Sunday, June 19, 2016

Special but changing

We're less than a month away from the 60th anniversary from the Egyptian seizure of the Suez Canal and it's odd how little attention that transformative year is getting in the Brexit debate. Anyway, that's a slightly incidental point as we peruse a rant by Andrew Roberts in the Wall Street Journal (drawing from a speech at the Bradley Foundation awards) --

Fortunately, the best kind of Americans instinctively understand that truth, and outside the Obama administration nobody seems to want to relegate my country to the back of the line. Anglo-American friendship is far stronger than any one administration or government. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve read the obituaries of people who have written the obituary of the Special Relationship. It survives because it lives on in the hearts of our two peoples—who have so much more in common than that which separates us—rather than just in the pages of venerable treaties and history books.

Who are those freedom-hating pundits who've written obituaries of the Special Relationship such as this one? --

Similarly, the smashing blow to the Special Relationship seems not to matter to new Britain. The fact that it was dealt to as Left-wing and anti-war a president as Barack Obama shows just how ambivalent modern Britons feel about the friendship of our best, closest and most powerful ally. 

That would be, er, Andrew Roberts writing in the Daily Mail 3 years ago after the failed vote in the House of Commons for Britain to join military action (which subsequently never happened) against the Assad regime following the chemical weapon attack in Ghouta.

In fact, to read the two Roberts pieces together is to read of two different Englands. In the WSJ, it's everything but the transatlantic  band of brothers, with Suez never mentioned, while the Mail piece concludes --

Our path to international irrelevance has been smoothed out for us, and the new generation is clearly keen for us to go down it, handing over global human rights to the tender mercies of the Russians and Chinese while keeping their consciences intact because they didn’t bomb a Muslim country. Welcome to the most morally vacuous, pusillanimous and self-indulgent generation for half a millennium, to life beyond the looking glass. 

Roberts is not a Brexiteer because he's given up on the European Union. It's because he's given up on England.

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