28 February 2009

Something smells about Brown’s trip

There is something not right about Brown’s escape from reality next week.   I have posted previously on the wording of the White House press release announcing the trip, and that it is most odd that Moses is being asked to address Congress.

Now comes this in the Telegraph.

On the wording of the press release:

A Washington official who is close to several members of Mr Obama's inner circle said: "They craft every word for the stone tablets. Words are what they do. It is not a mistake.

A partnership is a business arrangement based on what you can do for Obama, not a relationship like a marriage that thrives through thick and thin until death do us part. He'll judge the specialness of a partnership with Britain on what he gets out of it." In return for concrete support, Mr Obama is expected to offer to listen more closely to British advice than George W. Bush did. But insiders say he will be ruthless in cutting adrift countries who do not cooperate with his global agenda, whatever their historic relationships.

Are you listening Gordon?

On the visit to the White House itself:

….will have his audience with Mr Obama before lunch on Tuesday, but it promises to be a fairly brief affair with no White House dinner.

I can’t recall a previous occasion when a visiting Prime Minister has not been invited for dinner.

Then this, which I touched on yesterday.

But his [Brown’s] own parlous political prospects may be a drag on Britain's influence with President Obama, who is said to take an "unsentimental view" of the prime minister's plight. That view is also coloured by the knowledge he might be dealing with Conservative leader David Cameron in 12 months time.

“Obama can read the polls the same as everyone else," said a political adviser who has worked on both Democrat and Labour campaigns. "He wants partners for the next four years and Brown may not be one of those."

On more troops:

Dr Nile Gardiner, of the conservative Heritage foundation and a former aide to Margaret Thatcher, said: "President Obama has never acknowledged the sacrifice of British soldiers alongside their U.S. allies in a major policy speech. The new administration seems to care little for what the British have contributed in Afghanistan or Iraq in the past; what matters now is simply how many more troops Brown is willing to pledge for the surge in Afghanistan. It's a very hardnosed, short-term approach rather than one rooted in a sense of enduring alliance. My sense is that the special relationship is being significantly downgraded."

All this is significant.  No doubt these facts will be glossed over in the coverage of the visit, especially by the compliant BBC.  You can just hear Nick Robinson now.

It is worth pointing out, as the article does, that the address to Congress is nothing to do with the White House.

Clearly Moses is going to be treated rather differently by the White House than he would wish.  Brown’s visit to Obama may well turn out to be a very routine affair.

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  1. Of course it will be routine. Brown is seen by Obabama for what he is: a lame-duck PM who will be trying to boost his own failing political prospects by hanging onto the President's coat tails. He will not wish to be linked to failure - sorry, that should be spectacular failure.

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