Warning: Political blog post!!
In a recent blog post i bemoaned the fact that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, had falied to say something to the face of the person that his words were directed to.
As it happens, DavidCameron did do just that and very recently too. But i feel he also had an ulterior motive on that occasion too.
It happened, as so many things do, in the USA.
David Cameron visited there recentlly and in the course of his visit mentioned the fact that he considered in UK to be "the junior partner" in the, often quoted, "special relationship" between the UK and the USA.
Now, anyone with a sense of realism, has known that this has been the case for many years, probably even decades now. And, on this occasion anyway, i fully agree with David Camerons comments. It is something that has needed to have been said for many of those years, or decades that i mentioned.
I fully accept that nobody wants to admit that their influence in the world is not quite what it was. But, us Brits do need to realise that we don't have an Empire these days and that most of the world is not painted red on maps anymore. For better, or worse, those days are long gone.
Yes, the UK is a nuclear power and that does make us a member of a pretty exclusive club. But, even our nuclear status is really a throwback to an earlier age.
I believe that the UK's status in the world is really an historical one. If it were not for the UK's past influence and vast history, would we still be sitting at the worlds top table? I'd like to think so, as i am a patriot (honest). But, i'm not sure we would be. Especially, if table places were based on face value.
And, this brings me to pondering on what, i think, David Camerons comments might really mean.
I may well be wrong and probably am. But i think they are a signal to the world and especially the USA, that things might be about to change, as far as the UK is concerned.
If we are no longer an equal partner in that "special relationship", we will no longer feel the need to fully support anything that the USA says and does. The UK will also not have to try and effectively punch above our weight in other ways either.
I can see two military aspects to this and without really giving it much thought either.
It was announced this week that funding for the updating of part of the UK's nuclear deterrant, was to be changed. Any funding would have to come from existing budgets and not as extra funding from the Government.
In my opinion, this paves the way for the Ministry Of Defence to say that they cannot afford this money and therefore, we will not be updating this nuclear option. Especially, as we are not now the world force that we once were.
If this admission had been made, when it could have been. many years ago. Would the UK now be involved in conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan?
Just think how many hundreds of lives and how many billions of pounds could have been saved?
And all for a little bit of humility and realism.