Watch Gordon Brown’s Address to Congress Plus a View on the Recent Visit

It simply slipped my mind to post this. There were big events for Anglophiles this week and I didn’t think to post the video of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown addressing the US Congress. This is only the fifth time a sitting British Prime Minister has addressed a join session of Congress.

See below for some of my gripes about the recent visit, if you’re interested.

Gordon Brown Address Joint Session of Congress:

I’m pretty happy with the reception he got in Congress. However, I was appalled at Gordon Brown’s treatment by the Obama administration.

Let me first say that I’m an Obama supporter, so this is not misplaced conservative angst. I was rooting for Obama long before was running for President and my wife even worked on the campaign.

I understand that Obama is busy trying to fix the country and all, but it’s insulting to Gordon Brown and the British people that he was simply crammed into Obama’s schedule and not even accorded a joint press conference or dinner.

According to the Londonist, many of the British newspapers have picked up on the ‘Obama Snub.” On top of the poor political treatment he got, the traditional gift exchange was lopsided. Gordon Brown gave Obama a pen holder carved from the hull on an old ship. What did we give him? A DVD set of old movies.

I should also make it very clear that Barack Obama is NOT an Anglophile and has said as much. From what I understand, he doesn’t have much of an affinity for Britain at all because of the way Britain treated Kenya during the colonial period (and treated his father during those years). There are also lingering issues in Kenya that can be traced back to the colonial days and affect his relatives to this day. So, it doesn’t surprise me that Obama snubbed him. Post-colonialism is playing out right on TV with the world’s most powerful leaders.

It’s a shame. When Obama visits London later this month, I hope the Brits go above and beyond and show him how it’s done. If anyone can do pomp and circumstance, it’s the Brits!

Gordon Brown should make his way to Chicago sometime, we’ll give him a right a proper welcome!


  1. avatar says

    I saw some of the British press coverage about the way Brown was received by Obama, and I have to say, I was pretty sad that Brown wasn’t given a bigger, better welcome. But as you say, Obama was rather distracted with the state of things right now. Also, I’m so glad you addressed the colonial thing. My parents are from Bangladesh (formerly part of India), so I definitely know what kinds of sentiments some people have of Imperial England (indeed, sometimes I have some mixed feelings about British history). Well, I will cut him a little slack, he’s only 6 weeks into his Presidency!

    On another note, I didn’t know you were based in the midwest as well!

  2. avatar says

    I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with what you’ve written, but I would add that many of our (English) newspapers are desperate to put a negative view on anything connected with Gordon Brown at the moment. They would be very keen to interpret the reception as a ‘snub’, regardless of what actually happened.

  3. avatar says

    It wouldn’t surprise me though if he gets a bit of a cold shoulder and deservedly so I might add. He forgets how loudly Europe rooted for him. He should take nothing for granted.