Alex Massie

Cameron’s Special Relationship

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As Brother Blackburn says, David Cameron's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today is a little better than the usual boilerplate trotted out on these occasions. This was perhaps the most refreshing bit and a welcome slap to the media-nonsense that invariably surrounds US-UK relations:

Finally, there are those who over-analyze the atmospherics around the relationship. They forensically compute the length of meetings; whether it's a brush-by or a full bilateral; the number of mentions in a president's speech; dissecting the location and grandeur of the final press conference—fretting even over whether you're standing up or sitting down together. This sort of Kremlinology might have had its place in interpreting our relations with Moscow during the Cold War. It is absurd to apply it to our oldest and staunchest ally.

I know how annoying this is for Americans, and it certainly frustrates me. I am hard-headed and realistic about U.S.-U.K. relations. I understand that we are the junior partner—just as we were in the 1940s and, indeed, in the 1980s. But we are a strong, self-confident country clear in our views and values, and we should behave that way.

Needless to say, none of this will prevent the press from micro-analysing the Prime Minister's meeting with President Obama but that doesn't mean we can't dream of a time when the British media can, just for once, suppress its appetite for trivia and avoid the kind of hysteria that, frankly, has characterised much of what has been written about Obama and Britain.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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