I arrived in the US last night and immediately I noticed a few changes. Security has stepped up at immigration, you’re now required to have a full set of finger print scans on arrival, whereas you just needed both index fingers before. So much for labelling the Republicans as security freaks and civil liberty wreckers, seems the Democrats are just as keen at this. The petrol (gas) price is at $1.99 a gallon! No one is complaining about that anymore, but why do we in Britain still pay +£0.90 a litre? It’s obviously not just tax, it also highlights the appalling exchange rate between the dollar (the currency oil is traded in) and the pound. The other thing I noticed is that Obama’s poll rating is falling faster than Bush’s did over his first 70 days. That one seems to have escaped the British media’s attention, but I guess you can’t label him the messiah and an idiot at the same time.
Back in Blighty things are not looking good for Gordon Brown either. As Brown left South America, he might have thought, “at least nothing else can go wrong now” in what was a terrible week for the PM. Dan Hannan had kicked it off with his now-famous speech in Strasbourg; then Brown was introduced in New York as a man who became PM in 2007 “and it was all downhill ever since”; then to Brazil where he was snubbed by Pele and ribbed by the president; then to Chile to be given lessons in Keynsian economics. So what was Brown’s reaction I wonder when he heard of Cameron’s hour long meeting with Obama on Wednesday? Watch the repairmen enter No 10 on Monday and time how long they spend there, this should give some indication as to how badly he took the news.
According to the Telegraph’s Toby Harnden, Barack Obama will take time to meet David Cameron when he comes over to London for the G20 summit next week. The pair have met before, but that was before Obama became US President. Surely, a meeting now will be taken as a sign that the US administration thinks Brown is on his way out. Some summit this is turning out to be for Gordon…
Maybe when Cameron meets Obama on Wednesday he should do so with a bit of caution and approach the meeting with a completely different attitude to that of Brown’s schoolgirl crush approach. Cameron should in the nicest possible way tell Obama that what he is doing to stimulate the economy is wrong, and that he should stop his administration drifting, he needs to get his house in order and staff the Treasury department now, for gods sake! As Cameron said a while ago “we are of course friends with America, but we should be critical friends, free to point out when we think they are going wrong.”