Tony blair and george bush relationship with father

Tony Blair - Wikipedia

tony blair and george bush relationship with father

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May ) is a British politician who served as Prime Blair supported the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration, and Blair's father accepted a job as a lecturer at Durham University, and thus .. Along with enjoying a close relationship with Bill Clinton, Blair formed a. Together again: Tony Blair and George W. Bush are reunited at the opening of . came as Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, spoke to the crowd and then rose out . Cheney and Bush had a strained relationship, as Bush was. You would have thought politically Bill Clinton as both he and Blair were supposedly left of centre politicians (whatever that means) and no doubt they were and.

John Harris on the US-UK relationship | US news | The Guardian

With most of these things, you actually don't need all that much intelligence; you need common sense, which is a different kind of intelligence.

You certainly don't need a lot of secret stuff which turns out to be wrong. If they're going to track a terrorist who comes from the Middle East via eastern Europe and Britain to America, they need the cooperation of a lot of people. As Dan Plesch, the London-based academic and author who has made it his business to shine light on these things, points out, Britain's current nuclear weapons system and, indeed, the one that looks likely to replace it is umbilically linked to the US.

The missiles themselves are leased from the US government.

How Tony Blair's Close Relationship With George W. Bush Fueled the March to Baghdad

They depend on American maintenance - carried out at a base in King's Bay, Georgia - and American software. All this has one crucial upshot: In his view, the absence of the weapons would be a worthwhile price for liberating Britain from stifling US dominance.

Wasn't that one of the moments when we felt proud of New Labour, when Britain was behaving as Britain was supposed to behave?

tony blair and george bush relationship with father

Well, we could feel like that a great deal more. With the cold war now a fading memory, talking about a move away from the US no longer conjures up a Britain vulnerable to the Red Menace, but the less sensational prospect of a closer relationship with the EU. The UK would still be a member of the G8, and we would hang on to our permanent seat on the UN security council indeed, distancing ourselves from the US might make some countries more relaxed about it.

Somewhere in their arguments, there also lurks an under-appreciated effect of globalisation: For some people, however, a break with the US has always been couched in slightly more dramatic terms.

Tony Benn, the leftwing idol who quit parliament in to give himself "more time to devote to politics", begins, "You have to look at all this historically, don't you? And we are, in a sense, a colony of the United States. By way of getting a slightly different perspective, I put in some calls to what might be termed the Washington policy establishment, the web of academics, ex-government insiders and ambitious young ish politicos who might one day be called to the White House.

The first person I speak to is year-old Jeremy Shapiro of the Brookings Institution, the influential US think-tank once placed on Richard Nixon's list of sworn enemies, but that has long sat in the non-partisan centre.

The American view of the special relationship, as he sees it, is partly built on the fact that "the British army is basically the only army in the world really capable and willing to operate in any large numbers with the United States", though what's really important is more symbolic.

This has been an administration that's been extremely cruel to its allies. And the better the ally, the crueller they've been. This administration feels very good about the British, but for that reason, they feel very little need to do much for them. What if Britain eventually felt so hurt that we decided to kick the special relationship into touch, close those bases, and align ourselves more closely with, say, Sweden?

And losing the British in some sort of visible, public way would be a public relations disaster, even here in the United States. The US could get over it, depending on whether it had other countries on its side. But in the current environment, when the UK is kind of the last reliable ally, apart from the Australians.

Shapiro is having none of it - and besides, he thinks the scenario is too far-fetched even to contemplate. The GuardianFriday 5 April When George Bush and Tony Blair stood together in front of a roaring log fire at Camp David a year ago, and the newly minted president made his famously goofy claim that the two leaders shared the same taste in toothpaste, the prime minister chipped in: The unexpectedly close relationship between the two men raises a raft of questions.

Does Blair have any real influence on the way Bush chooses to handle the deepening crisis in the Middle East, or the confrontation with Iraq?

  • Tony Blair
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And does Britain have any better chance of being heard by the world's sole superpower than nations whose leaders do not compare toiletries with the president? Before Bush became US president inhe and Blair had never met or even spoken to one another.

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Yet since September 11, Downing Street claims, the two leaders have talked more regularly over the phone than any other two world leaders. British officials were yesterday pointing to the US president's abrupt U-turn on engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the sending of the secretary of state, Colin Powell, to the region, as a dividend of the special relationship.

They said that Blair was able to put the case for US intervention from the point of view of a friend, rather than a nagging European. And when Bush and Blair emerge this weekend from their latest bonding session on the president's Prairie Chapel ranch outside Crawford in Texas, they will present themselves to the world as a global double act.

But where does the Downing Street spin stop, and the statesmanship begin?

tony blair and george bush relationship with father

The personal chemistry undoubtedly matters a lot. When he travels to Crawford this weekend, Blair will find George and Laura Bush on home ground, and on their own terms. Officials and advisers will be there, too, but they will only be on the margins. So how do they really get on? One of the few people in a position to answer that question from personal knowledge was staying mum in response to inquiries this week.

Bill Gammell was happy enough to talk about his Edinburgh-based oil and gas business, Cairn Energy.

tony blair and george bush relationship with father

But when it comes to his political connections, all he would say was: By a fluke of political history, the Scottish oilman knew both leaders early on in their lives, and friends say that he has been instrumental in easing his high-powered acquaintances into a closer personal bond than might otherwise have seemed possible, given their different political backgrounds.

He has seen both Blair and Bush in recent months.

tony blair and george bush relationship with father

Gammell's connections with both men go back a long way: After Gammell's father, Jimmy, backed George Bush Sr's oil business in the 50s, the budding US politician sent his year-old son to spend a summer at the Gammell family farm in Glen Isla in Perthshire. Bill was six, and the two boys rode the country lanes on their bikes and struck up a friendship that has lasted to this day.

The two men were in the oil business together in the 80s, by which time Bush Sr was vice-president. Bush was a guest at Gammell's wedding in The invasion of Iraq was particularly controversial, as it attracted widespread public opposition and of Blair's own MPs opposed it.

Alastair Campbell described Blair's statement that the intelligence on WMDs was "beyond doubt" as his "assessment of the assessment that was given to him. Blair denied that he would have supported the invasion of Iraq even if he had thought Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction.

He said he believed the world was safer as a result of the invasion. In addition to PMQs, Blair held monthly press conferences at which he fielded questions from journalists [88] and — from — broke precedent by agreeing to give evidence twice yearly before the most senior Commons select committee, the Liaison Committee. Blair in As the casualties of the Iraq War mounted, Blair was accused of misleading Parliament, [95] [96] and his popularity dropped dramatically.

As a combined result of the Blair—Brown pactIraq war and low approval ratings, pressure built up within the Labour Party for Blair to resign.