The not so "special" relationship
Interesting article in the by Niall Ferguson on Britain's so called "special relationship" with America. There might have been a special relationship during the Reagan - Thatcher years but that was as much to do with an idealogical meeting of minds between the Tories and the Republicans during the 1980s. Blair and Bush may be soulmates, but apart from that, Britain and America have drifted further and further apart both idealogically and socially.
The reality is that America has a special relationship with a number of countries. In the war on terror, America is keen for a special relationship with Pakistan. In order to counter the growing dominance of China, America is seeking a special relationship with India. And the US has always had a special relationship with Israel.
For years the special relationship has deluded British officials into thinking that they carry some kind of powerful influence on the world stage. For example, after the UK participated in the invasion of Iraq, there was an expectation that President Bush would return the favour by promoting the Middle East road map. But when it comes to foreign policy, the Bush administration are answerable to the US electorate, not to Tony Blair. It seems British officials haven't yet woken up to that.