Americans who don’t believe Blair’s successor will end the Brit alliance with the US should look at the words of the leader of the opposition Tories.
Blair’s lefty Brit minster of finance, Brown, will probably take over when Blair departs and run things until the next election, probably in 2009. If by then the economy is in the tank he’ll lose to the Tories and if not he’ll lose to the Tories at the following election in 2013.
Americans accustomed to Tory leaders like Maggie Thatcher won’t be surprised that in spite of her poor health (she’s had several strokes) she visited Washington on Monday to remember our dead and reaffirm our resolve (WSJ, $):
…she urged Britain and the U.S. to stand firm against “Islamist fanatics who hate our beliefs, our liberties and our citizens. We must not falter. We must not fail. . . . We also need to renew our resolve that, however bitter or lengthy the struggle, this evil shall not prevail.”
That same day the man who now leads her party marked the abomination committed on the UK’s closest ally and friend with these words (WSJ again, $, my ellipsis and emphasis):
The 39-year-old Tory leader claimed Britain and the U.S. had become “uncritical allies” and needed “a rebalanced special relationship.” In a line that must play well with London focus groups, he said: “We should be solid but not slavish in our friendship with America.” Though his party backed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Mr. Cameron vouchsafed that they now show that democracy “cannot quickly [be] imposed from the outside.” Thanks for the Monday-morning generalship.
On the day marking the worst terrorist atrocity in history, he even chided the U.S. for “stoop[ing] to illiberalism” by running a prison in Guantanamo, where the men who planned 9/11 were just transferred and where no human rights abuses have been found. This Tory wants a “a new emphasis on multilateralism“ where the U.N. “confers the ultimate legitimacy.”
…called the (US) administration “unrealistic and simplistic” and attacked the “slavish” bond between Messrs. Bush and Blair.
So Americans should start planning for the loss of their ally.
There’s a plus side – this man’s election will trigger a flood of capital and talent from the UK to the US, and London’s financial center will flip back to NYC.