A Special Relationship

In the early 1900s a number of British imperial zealots came to believe that the Empire could only survive in the future if it re-embraced the United States of America, and moved its capital to Washington. They were influenced by the mining capitalist Cecil Rhodes, whose will provided scholarships to Oxford University for British colonials, and also for Americans. (And, as it happened, for Germans: our ‘race cousins’.) The American and Commonwealth ones are still going. Past ‘Rhodes Scholars’ have included number of future American presidents, the most recent being Bill Clinton. The ‘Round Table’ group, as it was called, also formed a secret society to further their grand British-American imperial ends. An American historian called Carroll Quigley inferred from this that America’s foreign policy was unduly influenced on the side of Britain by this transatlantic conspiracy. That is nonsense, of course.

And yet…. Boris Johnson was born in New York, seems to have imperial sympathies, has a high regard for the current American president, and has made it pretty clear that he would favour a trade deal with the USA which most economists believe would make Britain dependent on America in a way she wasn’t while she was in the EU. Trump of course is doing all he can to tear Britain away from the EU.

One result of this could be to reduce the UK to the status of a de facto colony of America, which could be said in a way to realise the Rhodes conspirators’ vision, of an Anglo-American empire, a hundred years on. (Perhaps the US-born Boris could become its President? Apparently his ambition at an early age was to become ‘world-king’. That would really cement it.) Whether or not ‘conspiracy’ had anything at all to do with this – I very much doubt it – it seems an odd way for Britain to ‘take back control’.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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1 Response to A Special Relationship

  1. Pingback: The Horse’s Mouth | Porter’s Pensées

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