‘Senior officials in the US administration sounded the alert after a meeting between Mr Brown and Condoleezza Rice, Mr Bush’s secretary of state, in which Mr Brown “harangued” her over American policy on aid, development and Africa.
After the uncomfortable session, sources said she reported her misgivings to the White House, and they were sent on in turn to Mr Blair.
After taking the warnings on board, Mr Blair signaled his intention to stay on at No 10 until at least 2008, the year of the US election to choose a successor to Mr Bush.
However, he was forced to abandon this plan following a “coup” led by Mr Brown’s supporters. Mr Brown eventually became prime minister in June 2007 and pursued a foreign policy that was far more independent of America than Mr Blair’s had been.’
So, the psychodrama went global – no wonder the recession started in America. It’s a richly comic story, recalling Bush’s bizarre golf-buggy ride with Brown. But the Bush administration is cast in infamy again; interfering with an ally’s internal politics is indicative of the heavy-handedness and hectoring that caused its universal unpopularity after the deluge of goodwill following 9/11. That said, I can’t get too irate: Gordon Brown lost the only election he ever fought. I wonder what the Poodle will say about these little vanities in The Journey. The Third Man revealed nothing of this.