political commentator * author * publisher * bookseller * radio presenter * blogger * Conservative candidate * former lobbyist * Jack Russell owner * West Ham United fanatic * Email iain AT iaindale DOT com
bottom line Iain is the Yanks need to grow up. Does Cameron need to earn their trust? No they need to go back to basics, real American values, and grow up.End of. There is absolutely no point in any relationship with people who do not live in the real world, and I do not see any US head of of state sending their children or grand children into war in Iraq. The Washington beltway has not got a clue what loyalty or warfare is actually about.As for Cameron's uncomfortable speech, well what they need to learn in the beltway is that what works works, and what they have been doing doesn't. It won't help prevent another 9/11.
It's good to see that you have been upgraded from former candidate to former chief of staff to David Davis.I agree with the thrust of your points. I like to view myself as a pro-american, but that does not mean whole-heartedly following every dictum of US policy. A good friend is there to support in times of need and criticise in times of folly - something blair has failed to do.Frankly I find it childish of the Bush administration to ignore any Tory leader who shows any sign of discontent and disapproval. Like the dog who has grown fat through being over-fed, Tony Blair has served to damage the long-term 'Special Relationship' rather than strengthen it (for the next two years anyway).I don't see much of a problem once a new administration comes in. Apart from McCain, they will all be trying to distance themselves from George Bush's regime anyway....Bed Time.
But as you say, Cameron made that speech on that day to make a passing political dig at Labour at the cost of his longer-term reputation in Washington. The Americans have got in that regard, and no matter what else he said in the speech, as Frank Luntz would have it, it wasn't what he said, its what they heard.I think this could be a wider trait of Cameron, the temptation of the quick jab in the headlines, at the cost of damaging relationships he could sorely need in the longer-term. On a smaller scale, he has jilted the CBI, and I believe a big press dinner of late. No matter you may think, but leave too many of these hostages to fortune out there, and your reputation suffers. It doesn't make him look like a maverick, it makes him look petulant and inexperienced, which as a younger man is a tag he must avoid when facing older, experienced opponents. You might think he should ignore all this and go full speed ahead, but in reality, they all have to play the game, otherwise when you get to elections and the endorsements from newspaper proprietors, captains of industry and foreign allies don't materialise, you can be as happy as you want with your sly digs, but you'll get a good kick in the polls.
Iain's trying to deflect attention from Cameron's huge, giant political mistake in not supporting someone who actually has military experience against the softie lefties whose aggression is confined to trying to push their trolleys ahead in airline check-in crews.Cameron surrendered. I never trusted this individual and am pleased to see his colours being shown so early in the game.
I don't know how much impact Dave is making in the US but he didn't make much in his recent Northern Ireland visit judging by the local Conservatives wash out in the Assembly elections.
What does it matter ? Britain will be so thoroughly integratedinto the indissoluble union within the EU by 2010 that it will have neither foreign policy, nor bank, nor currency but simply be the Hong Kong for Mainland Europe with an element of Ellis Island
We are far too preoccupied with the US and Hague, bright as he may be, is very pro-us. The US is an awful place, with a divided society, no morals, religious extremists and have behaved appallingly in the last 25 years. i would have little to do with them.We need a total change of direction in foreign policy/world role. I am mystified by the direction he is taking the party generally. I would question how he can support the war and at the same time not engage with washington. one of those policies is wrong. We need to reject the idiotic Blair social experiment and restore trust. this is just a nothing story.I would say that outside london these are the key general themes that voters worry aboutflooding the country with migrantshigh tax burdeniraq/dishonest government/hate the USpolitical correctness - everyone is sick of the 'victims' created by blair. get out of EU because they do not trust politicians to protect themnobody cares about peerages because they already know how honest these people are. most people expect a fall guy to get nailed and the major culprits to get away completely. nobody will be surprised when Blair announces he is staying even after charges are laid against others I must be wrong because intelligent political people think the public care about the things they do. they dont
The "boy scout sacks Colonel" tag won't help much methinks!
Anon,I agree with many of your points, but "hate the US"?I suspect that for most Britons their attitude to the Colonials is a little more complex. Part admiration, part envy and part dislike in varying proportions.Yes, they can be crass and domineering. The can also be very self interested at times. But they also have a very successful economy; a better grasp of the concept of individual liberty than most other governments, including our own; and, they have proved to be supportive and faithful allies as well.At this stage of our nation's history I suspect that remaining on good terms with the US is an advantage and more likely to be to our benefit than "an ever deepening union" with our closer neighbours, most of whom we have very little in common except proximity.
