‘Special’ Relationship

Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian, ‘. . . London’s default setting since 1945 has been to be as close to Washington as humanly possible. That’s what the manual, handed to every diplomat and every new occupant of No 10, demands. Sure enough, Theresa May is following it – dispatching her joint chiefs of staff, rather than the UK ambassador, to Trump Tower to beg for an early meeting between the two leaders, amid all the familiarly needy, unrequited talk of a “special relationship”.

This is certainly what you’d expect of a British prime minister if a normal American president were about to take over on 20 January. But May has not sufficiently absorbed that Trump is an aberration, and therefore the usual rules should not automatically apply. (Angela Merkel has been much more wary.)

Instead, May is repeating the same mistake so fatefully made by Tony Blair in 2001. He thought he should be as close to George W Bush as he’d been to Bill Clinton, failing to appreciate that the two men were entirely different, that Bush was surrounded by ideological obsessives who were bent on war with Iraq from the very start. May is being similarly undiscriminating.’ click here.