Special Relationship

We fret over Europe, but the real threat to sovereignty has long been the US
Britain's biggest foreign influence is the one politicians don't dare debate: not immigration, not Brussels, but America
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Linda Colley
The Guardian, Friday 23 November 2007
Article history
One knows something is important when the powers that be choose not to acknowledge it in public. Since 1945, Britain has been subject to at least three invasions. Two of these invasions have been massively discussed, and are widely viewed as having challenged and complicated understandings of what it means to be British. The empire came home, in that migrants from former overseas colonies settled here in large numbers, as they never had before the war; and Britain joined what is now the European Union, and became subject to interventions of different kinds emanating from Brussels.
The third post-1945 invasion was just as momentous, yet official and media silence about it is usually deafening. Since 1947, there have been US military bases in the UK: something that would have been unthinkable before 1939.
Schoolchildren in the United States are still taught that London's decision to keep 10,000 troops in the colonies after 1763 was one of the precipitants of the American revolution. Yet, according to the available statistics, over 10,500 US military personnel were stationed in the UK as late as 2005, a higher total than in any other European state, barring Germany and Italy, both defeated in the second world war. In all, well over 1.3 million US personnel have been stationed here since 1950, without - so far as I know - any consultation of the electorate.
It is not the exact number of these troops, however, but what they represent that is significant - namely London's postwar position of considerable clientage to Washington in terms of foreign policy and much else.
To refer to these subjects is to invite accusations of...