With a "for us or against us" mentality, no wonder they adore unquestioning, uncritical Blair. Bush will be gone soon and Cameron's focus should be on the next guy/gal: Chuck Hagel.
Cuddle up to Bush?Really long term thinking that..And really popular with the electorate as well."A" for effort"E" for thought, content or results.
Two leading Tory politicians make comments that are mis-judged, politically naive and damaging - but are basically accurate.One of them has just sacked the other....
Disagree Iain.He needs to win back the trust of the British people, not the US. We elect our government - America has nothing to do with it.They will (have to) work with whoever is British PM. And they will. Deal with it.The rabid pro-Americans (think Donal "nutter" Blaney and Mark "insane" Steyn) think that *any* criticism or reservation about supporting the US is bigoted anti-americanism. Well, that's bullshit.They need to hear it like it is.I'm sick of us performing fellatio on every US politician we meet.
It's true that Bush will be gone soon, but who will Cameron have to deal with next? The two front runners are:Hillary Clinton - Senator from New York, Democrat and close personal friend of Tony & Cherie.Rudy Giuliani - Mayor of New York City and hero of 9/11. I wonder how he received Dave's speech?Great long term planning, Dave.
I believe that Bush very publicly snubbed Michael Howard when he was leader, and I think that both he and Cameron have been very restrained in their criticism of this discredited Bush administration.I think that the Republicans should stop being so precious and realise that Cameron and the conservatives will not be attached to a lead which can be tugged when ever they feel like it.
The UK relationship with the US is a funny one.The UK has a cultural cringe which permeates everything - history, education, the meedia, construction, meteorology, drainage, transport and the cringe is now possessed by almost everybody.The US doesn't have a cultural cringe outside its lefty politics - quite the opposite in fact. Therefore when UK individuals and institutions meet US individuals and institutions they come across as arrogant and unthinking - to the point that we find it very hard to understand them.
"Virtually everyone I spoke to, whether in the Administration or not, whether Republican or Democrat, had a deep distrust of the Conservatives, and of David Cameron in particular"I think that you'll find the same problem in the UK...MAC
anon 8:34:"I'm sick of us performing fellatio on every US politician we meet"Great that someone is prepared to warmly welcome our Colonial friends, though I hear that Dick Cheney prefers a nice cup of tea.
Yes we know you were in Washington last week and boy, aren't you dining out on it. Another day, another "while I was in Washington post. Yawn.(PS hope your CIA funders cleared your line against Bush)
"When former US Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer was told by Number 10 to "crawl up the backside of the White House and stay there", "Oh dear. Meyer must have done a bad job. Blair had to do it instead.
I'm sorry, this is rubbish. The US appears to throw a tantrum if there is any indication support is conditional. Tough. Cameron's first duty is UK interests, not US ones.
F**k Bush. He'll be gone in 20 months. Who cares?He's screwed up so badly, any new administration will want to distance themselves from his legacy as much as possible.Iain; you've been hanging around Donal "chin quivvering with rage" Blaney for far too long. That guy chills my blood when I watch him on 18 doughty street.You need to understand that most people in this country don't detest the US - they detest the childish, petulant and arrogant foreign policy it follows. When has the US ever changed it's mind as a consequence of what we've said and done over the last 10 years? They couldn't care less.Either; (1) we speak our mind - honestly but fairly, or (2) keep our trap shut to please them, support them on everything they do and get hammered for all their fuck-ups.What will it be?
Stop sucking up to the US neo-cons, Iain. They're poisonous and cow-towing to them is certainly not in Britain's interests.
One of the things I like about your writing is its clarity and candour. It doesn't matter what your intent is, the message is usually clear because you make no attempt to dress it up as something else.Having said that, I believe you are both pro America and Cameron supporter and that you agree with the direction he is taking with the party. Which makes this article all the more fascinating.I think you have, perhaps unconsciously, in a piece ostensibly about Cameron, have foregrounded the sheer impossibility of appeasing the US unless it is with nothing short of, to paraphrase and early bird on another thread today, a blow job.
