“British diplomats and Anglo-American types in Washington have a near-superstitious prohibition on uttering the words ‘Special Relationship’ to describe relations between Britain and America, lest the specialness itself vanish like a phantom at cockcrow.”
― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir
Is talk of any kind of ‘special relationship’ between Britain and the UK, as Christopher Hitchens once pointed out, a little like tempting fate? In which case are we at the point already where any downplay of the importance of Anglo-US relations is like shutting the stable door before the horse has bolted, or does being the junior partner in the unlikeliest of political marriages still have its uses for Britain – and for the world’s greatest superpower?
An upcoming talk at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution shines a light on the long-established relationship between America and Britain, feted by politicians on both sides of the Atlantic when it suits their purposes, but just as frequently dismissed when it doesn’t, and asks what purpose does it now serve either party? The talk focuses on how the intelligence relationship is central to the entire project.
Joe Biden’s recent vetoing of the British nomination for the next head of NATO, Ben Wallace, comes in tandem with a visit from President Biden to Downing Street ahead of the NATO summit, a visit on which he claimed the UK-US relationship is in ‘rock solid shape.’ What are we to think?
We include some links to articles from the American press this week, looking at the mini state visit. We ask, has a relationship which started out as ‘special,’ as our final article by CNN states, made the slow transition into being ‘transactional?’
Have a read and let us know what you think?
To book tickets for our talk on The Real Special Relationship: