Fraser Nelson

A catalogue of Stateside errors

A catalogue of Stateside errors
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Whenever Blair didn’t like the heat in Britain he’d jet off abroad. But Brown’s trip to America seems to cast his shortcomings into even sharper relief. My thoughts on the visit so far:

1) Meeting Wall Street figures and pretending to bang heads together about the credit crunch will be recognised as a stunt in America. USA Today has a quote to this effect from Graham Wilson, a political science professor at Boston University. “I'm skeptical that any jawboning has any effect. I'm not sure Wall Street will respond to a British prime minister.”

2) Wilson also tells USA Today “If he wanted publicity in the United States, it's a rather odd time to come.” Sky News has this quote from Willis Witter, Washington Times Acting Editor: "The main problem is the timing. Any foreign leader who comes when the Pope is here isn't going to get a whole lot of attention”. D’ohhhh.

3) No10 is already (and churlishly) spinning against the White House, letting it be known it was the Americans who suggested visiting this week but didn’t reveal the pope would be there too. I can well imagine they feel aggrieved, but you just don’t leak this stuff. Blair used to do it to Clinton in the early days, and it drove Clinton wild.

4) An American drone plane yesterday fired two missiles into Basra to kill militiamen. This is supposed to be Britain’s protectorate. If Brown had done his job properly this job would be done by a fully-equipped and properly staffed British military. Today’s New York Times mentions “barely muted disdain” about Brown’s order for them to retreat to Basra Airport.

5) ABC’s Good Morning America found out for themselves just how earth-shatteringly dull a Brown interview can be. Watch it here – the cheese advert at the start is easily the highlight.

And that’s before we count his howler claim that “only one or two” European countries supported the Iraq war (which I blogged on here). I suppose it can only get better from here.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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