I agree with the points you raise, Iain. But Cameron really shold have delivered that speech on any other day rather then September the 11th. I can't help remembering how other European politicians played fast and loose with their relationship with the US for domestic purposes only to see that blow up in thier faces.Gerhard Schroeder played that card in his bid for re-election back in 2002 and will now be remembered in history as a Russian rent-boy, a French stooge and the most anti-American chancellor since Adolf Hitler. Jacques Chirac has so throughly poisoned transatlantic relationships that it will take Sarkozy years to mend fences. ROmano Prodi's pathetic government tried to be Atlanticist abroad and anti-American at home and ended up in internaitonal embarassment. The less said of Al Qaeda-appointed Spanish premier Zapatero, the better.It's true that Cameron won't have to deal with the Bush administration. It's also true that Blair's guiding light in international politics, i.e. that the US is the one indispensable nation today (like it or not, and many people don't), this principle is likewise true and unarguable. So Cameron needs to mend those fences fast. Maybe IDS, who had a personal thanks from Bush over Tory support for the Iraq war, can be employed to this purpose.Two after-thoughts:American "arrogance" usually translates as "daring to disagree with the knee-jerk pseudo-liberal chattering class London consensus and actually have the effrontery to argue opposing views/opinions/approaches." Liberals really hate having to spend mental energy in defending their positions/prejudices or justifying them. So when an American doesn't supinely accept the assumptions or premise in any Euro-liberal's blatherings, they get labelled arrogant.Second thought: "the US have behaved appallingly in the last 25 years". Let me see, in that time frame, the US have played a pivotal role in the collpase of communism, thus freeing hundreds of millions of people from totalitarian oppression; they have fuelled and led the internet technology boom and thus the globalisation of markets, which has opened up undreamt-of opportuinies for personal growth and prosperity for millions of Chinese, Indians, and indirectly even Africans and Latin-Americans. (Read Thomas Friedman's "the Earth is Flat"). And they've tried, albeit unsuccesfully, to achieve some kind of peace between Palestine and Israel. And their failures can hardly be attributable to them, but to the qualities of the people on the ground (may you burn in fiery hell, Yasser Arafat). So yeah, they are really an appalling bunch of people.PS Iain, as apparently you are getting CIA funding, can you tell me where I can go to apply for some myself?
I'm afraid I don't agree with your sentiments either Iain. The fact that Gringrich and Brownback like Blair tells us more about them than anything else. It seems obvious that they would like anybody who gives the US such unquestioning support whether they agree with him politically or not. As regards Camerons speech yes it was probably politically advantageous but it was also the right thing to say. From the American point of view it may in the end turn out to be useful as the Conservative party is highly unlikely ever to pursue an anti American foreign policy and Cameron and the Conservative party is of little use to the USA whilst in opposition. The behaviour of Bush and his advisors to both Michael Howard and David Cameron has verged on the childish and will have to change should DC win the next election. I am becoming increasingly irritated by the nauseating self pity demonstrated by Bush Administration officials and American commentaters on BritainandAmerica.com who seem to think that the slightest criticism of them equates to rampant anti-Americanism.
Ref Benedict White, first post"It won't help prevent another 9/11."In the more than five years since 9/11 ... there hasn't been another 9/11.So you appear to be talking rubbish.
It is no good either to the USA or the UK for us to accept any nonsense coming from Washington simply on the grounds of its source.We have very many common values and interests but these are not necessarily identical and where they differ Cameron has a duty to assert our own.Washington is better served ultimately by our differing with them when it is appropriate.Friends tell you the truth when it is unpalatable.
Iain, good piece that makes quite a few good points. One of Cameron and the Tories biggest problem's is the fact that during they last American election several current front-benchers were openly hostile to the Bush & the Republicans, CF types bragged about heading over to work for the Democrats and there were meetings trashing Republicans sponsored by Tories.Cameron's 9/11 speech was amazingly idiotic and whomever wrote it should be sacked. BW: The US does not need to grow up the up needs to get its head out of its arse and realise that sucking up to Islamists is not going to help things in the long run. People like Ken "I hate the Jews and America" Livingston does not help the UK's reputation either.
Not a lot.
