Is Britain America's "poodle?" If we are, we're a bloody big poodle, and master's got a fucking big stick to throw (in fact, he's got loads, and they tend to be made of plutonium... Hmm... Lucky we aren't trained to fetch). Whatever canine comparisons you might wish to make, Britain now works for America in the field of foreign affairs. Britain has become like a big tentacle with a gun on the end, growing out of America's robotic eye. The truth is, cyborgs are easier to visualise. But what does this mean for us Brits, waving around somewhere on that big old tentacle, waiting for the gun to fire?. It means we're probably fucked if things go wrong. After all, when attacking a metal cyborg, don't you always go for the fleshy green tentacle with the gun on the end? I know I do. And so do most military leaders. If someone gets pissed off with the Empire and decides to do something silly/heroic, Britain cops it first.
Not only are we first in line for anti-american retaliation, but also we – as a province of the empire – get held responsible in conjunction with Big G for any nonsensical atrocities that get committed in the name of oil. For every British citizen who knows what's going on, it's like being tied to the back of a thug. When I watch the news and see flags being burned in angry deserts, and missiles being carted around in distant lands by men with grudges, and mythical terrorists making impassioned threats from caves, I want to be able to talk into the TV and say "actually, I'm not too bothered about destroying you... that's those gentlemen with the flags and the humvees and bugles and things over the ocean". I'm sure that most Americans think the same as me. Neither they nor I particularly want conquest or vengeance when a quiet life is one of the other options. However, just when all those Americans and all those Brits like myself are mouthing peace pleas and non-combatant excuses at the angry men from The East, uncle George barges onto the screen from some press conference and starts bellowing to all concerned that he WILL beat the bejeezus out of anyone in his way, and that THE PEOPLE will not rest until all his foes are vanquished. So much for staying out of it.
Thanks to the wonders of democracy then, I have become another cell of the great big man-with-a-hammer poised to bust on the axis of evil. I never asked for the job, and I won't have a chance to explain this if the bombs start falling on London. Therefore, I want danger money. If I'm going to be risking my life and my freedom and my neutrality, I want to be paid for it. If we're all going on George's holiday, then we should be recompensed. America makes many fine things, and we should be getting them for free. Mind you, I don't really want many of them right now. Maybe I should just start waving a flag and shouting and being invincible, and then them nasty Arabs won't be able to get me. Or something. Yeah. Grrrr. Saddam, we're coming for ya.
Fred wishes you were here