Bargain, Tony, bargain!

The US has asked Tony Blair to redeploy some of Britain’s troops currently around Basra to help the American effort in Baghdad. This would then free US troops for an assault on Falluja. Today, 44 MPs tabled a motion asking for a Commons vote on any redeployment. I suspect Blair will reject their calls and that the decision to support the US has already been made (as suggested by unnamed MoD sources). Slightly puzzling is why 650 British troops will make all the difference when there are some 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq right now, but that is another question….

Blair has admitted that there is a price to be paid in Britain’s relationship with America: we must be loyal. But isn’t it time that Blair demanded something in return? After all, he’s staked his political life on Bush’s Iraq policy, and if the White House wants him in Number 10, it needs to throw a bone to the British electorate.

So here’s my proposal: go ahead and move the troops. This will annoy the British public. Then release all British prisoners in Guantanamo. This will make the British public happy. And Tony. And if Tony is happy, so is George. Everyone wins!

P.S. When Tony is feeeling blue he should log on to, an American site dedicated to thanking Tony for his support in the War on Terror (TM).



  1. I agree. The ‘special relationship’ we share with America is very much one-sided. It’s about time Blair stood up (like Hugh Grant’s PM in “Love Actually”!!) and demanded something in return for his un-swerving loyalty


  2. I’ve wondered why we haven’t given over the Brits in Guantanamo, but I suspect it’s for something just like this– we’ll release them just when Blair needs a boost in his approval ratings.

    Personally, I wish Blair would tell George off. Then, when he’s forced to reference our allies he’ll be stuck trying to pronounce Polish names or meekly suggesting that El Salvador’s making some huge contribution to the War on Terror ™, Brought to you by Haliburton, General Dynamics, and Lockheed-Martin.


  3. Maybe George has given Tony a thousand acres in Texas on which to retire? Seriously, I can’t think for the life of me what Blair gets out of the Special Relationship? Either:

    1. He’s stupid (he’s not)
    2. He really believes in the cause (which gives me pause)
    3. He’s in some sort of Faustian pact: support America and then try to influence its will. Who knows what Bush *hasn’t done* because of Blair’s tempering influence? We shall have to wait for the book.


  4. Didn’t you know? 650 British Troops ARE the equivalent of 130,000 American ones! There are only less of the British troops due to trigger happy, computer game shoot em up’s, friedly fire folks. Anyways, half of the American troops will be busy drinking Coca Cola and eating Big Macs.

    No, surely Tony should agree only when Bush agrees to get 4% of the world’s population to consume just a bit less energy than 25% of the worlds demand!!! i.e. agree to follow Kyoto protocol.

    No wonder the French did not want to get involved in the was, quite a number of top French people have been named in the Iraq oil corruption report!


  5. Leaving the French aside for the moment…

    The British Government, for many years now (both Labour and Conservative) has made a strategic choice to be America’s most loyal ally. I think secretly that the Brits like the Special Relationship, it makes us feel more important than we are.

    What’s funny is the amount of time Tony Blair is mentioned in the Bush/Cheney stump speeches. He gives them credibility. He is never mentioned by Kerry. That the Labour and Republican Parties are in bed together is weird, weird, weird.


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