“What do you mean you’re breaking up with me? I thought we had something special? After 200 years, you’re breaking up with me? Yes, my dear. But it’s not you, it’s me. No – it’s you.”
This weekend the UK Daily Mail discovered a secret memo prepared by the “Congressional Research Service (CRS), and in-house intelligence body that gives confidential analysis to legislators…” The memo, dated April 2015, was drafted “to brief the Senate and House of Representatives on the impact of Britain’s general election. The memo also warns that the United Kingdom faces turmoil if there is a hung parliament.”
It states “damningly that the UK may not be viewed as centrally relevant to the United States in all of the issues and relations considered a priority on the US agenda,” and that “organizations such as the G20 group of major economies has led to a decline in the influence and centrality of the relationship.”
The CRS also concludes “that while Britain and the US are likely to remain key economic partners, a reassessment of the special relationship may be in order… [b]ecause its geopolitical setting has been changing.”
I have to say, this is a rather earthshaking document. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan will surely be turning in their graves as will Winston Churchill who in a 1944 speech coined the phrase “special relationship” between our two countries.
It probably comes as news to United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron who in a January visit to the White House said the relationship was “stronger than it has ever been, privately and in public.”
Cameron said that he and Obama were so friendly that Obama calls him “bro,” which didn’t sit well with the British press, who mistook the term is derogatory. The “bro” reference drove the UK Telegraph to consult an urban dictionary. They found that the term sometimes refers to “a member of a beer pounding, usually shirtless tribe of young white Americans, often fellow members of a university fraternity, who emulate black rap culture, or an alpha-male idiot.”
During a January joint press conference of the two leaders, Obama said, “We count the United Kingdom as one of our greatest friends and strongest allies.” He continued: “And so, let me put this speculation to rest. Put simply, David is a great friend. He’s one of my closest and most trusted partners in the world. We recognize that, as I said before, when the United States and the United Kingdom stand together, our nations are more secure and our people are more prosperous, and the world is safer and more just.”
Okay, so Obama loves him some Cameron, although we all know that as an anti-colonialist he couldn’t possibly love the United Kingdom.
It appears that the CRS memo is a reassessment of our relationship due to potential political and economic turmoil in England — the concern over a possible UK exit of the EU and whether they survive the break. The memo also states that “a significant degree of the UK’s international influence flows from the success and dynamism of the British economy, further raising the stakes on whether the UK can sustain stronger economic growth while continuing to pursue ambitious fiscal consolidation.”
So it appears that the folks at the CRS have serious reservations about the United States tying itself to a sinking ship. Not that ours won’t also sink — just not as fast.
These are strange days indeed. While we potentially cast-off our lines from the UK moorings, Obama is busy tying off to every communist and radical dock he can find.