Iain, I agree with your assessment of the American mood. That doesn't mean that David Cameron needs to be in a hurry to mend fences. I am certainly not anti-American, but thinking American politicians will realise that the present US administration has seriously damaged the US's reputation among most of its allies, and that it would be electoral poison for any serious opposition politician not to address the obvious concerns of their electorates.I thought that David Cameron's speech on 11 September was well-judged, striking the "candid friend" note that should be the policy of Britain to the US. It is a sign of how far Tony Blair has abased Britain that this should be seen as an unfriendly speech by US politicians.For the moment, David Cameron does not need to worry very much about this. The UK election is not going to be won in Washington DC, and coolness from the Bush camp is not going to do him any harm. In many ways Gordon Brown has a much harder decision to make: does he stick closely to a US administration that doesn't have popularity or authority even in its own country, or does he belatedly attempt to distance himself from the US administration?If David Cameron does get elected as Prime Minister, those in power in the US will decide soon enough that they need to deal with him. If he reaches that point, he can show his credentials as a candid friend in earnest.
Great article, Iain. I like the 'chief of staff' thing - but what do they do ? Only so I can decode what the likes of Jonathan Powell gets up to. And a link to your blog too ! Yikes, I'm not sure we are ready for that - we're a select club in here, doncha know.. BTW, I have visions of you checking into to a special 'hot desk' at Telegraph towers, only to be cussing because Bozza Johnson has not tidied up his pencils, and put the phone and keyboard back in the officially designated positions.[He's such a rebel, isn't he ?!] Then having to unload your pencils, pens and crayons from those plastic box thingies which builders use to carry their tools in... You will soon be a shoo-in to work at those new 'call-centre' jobs in things at Doughty St go belly-up. Toodle-pip.
In 25 years they have done what exactly? Bullied a few countries, propped up a beligerent Israeli state, upset everyone in Europe, preached one thing and done another, shown zero long term vision other than to bully everyone. They have no clue when dealing with other countries, they always have the fallback of military force (although not exactly racked up a load of wins)they should talk more act less. They got suckered by North Korea, they should have left that to China, Iraq is as big a foreign policy failure as vietnam maybe bigger given the political ramifications, they are so unpopular as a country its almost like americans think its a joke. Japan and Korea both want US troops to leave, Taiwan is a diplomatic problem to be resolved soon, they have no relationship with Russia, they break every international law, they are selfish people and I find the US a thoroughly depressing mix of poverty, excess, duplicity and greed.Europe will fall into Russias sphere of influence without doubt (why we need to leave), Asia will have to accept China for the powerhouse it is (they will still spend the next 20 years worrying about the domestic economy so little risk) With a strong Rusia and China, Europe hiding behind Russia but playingh the US and Russia against each other to ensure security. Central Asia is the risky area, China, Russia and US interests will are bound to collide; another war by proxy in someone elses country.The US will return to the isolationist doctrine if it cannot have its own way, this is why we need to foster other relationships, that means China and Russia. We have historical, economic and political links with everyone we need.Stop arms sales, stop illegal activity, offer to be the 'honest broker' and dont invade other countries. We can be the Europe/Russia/US conduit, be a military force for good (peacekeeping) and apologise for this morons war in Iraq.
britain first - love your reference to 'cow-towing' ! I would love to see you doing that, but best go out and buy a dictionary first, eh....
IainTim Montgomerie's piece recently about American mistrust of Cameron owed quite a lot to his dislike of the Tory leader.I agree with those who say Cameron should concentrate on pleasing his own countryfolk who are vaguely anti- American.Americans have very few friends in the world. If Cameron becomes prime minister, he'll be very welcome in Washington.By the way, Verity, I happen to like Americans
Giovanni 10:18am:Your post was full of so much bullshit, I doubt I could find more scurrying around a 10,000 acre cattle farm afflicted by diarrhoea ridden male cows.American arrogance is to do with; (1) Dismissing everyones points of view with a unequivocal "you're either with us, or against us" attitude -giving no room for discussion. (2) A total refusal to even seriously consider the views of its erstwhile allies. (3) A complete disregard for cultural sensitivities, heightened by its total ignorance of much of the world and its peoples. (4) A belief that it's systems and forms of government are inherently superior to all others (laugh laugh.. gerrymandered constituencies, 95% relection rate, pisspoor turnout, corrupt politicans, gridlocked election system, dodgy vote counting (and registers) and a penal system that would shock Henry VIII) and (5) a sheer unwillingness to engage with any multilateral institutions or organisations over which it does not have binding influence.Arrogance is borne out of too much getting your own way the whole time.They may throw a hissy fit - but they need to be told to grow up and LISTEN.
