dictates that Bush has been able to set up Blair and his Labour Government for failure to ensure the rebirth and return to power of the Conservative Party.
As for whether there would be a reaction within the general American populance: Laughing at the Royal Family is higher on the charts than Ask The Prime Minister, although Ask The Prime Minister is generally an amusing program. In other words, most wouldn't care.

(edited by redsoxnation on 25.4.05 1134)
ShotGunShep
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#4 Posted on 25.4.05 1458.31
Reposted on: 25.4.12 1459.01
The whole if you're not with us, you're against us idea applies to people who harbor terrorists.

I haven't watched Question Time or any other coverage of UK Parliament in a while(I really should, I do enjoy all the whooping and hollering), but I think that Howard would go after Terrorists in the UK(being NRA or Islamofacists).

The US is not "against" France or Germany even though they essentially gave us the middle finger. As much as many Europeans would like to cut us off, they realize that economically it is not a possibility.

Back to the point. It would create a backlash in the US. Americans have looked towards the UK leaders more fondly than any other country's.

I got a question for you? What happened to the William Hagues of Britain's political scene? The conservative party has seemed to go more anti-American with the leftist parties.
DrDirt
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#5 Posted on 25.4.05 1507.40
Reposted on: 25.4.12 1511.18
    Originally posted by ShotGunShep
    Back to the point. It would create a backlash in the US. Americans have looked towards the UK leaders more fondly than any other country's.


I really don't know if it would anymore for one simple reason. Americans are slowly becoming disillusioned with the Iraq situation. I am sure there would be some murmurs but with the economic situation and gas prices, many are more concerned with the nuts and bolts of their everyday lives.

I agree we look fondly on the UK and its government but primarily at the level of our government. I wonder how many average Americans could tell you who the PM is and from what party?
Eddie Famous
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#6 Posted on 25.4.05 1914.57
Reposted on: 25.4.12 1917.29
    Originally posted by ShotGunShep
    I got a question for you? What happened to the William Hagues of Britain's political scene? The conservative party has seemed to go more anti-American with the leftist parties.


It's probably the usual "they're for it so we're against it" crap that goes on in most political systems. If Blair was a conservative, the liberals would be even more anti-US and the conservatives would back the Iraq policy in spades.

    Originally posted by DrDirt
    I really don't know if it would anymore for one simple reason. Americans are slowly becoming disillusioned with the Iraq situation.


Kind of a silly reach here. Americans would become disillusioned with Tony Blair because he backs the US? Highly doubtful.

    Originally posted by DrDirt
    I agree we look fondly on the UK and its government but primarily at the level of our government. I wonder how many average Americans could tell you who the PM is and from what party?


I'll put good money on more people knowing that than the heads of state and/or parties (of the heads of state) of ANY OTHER COUNTRY NOT NAMED UNITED STATES, RUSSIA OR THE VATICAN.

Freeway
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#7 Posted on 25.4.05 1921.19
Reposted on: 25.4.12 1929.01
Canada relies on the US for something like 85% of our exports. We have to maintain good political relations with 'em.

I'm not sure how much the English economy is dependent on US imports/exports, so I can't say for sure if they have to pander to 'em to maintain good relations.

But we sure as hell do.
Mr. Boffo
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#8 Posted on 25.4.05 1940.55
Reposted on: 25.4.12 1940.56
    Originally posted by Eddie Famous
      Originally posted by DrDirt
      I agree we look fondly on the UK and its government but primarily at the level of our government. I wonder how many average Americans could tell you who the PM is and from what party?


    I'll put good money on more people knowing that than the heads of state and/or parties (of the heads of state) of ANY OTHER COUNTRY NOT NAMED UNITED STATES, RUSSIA OR THE VATICAN.



Man, you watch Jay Leno (not that I do anymore) on Monday's (the Jay-Walking Segment), I'm sure you'll see people who don't know those 3 either.
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