They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Yo Blair! Stand up to US, say Brits


63% say PM has tied Britain too close to White House

Britain should take a much more robust and independent approach to the United States, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today, which finds strong public opposition to Tony Blair's close working relationship with President Bush.

The wide-ranging survey of British attitudes to international affairs - the first since the conflict between Lebanon and Israel started- shows that a large majority of voters think Mr Blair has made the special relationship too special.

Just 30% think the prime minister has got the relationship about right, against 63% saying he has tied Britain too closely to the US.

Carried in the wake of the accidental broadcast of the prime minister's conversation with President Bush at the G8 summit, the poll finds opposition to this central element of the prime minister's foreign policy among supporters of all the main parties.

Even a majority of Labour supporters - traditionally more supportive of Mr Blair's foreign policy position - think he has misjudged the relationship, with 54% saying Britain is too close to the US. Conservatives - 68% - and Liberal Democrats - 83% - are even more critical.

And voters are strongly critical of the scale of Israel's military operations in Lebanon, with 61% believing the country has overreacted to the threats it faces.

As pressure grows for a change of strategy, the poll finds that only 22% of voters believe Israel has reacted proportionately to the kidnapping of soldiers and other attacks from militant groups in southern Lebanon. Read more