Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The 'Special' Relationship

David Cameron travelled to Washington yesterday for his first official visit to the United States since becoming Prime Minister in May.

A strategy for what he calls a 'vital year' in Afghanistan is likely to be top of the agenda when he meets the US president today yet Cameron, in his remarks about the UK being the junior partner in the imaginery relationship, leaves him at a serious disadvantage. Since we are regularly preached to about equality in this country, why would a prime minister openly admit to being the submissive partner in any relationship?

The coalition government's handling of the Afghanistan war has been dreadful to date. First we were told that all troops would be home by the next election; then Liam Fox suggested they were there for the long haul of at least 10 to 20 years and the latest from the Prime Minister is that they will return by 2014.

Strategy? There is no strategy. Obama judges his allies by the extent of their commitment to his ever-changing plans for this war which he personally has intensified because he needs to show the Americans that withdrawal will start before the next US election.

Next on Obama's agenda will possibly be BP which is now being linked to the Megrahi's release. David Cameron has been most vocal in his opinion that the release was a big mistake yet he must be aware there is considerable doubt to Megrahi's guilt. Lallands Peat Worrier has an excellent post regarding one aspect of the Megrahi story while Lobbydog shows just how well Nigel Sheinwald, the British Ambassador in Washington, is fueling the flames of the situation. Calls have been made for an investigation and it's report US officials in Washington have confirmed that they want to ask past and present UK ministers to give evidence about their handling of the case - casting a shadow over former justice secretary Jack Straw and the Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill.

But Scotland's First Minister refuses to let any investigation stop with his Justice Minister. He's suggested that the US senators look elsewhere. "It is important to understand that what the American senators want to inquire about is whether there was a deal in the desert with Col Gaddafi," he stated. "The best way to answer that would be to call Mr Blair and ask him directly." Well done Alex Salmond.

The foreign relations committee will move quickly this week to identify witnesses to testify at hearings, set for 29 July, on BP's alleged involvement in the Megrahi case. It is not clear if any Britons asked to give evidence will oblige. The hearings are threatening to add serious new strains between the US and Britain but there is no sign that the Obama administration means to distance itself from the Senate's initiative.

In the past week not only has David Cameron treated Scotland like an ill-behaved child but decided he'll continue the fictitious believe that there is anything special about our relationship with the US. It's time he started to talk up Britain and put our interest first and last, but will he during this visit? My image is of a fawning British Prime Minister happy to take instructions from a US president who has lost the confidence of his people. Mr Cameron isn't doing too well in his choice of best friends.

If ever there was a moment for Britain to press the reset button, it is in its relationship with America. That should be David Cameron's paramount objective.

He will need to do so with a tough-minded realism, in which the national interest is not sacrificed to the sentimental rhetoric of the Special Relationship.

Tony Blair's approach to the U.S. must be buried once and for all.

source plus others


Weekend Yachtsman said...

"The best way to answer that would be to call Mr Blair and ask him directly."

Is it not the case that, at the time of the release, Wee Eck and his minders were 100% adamant that this release was entirely on compassionate grounds and nothing to do with the UK government, no sirree we're not being leaned on by anyone, etc etc?

But now somehow it's Tony Blair who should be asked?

Something doesn't add up, methinks.

subrosa said...

The release was in line with Scots law WYachtsman. What was going on regarding Blair and Gadaffi wasn't relevant. It is now because the US has introduced it.

Captain Ranty said...


I have a short video over at my place which explains why the relationship is so special.


Don't be shooting the messenger!


wisnaeme said...

I don't recall Mr Salmond being invited into that tent by Gadaffi.
In fact I don't recall Scotland's interests and concerns mentioned, far less discussed on that propaganda "photo shoot".

It was a Westmidden reserved matter was it not?
...and it was not for the likes of "regional" representation to interfere in Westmidden's UK remit in greater UK interests ...and their greater good, naturally.