Maybe he could suggest that the Republicans become small-government conservatives again? And to listen to American public opinion on Mexican immigration?
The conflation of 'American' and 'Neo-conservative' whether in the USA or here is incorrect and deliberately misleading. Dave has said he is a 'liberal conservative' not a 'neo-conservative'. The current White House is a criminal enterprise as a result of its neocon infestation and only survives meltdown because the American Media is similarly directed.Dave is attempting to garner votes in this country; he needed to make his move before Brown inherits. The majority of people are disgusted with the war in Iraq, see the war in Afghanistan as futile, and were far more than disapproving of the violent pre-planned assault on the Lebanon using two Israelis captured inside the Lebanon as an excuse. Dave is going with the flow and he may pretty comfortable too.
and a penal system that would shock Henry VIII) Um ok rubbish penal system but one that works and keeps crime down. In the US the violent crime rate is dropping while in the UK it going up. Never mind the fact the state in the UK has completely taken away the right to self-defence. I notice a couple of commenters have slagged off the Iraq war...it was a mistake only if you think Kurds have no right to exist or be free from genocide. Of course there are a few anti-Israel commenters who likewise don't believe Jews have a right to life either. Arabs & Muslims have the whole Middle East while Jews have a tiny corner of the whole area...which is the only democracy in the area (baring Iraq) and allows all its inhabitants to vote.
"The US will return to the isolationist doctrine if it cannot have its own way, this is why we need to foster other relationships, that means China and Russia."So let me see. We can either build relationships with a country founded by our ancestors with a similar legal system, the same dominant religion, a representative democracy (flawed though it may be in some respects), a strong anti-socialist mindset and strong traditions of liberty (which, despite recent undermining, are a heck of a lot stronger than Russia and China). OrA pseudo-democracy run by a man who thinks he's the next Tsar and a gigantic prison camp that, behind its smiles, probably contains a loathing for the decadent West that once humiliated it.
I think your analysis is spot on. It was not what he said but when he said it. Cameron made a huge foreign policy mistake with his 5th year anniversary 9/11 speech. Had he made the same comments any other day then US politicians would barely have noticed while it would have had almost as much domestic coverage. To choose to make these comments on that particular day tells US politicians that he is prepared to point score for political gain against them at any time.Foreign policy is a big influence on my opinions of the parties and their leaders. I went from undecided on Cameron to serious distrust after that speech.
Looks like a Job Application Iain, to this former recruitment manager. Though you'll need to drop the attitude to Hill' if you are to be selected.
"and a penal system that would shock Henry VIII) Um ok rubbish penal system but one that works and keeps crime down. In the US the violent crime rate is dropping while in the UK it going up. Never mind the fact the state in the UK has completely taken away the right to self-defence."lagwolf: Don't make me laugh - the US jails 8-9 times more people per head of population that any country in the Western world - something like 700-800 per 100,000? - that's almost 1% of the population, or 2 million in jail!You get 25 years for perjury, 30 years for fraud and - sometimes - 80 years (!) for rape over there. Not to mention various unpleasant execution methods; gas, electric chair, injection, firing squad. Virtually everything is a life sentence or death. I'm no softie on law & order but those are ridiculously savage and disproportionate sentences.. And their crime rate is still sky high, whether it's falling or not.You can defend yourself here - it's just we don't want every house in Britain loaded up with more weapons than Arnie in Commando.God, I'm glad I'm British sometimes.
lagwolf: Don't make me laugh - the US jails 8-9 times more people per head of population that any country in the Western world - something like 700-800 per 100,000? -How can you jail more persons per capita ?Then again the Us has far lower levels of property crime than Britain which jails far fewer persons as a proportion of crimes committed than any country in Europe.Britiain is a high crime nation with low rates of detection, low rates of conviction, and high rates of recidivism.The only answer is to permit legal ownership of handguns
"Don't make me laugh - the US jails 8-9 times more people per head of population that any country in the Western world - something like 700-800 per 100,000? - that's almost 1% of the population, or 2 million in jail!"I have always found the paranoia about the numbers in jail odd. Surely the whole damn point is to keep them off the streets so they can't perpetrate more crimes? So what if there is a high number in prison...if they are criminals that is surely a good thing?
