This is pure comedy; Ben Brogan reflects on the gift of a pencil holder (?) made from wood from HMS Gannet:
…I wonder what Mr Obama will make of the fact that the only action it saw was in Sudan when it shelled rebels against the British empire. He’s also getting Sir Martin Gilbert’s seven volume biography of Churchill, which will help him find out more about how the Mau-Mau were successfully suppressed in Kenya by the British Emp… Oh, I’m sure it will be fine.
It was of course Churchill who ordered the suppression of the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya in the 1950s; Obama’s grandfather was detained as a subversive for six months at that time. Hopefully Obama will see the funny side. Already in Washington, Adam Boulton said yesterday that
… observers will be on the look out for any hint of a patronising slight from the President. For example Downing Street is hoping for a joint news conference with the President as was routine with Bush and Clinton…
On landing outside snowbound Washington after a 7 hour transatlantic flight, while Brown was getting his post-flight make-up done onboard, the rest of the Lobby learnt there is to be no press conference with Obama.
Brogan says there will just be
… a quick question or two on the fly, not the standing podium-to-podium with the Messiah image that Mr Brown imagined. The joint presser is usually a given on these trips, so this is odd.
Over at the Telegraph Toby Harnden mocks
Mr Brown might be forgiven for thinking that his friend, rival and predecessor Tony Blair would not have been treated the same way by his bosom buddy President George W. Bush. After all, there are 132 rooms in the White House at least some of which, presumably, are currently be free of snow.
On the other hand, President Obama is terribly busy this Tuesday. The White House schedule tells us that he is delivering remarks at the Department of Transportation to deliver remarks about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is also speaking at the Department of Interior to mark its 160th anniversary.
There’s a conflab with Pentagon chief Bob Gates. Oh, and Mr Obama will also meet “a delegation from the Boy Scouts of America and receive their 2008 Report to the Nation” in the Oval Office.
Mr Brown might lament that despite the so-called “special relationship” Britain is now getting the same treatment as the President of Uruguay but he need not despair. I’m told there’s a chance he might get drinks with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday evening.
The Boy Scouts of America obviously are better prepared than the Downing Street boys…
Incidentally, yesterday on the day that Obama authorised funding for international abortion groups, the Pope called on politicans to defend the unborn. It is the custom of the Holy See to deny visiting Catholic politicians a photo-opportunity if they do not take the orthodox Catholic line. As a non-believer who supports abortion it is probable that Gordon will get his publicity shot.
Here are two recent examples of the curse in terrible action:
Liverpool radio DJ Phil Easton dies after interviewing Gordon
The prime minister has led the tributes to legendary Liverpool broadcaster Phil Easton. Gordon Brown was recently interviewed by him for his show on CityTalk. The PM said: “Phil was an accomplished and talented broadcaster who was on the top of his game when we met just a few weeks ago.Source : Liverpool Echo
Workers face axe at Cwmbran PM visit factory
Around 40 workers at a Cwmbran factory are set to lose their jobs, just weeks after the firm was visited by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Cwmbran’s Contour Premium Aircraft Seating announced a “proposed head count reduction” of up to 40 employees on Wednesday.Source : South Wales Argus
Thought he said he wasn’t taking a foreign holiday..?
Labour claims there is massive public support for taking away British freedoms. Prove it. Or will this be yet another election that Brown bottles?
UPDATE : Sir Michael this morning kind of gives the game away “Most politicians dislike the sort of behaviour Davis has displayed. It may please those voters who want their MP to stand up and be counted, but such unpredictability unsettles the trade.” Yes, the political class doesn’t like it, even if voters do…
When New Labour were first elected Tony Blair risked campaigning during the Uxbridge by-election in May 1997. Blair led from the front even though the Tories were sure to hold the seat. Gordon, author of two books on courage, has ordered 80 ministers and SpAds to go to Crewe and Nantwich this weekend to campaign. He however plans to stay well away chewing his nails.
Gordon avoids elections wherever possible, he chickened out of a contest with Blair for the leadership in 1994, he engineered a coronation unopposed for the party leadership in July 2007 and he bottled holding a mandate producing election in October 2007. Nobody has cast a single vote for him to lead his party or his country.
Gordon is a truly pathetic figure, on Friday morning Labour will have to face up to their mistake. If they can’t win Crewe, where they are testing to destruction the “don’t vote for a toff” approach – “tough on toffs, tough on the causes of toffs” - backed-up by illiberal knuckle dragging dog-whistle policies, they can’t win nationally with Brown. Crewe is 165th on the list of Tory target seats… that should concentrate the minds of 164 Labour MPs…
UPDATE : Blair also visited the tightly fought Eddisbury by-election to campaign in August 1999. Before he stood down Blair told the Labour Party in his final speech to their conference that “there are no rules in politics.” Quite.
Carter : We’re going somewhere nice for the weekend, get some sunshine. We have booked a trip to the Eden Project in the South West, Cornwall, then on to Plymouth.
Brown: [rocking in his chair] What about the by-election? Where is it?
Carter: No by-election PM, we are going to see the flowers in Cornwall and visit an old peoples home in Plymouth. Take it easy, have a weekend break.
Gordon is on an official visit to Plymouth, which is 251 miles away from Crewe. Brown couldn’t be further away if he went to Edinburgh (242 miles), in any event he wouldn’t want to go for a weekend rest in Edinburgh now it is under Salmond’s control and Wendy is rebelling against him.
Whereas Cameron and Clegg are up in Crewe and Nantwich backing their candidates to the hilt, taking every local photo-op available, Brown’s handlers are keeping him as far out of sight as possible. No doubt fearful of the inevitable consequences of the Jonah curse of the one eyed son of the manse…
UPDATE : At the old people’s home, Gordon was introduced to Maisie Wright, 94. “Hello, I’m Gordon Brown, the prime minister” he said as he proffered his hand. “That’s nice” replied Maisie, “Wilf over there thinks he is Jesus Christ.” Old, but good.
Labour are projected to lose over 200 seats, a meltdown performance not seen for over a generation. Brown is nowhere to be seen this morning and all the claims of the Brownies ring hollow – their line was that in times of economic difficulty voters would cling to Gordon’s authority and economic competence. Oh, no they didn’t…
These are real votes, not poll results and if repeated at a general election would give the Tories some 400 seats at Westminster and a majority of 138.
Highlights of last night were Richard Littlejohn bitch-slapping Polly Toynbee into silence on Question Time, Geoff Hoon making a Comical Ali style tit of himself and the surreal idiocy of the BBC’s Jeremy Vine dressed up in a cowboy suit making a fool of himself. The Guidoisation of public service broadcasting is perhaps not the best direction for them to go…
ThinkProgress Controlled: “I Was an Obamabot” | Zaid Jilani
Free People Don’t Care About Politics | Fraser Nelson
Like Guido’s Facebook Page | Facebook
International Moaning Day | Kathy Gyngell
Cameron Alienating Core Voters Without Attracting New | City AM
Andy Burnham Villain of the Week | Sun
London’s Laundry Business | NY Times
The End of HS2? | Seb Payne
Elvis Speaks | Nottingham Post
Dave Mocked | Sun
MPs Want to Decriminalise Dodging Licence Fee | Sun
Alan Rusbridger opines…
“One thing that Snowden has taught us journalists is that it’s essential to be paranoid.”