For many years now, respective government's have fallen over themselves in the UK to reiterate Britain's special relationship with the US - like a needy child, or a clingy partner, constantly seeking reassurance that they're still loved.
Until President Obama's reign as President, the US have always been quick to confirm that they still love us, and that we're very special - but since the Democrats came to power, the relationship has been described as "necessary".
So what's the difference between a special and a necessary relationship? Well let's stick with the domestic examples.
A special relationship is one you might have with a partner, or mother or father. A special friend is welcome any time, and you'd do anything for them. In a special relationship, you care for that person. You don't want to see anything bad happen to them right? You help them because you WANT to, not because you NEED to.
A relationship of necesity is one with your Landlord, or your Solicitor. A necessary relationship is with your boss or your doctor. A necessary relationship is one that by definition is there because it needs to be - often not because you WANT it to be. You have a relationship with your GP because you NEED to. You might not like your GP (I do by the way) but nevertheless that relationship exists.
So what's the difference? Loyalty and true friendship. If you NEED a relationship (which to be fair, the US probably don't) you tolerate someone. If they want to meet for a coffee, you'll do it because you NEED to. If your boss wants to meet to discuss your job, you'll meet them - but you won't rush to do it at 9pm at night - but if your partner, with whom you share a special relationship, or perhaps your brother calls at 9pm and wants a coffee - if you can, you'll meet straight away.
Would Britain's relationship with America not then be better described as one of toleration only? If President Obama doesn't want to use the term "special" freely, then frankly it can't be that darn special.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
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