The world seemed very different not so long ago, even although it wasn´t. Remember Tony Blair leading New Labour to victory, spelling the long anticipated demise of the right-wing lunatic brigade, the Tories. After those long dark, grey years under the Conservatives everyone was delighted just to get a change, the possibility that some good might be done by the new government was confirmed when they held devolution referendums for Scotland and Wales as promised. However it all went down hill from there.
Still, at the time, we also had Clinton in the Whitehouse, the much more acceptable face of American aggression. He developed the fine art of saying the decent thing and then doing the opposite. As his reign descended into oblivion with all the stupid BJ stories, we wondered what would become of Tony and our much-wailed about "special relationship" with America. We watched as Bush and his family, along with a host of the most evil big business tycoons in the world, stole the presidency of the USA. Surely Tony can´t be pals with an unashamed right-wing moron, who has been personally responsible for executing people as Governor of Texas?
Think again, at first the signs were bad, as the US announced plans to withdraw from all these piddling affairs elsewhere in the world and concentrate on their own imagined greatness. Then the two towers crumbled and all hell broke loose. This was the situation which got Tony back in bed with the President, in contrast to his Texan peer, Tony reacted swiftly and skillfully to the attack, maximising his own appearances to offer solemn, heart-felt sympathy to the American people. He seemed to take a lead in organising some ridiculous anti-terrorist coalition before bending over for George and agreeing to an attack on Afghanistan.
Yet another attack on a long suffering country incapable of defending itself ended unsuccessfully, if the aim was to catch Osama Bin Laden. What they did successfully do, was remove a devoutly Muslim regime and replace them with someone a bit friendlier and more amenable to American demands. After weeks of press about this bearded terrorist hiding in caves the whole thing was swept under the carpet and the regular evil guy picture on the news was switched back to Saddam Hussein.
Now George has decided he wants to 'kick Saddam's ass again'. But why, is there a link to the two towers? No, no link whatsoever but George gets to fund the military, steal oil and avenge his father, the senior Bush, who for some reason decided to leave Saddam in charge and backstab all the Iraqi´s who tried to rise against him, leaving them to die in their thousands after the first Gulf War. Why would Tony want to go along with this one?
To be honest I don't really know. By toddling along after George, Tony is currently risking his relationship with Europe and severely trying the patience of the British people. The way he is jetting around trying to tow the Yankee line and get other countries to join in is just horrible to watch. Britain is only under threat if we perpetrate these types of crimes on other nations, by bombing and starving these people we are increasing the threat of terrorism. Whatever the reason there can be little doubt that Tony is desperate for American approval.
Other than more terrorist attacks, what do we get out of our "special relationship" with the States? As far as I can tell we get to have big American military bases all over our country to ensure we are a target in any conflict, we get to import American culture which is homogenised and won´t be happy until we all eat, drink and wear the same things, we get privatisation of everything in site, always based on a US model and usually a total waste of time and money for everyone except the company directors. This blind acceptance of American capitalist values has led to further polarisation of wealth in this country, countries as rich as Britain and the US should not have people living on the streets. Why would any British person aspire to the American way of life?
The recent demonstrations and ongoing criticism of Tony does not seem to have had an effect. Over a million people in London and 100,000 in Glasgow, the largest ever demo in London, yet Tony has ignored it to go along with Bush. The war has started, despite huge displays of public disapproval, failure to get a majority of people in favour of war in any of the polls, and the protests of many countries, including France, Germany, Russia and China. But what are the consequences for their illegal actions? Tony may well lose his job over this. He has continually insisted that they are committed to removing Saddam and that oil revenue will now be placed in a trust fund administered by the UN. Even if this is true it does not compensate for bombing innocent people. It also doesn't justify handing mostly US companies hugely lucrative contracts to "rebuild" Iraq and pump the oil once the slaughter is over.
Well the war is apparently over, Saddam has disappeared in a cloud of rubble leaving behind a war torn and poverty stricken country in desperate need of help, which it probably won't get. Apparently the US are shocked that there has been no welcoming commitee, and with the realisation that the next government of Iraq, if democratically elected, will be a fundamentalist Muslim one, have decided to stay in charge for a wee while longer. Who knows what George and Tony will get into next - Syria? North Korea? or "Global Terrorism"? We´ll have to wait and see.Return to Top