Mar 6, 2009

The thought that counts

The London press are outraged over Obama's recent gift to Gordon Brown — 25 DVDs including Star Wars, The Godfather and Citizen Kane. “Barack Obama, the leader of the world's richest country,” huffed the Daily Mail, “gave the Prime Minister a box set of 25 classic American films - a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks.” Brown on the other hand gave Brown a pen holder carved from the timbers of the sister ship of the one the White House desk is made from and a first edition of a seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill. I have to say that of those two gifts, I know which one I'd prefer. Surely there's one movie in those 25 that he hasn't watched?

I think this has probably less to do with Obama and more to do with the Fleet Street's desire to cast Brown as an unloved grovelling wretch. We dislike our premiers, on the whole. Any perceived slight to them only confirms their wretchedness. The British press are not complaining, they are going: look, see?

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