While Lady Thatcher was arm in arm on the White House lawn yesterday with Dick Cheney, standing shoulder to shoulder with our American allies, her successor but four chose the fifth anniversary of September 11th to make a major speech on foreign policy.
To read THIS article in today's Telegraph, you would think the whole point of the speech was for David Cameron to distance himself from what he described as the 'slavish' relationship Tony Blair enjoys with George W Bush.
Instead, David Cameron said Britain ought to be prepared to tell the truth to its leading ally. While Tories were instinctive friends of America and passionate supporters of the Atlantic Alliance Cameron called for a rebalancing of the relationship.
I have to admit that when I read the Telegraph I had a slight feeling of discomfort at the timing, if not necessarily the content, of these remarks. Surely on such an important anniversary we should be combining with our allies to send an unequivocal message to those who seek to destroy our freedoms, rather than send coded messages to our most important ally? But naturally, the Telegraph ignored the rest of the speech, which was an unashamed call to arms for both sides of the Atlantic alliance.
While at the White House, Lady Thatcher said that "the heinous attack on America was an act of barberism and an attack on us all. With America, Britain stands in the front line against Islamic fanatics who hate our beliefs, our liberties and our citizens. We must not falter, we must not fail. We are here to remember, to pray for the dead and to share their loved ones' grieving. But we also need to renew our resolve that, however bitter or lengthy the strugle, this evil shall not prevail."
David Cameron's speech can be read in full HERE. I remain troubled by the interpretation of the speech. All the pre-spin seemed to be along the lines of "I'm not a neo-con, says Cameron." This is dangerous territory and unfortunately in this case overshadowed the content of an otherwise excellent foreign policy speech.