Here we go: the press position on the special relationship

Since a democratic action on Thursday August 29th, Britain has voted [at time of writing] to not go to war with Syria. Wherever you sit on the political spectrum, this was decided democratically.

What’s fascinatingly Victorian about the process isn’t the way the politicians have acted but the press.

While many will discuss the in-party turning and the pet-lefts of the right turning tail and older warhounds as they howl at the bloody moon, let’s take a look at what we’re saying about the situation shall we?

On both sides of the Atlantic, there is furor. Of course.
Expect it to be reported on, analyzed, and fretted over ceaselessly for a while to come.

Let me share something with you. In 1899, Mary H. Krout wrote:

‘The English press had criticized the United States without reserve, inveighing with sufficiently evident cause against its disreputable political methods; condemning its judiciary, made a part and parcel of political spoils; attacking its protective tariff, which operated to the disadvantage of British commerce. The American people were taken to task individually and collectively for countless sins of omission and commission; for the rudeness and vulgarity of a certain class of American tourists; the tendency to national hysteria. The universal greed and money worship all came in for the most unsparing criticism. The American press, in replying, had dwelt upon what it termed the land-grabbing propensities of Great Britain; its disposition to make war upon nations weaker than itself, both in numbers and armament; dilating upon the scandals that were rife among the aristocracy-a counter- arraignment quite as bitter and abusive as that by which it was provoked’Now do a simple exercise: reread that but where it says ‘English’ replace with ‘American’ and vice versa. Then, for best results, sit back and watch the press from both sides of the Atlantic over the next week.

How oddly…familiar.


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