As he headed back home from Washington, Gordon Brown must have rummaged through his party bag with disappointment.Well, the upshot is still worse, because it turns out that our sophisticated, worldly President didn't know that DVD and TV standards are different in the U.K.:
Because all he got was a set of DVDs. Barack Obama, the leader of the world's richest country, gave the Prime Minister a box set of 25 classic American films - a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks.
Mr Brown is not thought to be a film buff, and his reaction to the box set is unknown. But it didn't really compare to the thoughtful presents he had brought along with him.
The Prime Minister gave Mr Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet.
The unique present delighted Mr Obama because oak from the Gannet's sister ship, HMS Resolute, was carved to make a desk that has sat in the Oval Office in the White House since 1880.
Mr Brown also handed over a framed commission for HMS Resolute and a first edition of the seven-volume biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert.
While not exactly a film buff, Gordon Brown was touched when Barack Obama gave him a set of 25 classic American movies -- including Psycho, starring Anthony Perkins on his recent visit to Washington.Were the press less partisan, "wrong region" would be this Administration's "mission accomplished." (So far, Obama's striking out in Europe too.) Though, to be fair, the President promised only to "restore science to its rightful place"--not engineering.
Alas, when the PM settled down to begin watching them the other night, he found there was a problem.
The films only worked in DVD players made in North America and the words "wrong region" came up on his screen. Although he mournfully had to put the popcorn away, he is unlikely to jeopardise the special relationship -- or "special partnership", as we are now supposed to call it -- by registering a complaint.
A Downing Street spokesman said he was "confident" that any gift Obama gave Brown would have been "well thought through," but referred me to the White House for assistance on the "technical aspects".
(via The Corner)