Wednesday, 24 June 2015
Take the Toys from the Boys
Look for a United Kingdom Member of Parliament who is not in favour of a “Special Relationship” with the USA and you are looking for an almost extinct species. Willingness to big up the USA is a job requirement. Maybe some of them are paid to be in favour but for most of them it is genuine Fervour.
I puzzle about it every time I read of some new gun crime in the USA. We only get to read about the spectacular ones but we know there are a hundred more for every one we read about. Most of them are racist crimes. Most are committed by young-ish men. They are not deterred by the death penalty or America’s horrific Gulag of prisons, specialised in cruel and unusual punishments for black people.
Gun crime is one of the reasons America appears very low down on the Global Peace Index, sitting next to its own Special Relation, Saudi Arabia:
Take the toys from the boys.
I don’t know how you bring it about, it’s so ingrained in so many American cultures, but somehow they have to be talked out of their attachment to guns. Maybe the EU should threaten sanctions, maybe the UN should investigate, maybe women in America should take the lead (though many of them are caught up in gun cultures too). Here in the UK, maybe MPs should start murmuring that this is not the sort of friend we want. Maybe we should be less enthusiastic about Hollywood films, a tired genre offering little more than video clips of guns blazing – one of the inspirations of course for the psychopaths of Isis.
America’s gun cultures are a global problem because they also shape the way Americans feel about the rest of the world, a place into which you go armed and ready for a shoot out. America believes in its right to bear arms, anywhere in the world - the UK tagging along behind.
Guns are not the only reason I wonder about this Special Relationship. Republican Presidential candidates are another, nutters and fruitcakes - to borrow an expression of Mr Cameron’s. Then there is this huge industry of religious quackery, God’s name a cover for financial corruption and sexual abuse. Then there is the religious fundamentalism – you can see once again how they get along so well with Saudi Arabia.
Then there is the mass poverty which the UK's Parliament is busily trying to bring to its own citizens.
Want a Special Relation? How about Iceland? But would they have us? They are #1 in the Global Peace Index. I doubt they would want British stag parties descending on Rekjavik.