The “special relationship” and Blair

While in London, I met with a friend who is an old time Labourite. He was never that keen on Blair and often expressed concerns about the direction of the Blair government as it pushed aside many of its traditional followers. He understood the benefits of actually being in power and modernizing the party but could never grasp the closeness of Blair and Bush.

We talked about the “special relationship” and what that has meant since Thatcher was around. My friend Tom raised the Falklands War and Reagan’s offer to send support to help the UK. Thatcher, despite being friends with Reagan, refused any assistance. Heaven forbid British troops would need any help from Americans, so the story went. On the other side, if Reagan would have asked for Thatcher’s support, her natural response would have been “what is in it for Britain? What will the UK receive in return?”

He is convinced that under no circumstances would Thatcher have agreed to the Iraq war involvement in its current state. Without the US paying for UK troops? Without the UK receiving a few lead positions in the juicy billion dollar contracts in Iraq? Looking at what Blair gave in return for his commitment to Iraq, Brits just scratch their heads and wonder, why? Without prompting, Tom also talked about Blair immediately cashing in on the American speaking circuit to the tune of £250,000 per speech. (I haven’t seen those numbers, though they would not be surprising.) I hadn’t thought of the “special relationship” in this way before though I found it all very interesting. It does seem to stay with the theme of Blair the poodle, though a rich poodle at the end of the day. It’s unfortunate for the Brits who really did not see many (any?) benefits as a nation for their commitment to a policy that they never liked in the first place. Blair, on the other hand, is sitting back comfortably in his retirement.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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