Saturday, February 21, 2009

Brown Meets Obama Posted Here Feb 6!

Downing Street has confirmed Brown will meet Obama early next month. Nothing new there. The Orange Party reported this was on the cards back on February 6.

The beleaguered prime minister is pinning his hopes on some of the Obama magic rubbing off on him. 

Brown's mountain goes to Obama's muhammad on March 3. The prime minister hopes that by dropping in at the White House he can steal a march on his rivals and a few votes back home. 

Following a tip from the Westminster Mole, the Orange Party posted earlier, a Washington meeting makes sense for Downing Street and Brown, who lives and breathes the election and how to wrong foot the Tories.

Both Downing Street and Brown are obsessed with the G20 London summit and hope an April 2 London get together of "world leaders" would cash in on some of the Obamashine ahead of the elections.  

But Obama's star is starting to fade and the administration has enough worries over the domestic economy. Obama may drop by but only out of common courtesy.

With Brown now in the death throes of the "fag-end of a government in collapse", the Washington Obama meeting could be the last throw of the dice. That begs the question how hard did Downing Street push for the meeting and what's the trade-off deal?

A White House statement said the US and UK had a "special partnership" and the president wanted to work closely with Brown on "common global challenges". The leaders are expected to discuss the global financial crisis and strategy in Afghanistan, among other issues, according to the BBC.

With that kind of overarching statement, there's a danger the actual purpose of the meeting gets lost in translation. 

Brown has staked his shredded reputation on saving the world, pressing Obama to sign up to an anti-protectionism global trade deal ahead of G20. 

Also at stake is that 'special relationship', after revelations of an apparent CIA threat  to suspend intelligence-sharing between the two allies, amid allegations of torture at Gitmo, with the complicity of UK intelligence. Foreign secretary Miliband is being urged to come clean about the whole sordid affair. 

The vexed issue of Gitmo detainees has to be resolved, particularly the continued rendition flights and secret US use of the Crown island of Diego Garcia. 

But more importantly Obama has already committed 17,000 new US troops to the hopeless and unwinnable war in Afghanistan. He'll be urging his new poodle Brown to follow suit. 

These pressing issues can only be discussed face-to-face.

With the credibility of the prime minister in ruins both at home and abroad, best to get in quick for the photo-op for the BBC and Downing Street album. In politics, April 2 is a very long way off.   

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