Bargain, Tony, bargain!

The US has asked Tony Blair to redeploy some of Britain's troops currently around Basra to help the American effort in Baghdad. This would then free US troops for an assault on Falluja. Today, 44 MPs tabled a motion asking for a Commons vote on any redeployment. I suspect Blair will reject their calls and that the decision to support the US has already been made (as suggested by unnamed MoD sources). Slightly puzzling is why 650 British troops will make all the difference when there are some 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq right now, but that is another question....

Blair has admitted that there is a price to be paid in Britain's relationship with America: we must be loyal. But isn't it time that Blair demanded something in return? After all, he's staked his political life on Bush's Iraq policy, and if the White House wants him in Number 10, it needs to throw a bone to the British electorate.

So here's my proposal: go ahead and move the troops. This will annoy the British public. Then release all British prisoners in Guantanamo. This will make the British public happy. And Tony. And if Tony is happy, so is George. Everyone wins!

P.S. When Tony is feeeling blue he should log on to, an American site dedicated to thanking Tony for his support in the War on Terror (TM).