Anonymous 7:53 - Wow! Killer point! The Americans don't like people who disrespect the military. Sacking a colonel for a highly fanciful perception of, but not real, "racism" will be a negative in American perceptions.As I have written before, could all the people, who clearly have not visited the United States or lived there, who write about "the religious right" with curled lip, could you tell me who they are, please? I spent years in the US and I never saw any of these mythical creatures. Please tell me where they are. Please be specific. I would like to see one.
>verityI have visited America and worked for US corporations.After 9/11 I watched many US TV programs including a series of religious ones where one (very fetching) female commentator seriously suggested the US should invade the entire "Muslim" world and convert them all to Christianity.She was deadly serious.You were not looking very hard. Did you go to Church? Did you watch the Sunday TV services?If you did not, you were looking in the wrong places.Note: my comments do NOT describe ALL US Christians . Do not paint it as such.But there are a lot of very aggressive US churches.. and if you look (not very hard) you will find them.So : did you go to church in the US? and if so, where?
Madasafish - I do not discuss my personal life over the internet.
>VeritySo that's a No then.You did not try very hard...I went to several US churches.. (and am not ashamed to admit it)... lots of fervour, very different from the Cof E
Listen numbnuts, I said my figures were "something like" i.e. approximate, so called; "observer". Exact precise figures do not add anything to the argument when prison numbers are approaching a factor of 10 higher than anywhere else in the Western World - its enough to illustrate the US has a serious problem with its penal system. I'm enlightened enough to see this, why aren't you?"The only answer is to permit legal ownership of handguns "You absolute nutter. Don't be bloody ridiculous. Can't believe some people advocate this - Jesus Christ. Can you imagine what would happen to violent crime if guns were freely available? Absolute, total nutter."I have always found the paranoia about the numbers in jail odd. Surely the whole damn point is to keep them off the streets so they can't perpetrate more crimes? So what if there is a high number in prison...if they are criminals that is surely a good thing? "Sorry to be so blunt Lagwolf, but that is a very naive and small-minded way to look at it.Ever asked WHY there's so many so called crimes? Ever thought why the US has 7-8 times the number of prisoners per head of population than other countries AND a high crime rate that something might be wrong with its ridiculously punitive penal system and/or its civil society???It's crazy. As are those who can't see this for what it is.
"What does it matter ? Britain will be so thoroughly integrated into the indissoluble union within the EU by 2010 that it will have neither foreign policy, nor bank, nor currency but simply be the Hong Kong for Mainland Europe with an element of Ellis Island".And for some unfathomable reason we will still have more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan than the rest of the EU put together.
To save anyone who hasn't read the article the bother, it reads:"Gizza job, Dave"
Madasfish - That's a 'None of your business' then.Yet Another Boring Anonymous 2:50 says, quoting someone else -The only answer is to permit legal ownership of handguns "You absolute nutter. Don't be bloody ridiculous. Can't believe some people advocate this - Jesus Christ. Can you imagine what would happen to violent crime if guns were freely available? Absolute, total nutter."Texas, and in fact the entire Western United States, plus some northern states, have laws that permit the private ownership of handguns. I had a gun when I lived in Texas. Texas and some other states also have laws that allow "carry concealed". Meaning, you can have a gun in your purse, your briefcase or your pocket. I never saw anyone pulls his/her gun out and shoot anyone. Never. Just the fact that someone may be carrying .... As they say, "An armed society is a polite society." That is something rabid anti-gun nutters need to prise open their tiny minds and take on board.
Seems like the anonymous Guardianistas are out in force, I wonder how many have actually spent any time in the US rather than mouthing off the usual lefty generalities.Just curious, why is David Davis visiting Dallas ? It's not on the usual Grand Tour.
America needs to EARN our friendship, we should stopping being their poddle.What is in it for us, as we have been a giver and not a receiver for a while now.
Robert - What is a poddle? It sounds like a simple dish for medieval serfs.What has prompted these infestations of Guardian/Beeb anonymongs is, Dave handed them a victory and they're trying to concrete it in.Yak 40 - The same thought struck me. Why Dallas? Houston is the oil capital of the world, so that would make sense. But Dallas? It's a financial centre, but it certainly doesn't rival NY. It is a commodities trading centre to some extent, but it doesn't rival Chicago. WHY DALLAS? WHAT IS GOING ON?
