Why does the Prime Minister think it does her good to be seen with that global embarrassment, Donald Trump? Why do politicians and media commentators in Britain prattle about how the ‘Special Relationship’ between Britain and the USA is still flourishing?
This is dangerous fantasy. The United States is not, and never has been, our special friend. Sometimes it has been our ally. Sometimes it has been very close to being our enemy, especially in Ireland (almost all the time) and during the Suez Crisis in 1956, when the US Navy’s chiefs discussed opening fire on the Royal Navy.
I don’t complain about this. The USA does what we should do. It looks after itself first. It is a separate country with different interests from ours. It is not a Big England. We owe them a lot of money. We defaulted on our enormous First World War debts to the US (£866 million at the time, worth about £225 billion at today’s values) back in 1934. Contrary to popular belief, we have never paid this back. We only very recently paid our Second World War debts to America.