So should questions of what, why, where,when and by whom involved or who witnessed that wee tent gathering of the elite be addressed to those involved? Including relevent questions on the discussions and negotiations leading up to that wee tent gathering. One would have thought so if logic were to be applied. Is that not so, Mandy of the dark side?

But why should logic, or truth for that matter get in the way of another Ethenpee witchhunt story by Pravda news squeek organs in collaboration with their master's voices.

Anyway, it's debatable whether citizen Bliar understands the meaning of truth or how to utter it.Such is his avoidance of being in the same room (tent) with it.
Perhaps some senior swivel serpent will care to enlighten us plebs sometime mibee in the future.

... but I wouldn't hold my breath while waiting, so I wouldn't.

William said...

Salmond et al were adamant that the release of the Lockerbie mass murderer was their decision and theirs alone.

They cannot now deflect and deny.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

The relevant question is not why Megrahi was released. But why four American Senators, who previously showed no interest, should bring it up now and added BP to the equation.

Four Senators who lobbied heavily on behalf of the banks for the $700 million bail out to get through Congress. Is their interest based on justice or a weakened BP being ripened up for a hostile takeover?

As for Cameron his PR credentials are surfacing. Gimmicks, low on substance and lacking purpose other than the purpose to inflict the greatest pain on those who suffered the most and gained the least from the venality of stupidly applied capitalism.

Westminster has given us another 'tick box' administration.

In the late 80s social care was reformed to Care in the Community. A euphemism for - the cheapest form of care is neglect. Cameron's Big Society, is a development of that neglect.

After all, why struggle to increase the lifestyles, aspirations and potential of the common herd when it's so much easier and potentially more profitable to protect the blood lines of the half percent of alpha beasts.

joe90 kane said...

Can you imagine four Westminster MPs demanding to have an audience with a visiting American President to the UK and getting their way?

The UK special realtionship/partnership with the US is so special, it's cringeworthy.

William says,
Salmond et al were adamant that the release of the Lockerbie mass murderer was their decision and theirs alone.

They cannot now deflect and deny.

- As far as I can tell William,
no one is denying anything regarding the decision taken to release Mr Megrahi. That isn't the issue at all.
As far as I can tell, some US senators have a bee in their bonnet about BP and are milking the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico for all its worth.
The fact the Tories only managed to get one MP voted to Westminster in the recent UK general election also has some bearing on the Tories treatment of Scots Law and Scots justice.

Lest we forget.
Lord Hemlock of Mandelbrot sipping cocktails on the luxury Mediterranean yacht of Colonel Gadaffi Junior -
Mandelson spoke to Gaddafi's son
17 Aug 2009

BBC Radio 3 'Any Questions' this week is from Lochinver Village Hall, Sutherland this Friday evening -

William said...

"no one is denying anything regarding the decision taken to release Mr Megrahi."

The senators are wanting the allegations that BP lobbied for Megrahi to be released to be investigated. As the SNP Executive claim it was solely their decision then only they could have been influenced by BP's alleged lobbying and no-one else. As it happens, I don't think they were influenced by anything - I think it was just a stupid decision - but the SNP Executive cannot now wash their hands of the decision. Whether BP lobbied the UK Government, as the SNP seem to be bizarrely suggesting, is surely irrelevant even if true.

joe90 kane said...

The senators are wanting the allegations that BP lobbied for Megrahi to be released to be investigated
As commenteer 'wisnaeme has' pointed out, Mr Megrahi's release is a devolved matter for the Scottish Government and none of Westminster's buisness.

So if these senators want to find out anything about Mr Megrahi's release, they're asking the wrong person ie Cameron. Ask war criminal and serial-liars Blair and his fellow New Labour cronies what they were up to. This might shed some light on the the confusion the senators seem to have about BP-Libya, Blair-Gadaffi, British-Government-Scottish Government, Scottish-Justice-English-Justice.

