Monday, 2 July 2007

Raised eyebrows in Washington

The Times has an astonishing story this morning, that some of Gordon Brown's appointments - of people critical of the war in Iraq - have caused concern in Washington. The idea that Brown needs the approval of the Bush administration for the make up of his own government is mind-blowing, but probably a hangover from the Blair era, where everything the government did had to have 100% approval of our closest ally.

On the other hand:
Figures close to the Bush Administration say that they have been encouraged by the general tenor of Mr Brown’s remarks towards the US and that they understand his need to “play the domestic political game” by demonstrating a degree of independence.
The pro-Washington spin from this Murdoch paper is unmistakable. It ends with the observation that for Brown to delay at all before becoming more fully engaged with the US:
carries the risk that Britain will lose influence to other European powers, such as France and Germany, who seem keen to heal their Iraq rift with the US.

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