Column: Hot air

 'Special relationship': Love Actually


Do you remember that scene in rom-com Love Actually when Hugh Grant as PM snubbed the entire USA because the president chatted up his girl?

In one fell swoop, he destroyed the so-called ‘Special Relationship’ between the UK and our mates across the Atlantic.

So back in real life, and with a new president about to be sworn in, is it time to follow suit?

Well, probably not…

If anything, the election of Trump and resulting chatter has revealed quite how deep the Americanisation of the UK has become.

I have spoken to a child who genuinely thought we had a president and worryingly she is unlikely to be alone- the confusion runs so deep.

Here in the UK we have taken it almost personally that a man so apparently objectionable has been elected and have waded into the shambles of a fallout as if Trump was our own.

The fears for his administration and the impact it will have upon the rest of the world are justified, but we need to remember we are a powerful force in our own right, not just an annexed state of Washington or a film set for Downton Abbey.

After all, we are not just Americans with ‘cute British accents’.

But at a precarious time, having recently decided to cut ourselves off from our near neighbours with Brexit, our cousins over the pond are powerful allies for an isolated island which seems determined to make itself even tinier.

Our relationship with the USA is part of our strength.

We share language and mutual admiration in a manner that, though sometimes frustrating, is incredibly advantageous politically, diplomatically, economically, culturally.

We both give and we both ruthlessly take.

It’s hard not to despise Donald Trump from our British standpoint, he seems to revel in misinformation while blaming third parties for his own actions.

But like all bursts of hot air, he will blow away.

In the meantime we should bite our tongues and keep our special friends.

We need them.

This first appeared in the Lancashire Evening Post and associated titles HERE