In January (2017) Theresa May made a speech reaffirming the special relationship. The intimate harmonious bond between the United States, and the United Kingdom. Trump apparently does not share that opinion. Recently, he accused May of illegally spying on him. May needs to choose her friends more carefully. For so far Trump doesn’t seem to value the special relationship, which at best is one-sided.
Undermining Theresa May
Putting aside Trump’s policy of casual misogyny, he has undermined Theresa May since the beginning of his presidency. Steve Bannon, his chief strategist, promised to consult with unelected Farage before the Prime Minister on proposals affecting the United Kingdom. Farage is not an elected official of central or local government. Trump later tweeted that ‘Many people would like to see Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job! That breach of diplomatic protocol was adding insult to injury.
Obama, May, The Special Relationship Lies, And Spies.
Trump’s disrespect of May continues. His press secretary, Sean Spicer claimed that Theresa May had spies illegally wiretap Trump at the behest of Barack Obama. Britain’s GCHQ (spy headquarters) responded quickly stating that the allegations are nonsense. Nonetheless, the charge is internationally embarrassing.
Trump does not let the truth get in the way of a good story. He later totally undermined America’s apology for the lie. At a press conference with Angela Merkel, Trump became more resolute in his unproven wiretapping tale. He made reference to 2013 reports that America wiretapped Merkel. Then said ‘At least we have something in common.’
Trump, May, The Special Relationship Lies And Spies
So far the ‘special relationship’ only seems meaningful to May. She was the first foreign state leader to meet with Trump. May is not robust in setting the boundaries of Britain’s relationship, unlike Merkel. Merkel said ‘Germany and America are connected by values of democracy, freedom and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views… I offer the next President of the United States close coöperation on the basis of these values.’
Whether or not Trump likes Merkel, grudgingly he has to respect her. I don’t feel that applies to Theresa May. But it is important because it is the leader’s personalities that define the special relationship. There were Churchill and Roosevelt, Thatcher and Regan, Blair and Bush. But now, the Anglo-American policies are also different to those that prevailed during those relationships. May advocates free trade and globalisation while Trump is a protectionist and misogynist.
Trump, knows he has the upper hand because Britain is leaving the European Union, our largest trading partner. The country will be desperate to do business with America. Although it means lowering our employment and consumer standards. It is why Trump was so quickly issued an invitation to meet the Queen with all the trappings of a state visit.
In return, Trump disrespects May. The latest is accusing her of breaking international law and spying. May’s latest role is that of Trump’s fall guy. I fear for our country and how far we will kowtow to accommodate a megalomaniac. With friends like Trump who needs a special relationship especially a lopsided one.
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