Question for Brits - What do you think about the way Brown was treated by America?

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by MenInTights, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    This is not something that has been in the media here. I haven't even seen it in the Conservative media. But I heard about this and read about it on a few sites in the states and in Britian and it really seems like a slap in the face to Brown.

    Obama's Gifts To Brown Irk British Media : NPR
    President Barack Obama Gives British Prime Minister Gordon Brown DVD Swag, British Tabloids Fume | homemediamagazine.com
    London aghast at President Obama over gifts given to Prime Minister Brown

    List of 'offenses':

    • Obama returned the bust of Churchill that was given as a show of solidarity.
    • Obama gave Brown 25 dvds that probably won't even work overseas while Brown gave Obama a pen holder made from the wood of the British warship that was crucial in ending slavery AND a set of first edition books about Winston Churchill.
    • Michelle Obama received designer clothes and jewelry from Brown's family for the kids and she gave Brown's kids toys from the Whitehouse gift shop.
    • A State Department official was quoted as saying "There's nothing special about England. You're the same as the other 190 countries in the world.
    • Obama canceled the state dinner and news conference. Later, he did hold a brief joint conference.

    So anyway, just curious what the average Brit thinks about it.
     

  2. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    First I had heard of it.

    I knew they had removed Churchills bust from the Oval office but other than that not a lot about their meeting. Some stuff about global finance and playing tennis together.

    We have had quite a bit of real news that has dominated the headlines; In politics David Cameron's(leader of the opposition/most likely next pm) son died aged 6, also more news of state ownership of banks as Lloyds/tsb gets bought into and then this week the renewed troubles in Northern Ireland. The news papers are not short on column inches at the moment.

    That said Gordon Brown is an odd one in the face of publicity, he is a bit of an old school politician, unlike Blair, Obama, Clinton or Bush. He is quite a dry character and the celebrity status does not roll with him.

    As for the presents, I dont think it makes any difference to any affairs, it is just a formality. I imagine Obama is giving out a lot of gifts at the moment. It is also slightly different being the host than the guest. Obama is over here next month for the G20 where he will do all the dignitries with the Queen as well, lets see what he gets her!
     
  3. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    That's cool. People in America will look at it as '~whatever~'. I hope its the same overseas. I know I take personal offense anytime I see another leader put down our President be it current or past, so I hope this is not seen as such.
     
  4. Stab-o-Matic5000

    Stab-o-Matic5000 Cutting Edge in Murder

    Just throwing it out there, maybe Obama didn't think that giving out gifts on par of pen holders made from wood from a hundred year old warship would make him look all that great considering that he campaigned on the platform to fix an ailing economy and fix corruption in the government. No, couldn't have anything to do with that.

    And really? No offense to England, but it's not more special than the other 190 countries in the world. I wouldn't expect America to be more special in England's eyes either.
     
  5. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species


    But that is the point...it is more special than the other 190 countries. It was Churchill who first coined the phrase "special relationship" and it was Bush and Blair who used that very phrase repeatedly over the last 8 years to wage war. Remember Iraq and Afghanistan were coalitions. The US uses British soil all over the world to house its forces, we are one of your biggest trade partners, we have the largest direct foreign investment in the US(and vice-versa), we speak the same language and have an equal pursuit of democratic freedom and very similar political beliefs. Practically every war of the last 100 years have been fought together, nearly everytime the Un vote on something you can assure that the US and UK are on the same side of the fence.

    It is this bilateral solidarity between the two countries that is special and has to some degree been exploited (especially with extraordinary rendition and intelligence issues), I think that is the significance in the removal of the bust. It is a more a case of wiping the slate clean and building new ties than relying solely on old, tired and often misused solidarity.

    Im fairly certain that the UK is not alone in this Whitehouse spring clean....... Chian is being given a room of its own and Iran has been taken off the dart board!
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  6. Stab-o-Matic5000

    Stab-o-Matic5000 Cutting Edge in Murder

    Well, that's mainly a semantics debate, but I can see where your argument makes sense from a foreign policy standpoint. I do think that starting clean with foreign policy would be fantastic, if it's possible to do at all. Over the last century America's gotten into some pretty tangled relationships with the world. Frankly I wish the world could forget the Cold War ever even happened.

    But back to topic, I mean come on, if Obama sent Brown and his families lavish gifts that would have been the same thing as taking a gun to his political career and putting one right between the eyes. I mean, look at how much crap he's getting over the stimulus bill and the new budget proposal, and he didn't even write them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  7. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    After Brown watches his new Mary Poppins DVD, he'll realize just how "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" his gift was, and then I imagine he'll run off to dance with cartoon penguins alongside a charming chimney sweep who personifies the typical British person. But that kind of stuff happens all the time in Britain.
     
  8. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    The gifts Brown gave probably cost little, but were of monumental significance. The pen holder was made from the same wood that President's desk and the Queen's desk are made from. If you saw National Treasure 2, the desk were in there. I would think the 1st edition Churchill books were already in possession of the government.
    This could be 2 things. Number 1, Obama disdains the Brits. I hope that's not true. The special relationship between the 2 countries is too important to waste. Number 2 and more likely, this is a complete failure of the State Department. The State Department from what I understand is sorta in charge of a lot of this stuff. WMD's?
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  9. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    Just out of curiosity, do we know what gifts other state visitors have had? Both past and present. Both British and other. What did Regan get Thatcher on her visits? How about Sarkozy or Merkel, they been to visit the Obamas yet?
     

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