It would easy to criticize the way that President Ronald Reagan, USA, did things, but now seventeen years after he left Office, his legacy of charm with fair-mindedness prevails.
For instance, every journalist of the twenty or so foreign newspapers lined up to see him, be asked to take a jellybean. If you ate it you would have been in a pickle. He used them as a way of being fair to everyone and not giving one person favouritism over another.
I will see the person with the yellow jelltybean.”
I remember thinking that was daft, but it is actually very fair.
One day he made these tough, global journalists laugh. He said that he had written John Major, Prime Minister at the time (1990 – 1997) a ‘Dear John’ letter. The British people present fell about laughing! Okay, I can see that some of you will be bewildered, so let me explain. Before the advent of email, if a girl sent a gentleman a letter, starting ‘Dear John’, it meant she wanted to dump him, excise him from her life. Ronald Reagan was appalled and ever the fair-minded gentleman that he was, he uttered those seemingly immortal words:
“No, no. The US and the UK have a special relationship.”
So it has been for 27 years.
Enter Theresa May who was captured on camera by the BBC, wondering where she should stand for the G20 members’ photograph. She was alone; no-one else was there. Why wasn’t she talking with anybody? Angela Merkel and Francois Marcon were seen talking to her earlier in the G20 Summit. (Fishing policy is the first policy to change, so that was good news before the Summit. I am almost dreading her view on the G20 Summit.)
Enter Donald Trump, whose paltry excuse for not coming to see us during his world tour, was that he did not want to be booed. He certainly got his comeuppance from anti-establishment demonstrators in Hamburg. It seems that he has no political sympathisers old enough to remind him about the special relationship with the UK and he obviously sees us as a bit-player on the world stage. He is mature enough to possibly blame the Scots who refused to take down a windfarm out at sea, as it destroyed the view from the golf course he wanted to build.
He should be reminded that the special relationship revolved around the American bases parked in our country, as part of their refuelling and firing strategy between the US and Russia. I never was keen on being the first country to be hit, should Mr Trump decide to press the red nuclear button.
Personally I think we should join the Trans-Pacific Alliance as soon as possible. Let us consolidate our relationships within Europe, yet take other relationships elsewhere. Canada and Australia have both issued invitations. I hope that we accept with grace. The person who somehow thought it politic to mention Norway’s deal with the EU should be put in the stocks.