Only the New Labour British Government and the unelected Mandelson were cosying up to Col Gadaffi, presumably on behalf of BP. This has nothing to do with the SNP.

...but the SNP Executive cannot now wash their hands of the decision
- You claiming they are, but where have they ever?
It is the British Government who don't know wether to throw mud at the SNP or just squirm about the fact Mr Megrahi is innocent and any further enquiries will be deeply embarrassing.

Newsnet Scotland has a few interesting articles on how the corporate media have treated Mr Megrahi's release, starting with -
Megrahi, the media and the myths - Part 1: The Desert Deal
12 July 2010

subrosa said...

CR, an intriguing video. Hope all my readers watch it. Many thanks indeed.

subrosa said...

Wisnaeme, Kenny MacAskill was excellent on Radio Scotland later in the programme. Did you hear him?

subrosa said...

Why would they William? The decision was made under Scots law. Miliband refused to give the Scottish government any information regarding Libya and now the same man says he was against the decision.

Kenny MacAskill has always said he would be prepared to take part in any investigation and that stands today.

subrosa said...

Auch RA, that's indeed why I rushed off this post - and you say it so much better.

Want to take over this blog? :)

subrosa said...

Thank you for your contribution Joe. It adds to the fact that the US are bullies. Yet, please see CR's video and tell me what you think.

subrosa said...

William, your unionist pals have seen as many papers the Scottish government can release in connection with this yet you insist BP lobbied them.

Why would BP lobby a wee parliament which unionists regard as a parish council?

The medics (all 6 of them) said that Megrahi was suffering from bone cancer owing to prostate cancer. Google the survival rates in that. Either Kenny MacAskill was set up by the medical profession in some way or he misread evidence.

Why shouldn't the agreement made in the desert be irrelevant? The SNP government tried to get details from Blair at the time but they refused.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Rosa the blog's entirely and rightfully yours.

Philosophy and diplomacy may have a loose rhyming connection but their purpose has even less.

This kerfuffle underlines the ignorance of America Senators as Joe 90 so aptly illustrates.

Further, note the language of the London media - The Scottish Executive; occasionally the Scottish Government but never the Scottish National Government.

Dammit if Scotland is to be damned as substandard parochial wannabee's they could be more precise with their allegations.

This is another instance when the political alchemists wont let truth get in the way of a good conspiracy.

Latest I have on Megrahi is that they have ceased treatment other than sending him home on palliative care.

subrosa said...

Joe. thanks for your link. I've read it previously but for others who missed it it's a must read.

William said...

"your unionist pals have seen as many papers the Scottish government can release in connection with this yet you insist BP lobbied them."

Er, no, I didn't. I said the senators claim there are allegations to that effect. I said I didn't believe any such allegations. Nowhere did I say that BP lobbied the Scottish Executive.

"Mr Megrahi's release is a devolved matter for the Scottish Government and none of Westminster's buisness."

Indeed it is, which is why any claims about lobbying or otherwise would have to be directed at Salmond and chums as they have always maintained the Megrahi decision was theirs with no input from Westminster.

"You claiming they are, but where have they ever?"

There's been a fair bit of obfuscation from them when questioned on this subject and attempted to muddy the waters by drawing imaginary links with the PTA agreement. One always gets the impression that Salmond and MacAskill are going through a 'squeaky bum' phase. As if two great statesmen like that would of course.

subrosa said...

RA, I've also noted any American interviewed in connection with BP and Megrahi say Scottish executive.

What do the Americans want from this? To destroy the reputation of a country which provided much of the foundation of their own by the sound of it.

subrosa said...

There was no obfuscation from Alex Salmond both on Newsnight and Newsnicht William.

William said...

That's strange, SR. MacAskill is interviewed here and witters on about the 'Briddish government' when he boasted the Megrahi decision was his alone at the time.


subrosa said...

His mention of the British government was obviously in answer to a specific question - which isn't on the video.

Come on William. You're scraping the proverbial barrel with this one.

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