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Brown, the first European leader to visit Obama since his Jan. 20 inauguration, will give him a first edition of Martin GilbertÂ’s seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill, whose World War Two partnership with Franklin Roosevelt epitomized the Anglo-American alliance.The second gift will be a framed commissioning paper for HMS Resolute, a Royal Navy ship that became icebound in the Arctic in the early 1850s while searching in vain for British explorer John FranklinÂ’s lost expedition that had been seeking a Northwest Passage to Asia. An American whaler later found Resolute and it was freed from the ice and returned to Queen Victoria in 1856. In 1880, the British goverment, as a gesture of thanks, presented President Rutherford B. Hayes with a desk made from timbers of the ship, and ever since it has been used in the Oval Office by most presidents, including Obama. A replica figured as a plot device in the Hollywood thriller Â“National Treasure 2: Book of SecretsÂ”, in which a secret compartment in the desk contained pieces of a clue. At their White House talks on Tuesday, Brown also planned to give Obama a pen holder fashioned from the timber of HMS Gannet, a sister ship of the Resolute that also served for a time on anti-slavery missions off Africa.
In theory I'm with you, but gift giving among world leaders is a well known form of communication. Normally you don't read about it in the news, as the gifts are appropriate. In this case, while it does sound childish, there is a story of some worth here. I won't argue my point, it's your job to read up on the practice of gift giving.
Let's just hope that he never goes to Japan.
haha, DVD's? I don't see the problem really. Most British people are happy that Obama got in.
The funny thing is that if Obama went for something lavish or expensive, then he would have been an identical issue, just for the opposite sides.
The administration knew that British Prime Ministers have to pay if they want to keep a gift after they leave office. I think anything gift worth over 280 quid has to be paid for by the PM, the cheaper gifts he can get for free. Blair paid for a few gifts, but didn't keep a lot of Italian watches or the horse. Maybe the White House staff thought Brown would like a gift he could keep for free.
Even if the gifts were crappy, what the fuck does it matter? If something so inconsequential as a simple gift has an actual effect on international diplomacy, then we are beyond hope.