Gordon Brown’s government has gone from blunder to blunder in Anglo-American relations. First it ennobled and hires Mark Malloch Brown, a talentless UN bureaucrat known only for his hostility to America (and vice versa). Then it approves Douglas Alexander’s speech, not realising how the haughty and misjudged line about ‘build, don’t destroy’ would go down. A panicked Brown makes public a memo telling his Cabinet to behave. Then some genius lets Malloch Brown loose on the press – and, quelle surprise, he’s sounding off about how the British government wont be “joined at the hip” to America like it was under Blair, ie - distancing is about to begin. Today, we hear from David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary – and it’s all good stuff. But he should have had the first word, not be called in to fight a fire others started on his patch. As Matt says today, Gordon Brown asked for this trouble by promoting Malloch Brown in the first place – easily the worst decision of his premiership so far. He has just started to reap the consequences.
PS – The Wall St Journal gives a good summary of Malloch Brown’s reputation in Washington here.