Sunday, March 10, 2002

They almost get it

A couple of comments from my comments.

I'm not sure whether I'm the "John Bull" that David Carr refers to in Samizdata (you'll have to scroll down, as the direct link doesn't work. However the comments are addressed to those of us who say that this steel tarrif shows us anything about the way in which America thinks of us. Mr Carr says, not quite jokingly, that Bush was doing us a favour with all that cheap steel coming our way. Don't complain, he says.

But that's not really the point, is it. If America was at all grateful for all the support that we've been showing and the greatly increased risk that British subjects (but not our rulers) have been subjected to, wouldn't they have cut us a bit of slack?

The fact is that they didn't do it to hurt us, but that the American administration does not care what Britain thinks or feels. We may think that our shoulder to shoulder attitude would be reciprocated, but it's not been when it really mattered.

Iain Murray also tries to play Pangloss, this time a bit more subtly. Look, don't worry, he says, we have this wonderful security relationship with the Americans. Trade and security are different things, on security we are tied in with the Americans and on trade we are with the Americans.

But still the point came that when it was time to walk the walk, the Americans were not there. It's really nice to see your prime minister praised in front of Congress, but when it came to something that may affect a couple of our actual workers they forgot about us. Now, it may be said that they didn't even consider Britain's position so they cannot be blamed - but that's the point, isn't it.

Britain has a choice, we can either follow our own interests or follow other's - either America or Europe - in the hope that they will remember us when we really need to be helped out. The point is, if they let us down on something small like this, how can we guarantee that they will help us when something big blows up.

Ourselves alone.


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