I think a good number of posters here either have not been to the U.S. or have swallowed the BBC/Guardinista pablum.The 'tells' are the code words: Religious Right, Neocons, prison stats, poverty and class system. One would think you talking about Saudi Arabia. Doesn't Britain have a problem with religious fanatics? At least America's aren't blowing up subways, airplanes and beheading British Muslim soldiers. If the Christian nuts are going wacky, you just need to change that obscure cable channel you're watching.The problem with Dave's speech isn't 'slavish' comment. Believe it or not, Blair has made speeches in America criticizing the Administration's position on Global Warming and Israel/Palestine. But, since the American public likes him, he was able to get a Carbon scheme passed in California and a few other states. (Since California's economy is roughly the size of Britain's, that no small accomplishment. I believe it is also 25% of the US' carbon output, too.)Dave's speech was basically a gratuitous poke in the eye on a day when most American's were reliving the horror of 9/11. It may have scored some brownie points at home, but made enemies elsewhere. Sort of like his distancing himself from Churchill and embracing Toynbee. A good part of the Tory base likes Churchill and despise Toynbee. Why alienate loyal, traditional Tory voter for a few very fickle votes from the center left? As was pointed out in the article, Margaret Thatcher yelled at Reagan, though she did it mostly privately, and she is still very much beloved in the U.S.The article mentioned Giuliani and McCain as quoting Blair, but Clinton and Obama have done so as well. (See Toby Harnden's blog http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/foreign/tobyharnden/feb2007/blair2008.htm) It was Congress (not the Administration) that voted to give Blair the Congressional Gold Medal in an overwhelming bipartison vote in both the House and Senate.
Tony Blairs' power must indeed be great if he can get bills passed in California and other states,here was me thinking the Californians thought up this idea all by themselves.Don't remember David Cameron himself 'distancing himself from Churchill and embracing Toynbee', please tell me when he did this?Have you actuially read the speech Anonymous? Tell me where in it he 'deliberately poked' Americans in the eye.
California has it's loonies, but outside of Hollywood and San Francisco, most don't believe the Global Warming hysteria. Schwartzenegger's a Republican, this carbon sharing scheme was a referendum vote and Blair made a big splash visiting California last July.Churchill/Toynbee: It was about 2 to 4 months ago. Certainly this Parliament. Read Hansard yourself. I believe he did an article as well - praising Toynbee's idea of relative poverty but I can't remember the paper. Google it.Yes, I read the speech. But, as someone else said, it's not what you say, it's what they hear. The speech was perceived as wanting to distance himself from the U.S. on a national day of mourning. There was wall to wall 9/11 coverage last September. Iain was absolutely correct in saying it was crass and insensitive.
Blimey Anonymous you do play fast and loss with the facts. It was not Cameron who mentioned Toynbee but the MP fot Tunbridge Wells and nowhere does Iain Dale say it was crass and insensitive.Apart from that you are spot on.
Why aren't we having panel discussions like this over here, in the UK. This film should be required viewing for all MPs.three Iraqi journalists (Ayub Nuri, Ali Fadhil and Zeyad Kasim) speak in a panel at the Overseas Press Club in New York, 7 March 2007The first clip (17 minutes) is followed by a very compelling question-and-answer clip (50). All these three articulate and courageous Iraqis (who all still have family in Iraq) have written or made films for the Western press.
Anonymous, 12:05AM(The whole Toynbee thing is just minutiae, but yes, it was a backbencher that brought her up by name. As I recall, the Labour benches were also mocking Cameron at the time. He had just written an article embracing the concept of relative poverty, an idea of which Toynbee is a champion. There were a few editorials guffawing at it [Telegraph and The Times, I believe]). As for the "crass and insensitive" remark, see the 4th Paragraph, 3rd sentence, below:As part of the Conservative Party's rebranding process, this reaction might have been deemed a success, but as an exercise in transatlantic diplomacy, it was woeful. Cameron's assertion that Britain should be a "solid but not slavish" ally and that America's foreign policy lacked "humility and patience" might have been excused in a run-of-the-mill foreign policy speech - but not on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. The timing was crass and insensitive. The fact that the rest of the speech was hugely pro-American was ignored or conveniently forgotten.
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