Madam Tussauds may have given him the brush-off, but Gordon Brown can still count on his fellow statesmen to offer him the clammy hand of comradeship. Today he welcomed the US Republican presidential candidate to London, while he also announced plans to chew the fat with the Dalai Lama and the new Russian president later in the year.
John McCain, the GOP nominee and oven chip czar, winged into town today on the latest stop of a world tour that aims to establish his credentials as a global player. The former Hanoi Hilton resident turned fan of waterboarding will not be discussing with Gordon the difficult topic of CIA rendition flights landing in Britain, but the pair will have a natter about "Iraq, the world economy and climate change". McCain is also set to meet with David Cameron, a wise move on the putative president's part if those opinion polls are anything to go by.
Brown also declared yesterday his intention to meet with the Dalai Lama when the exiled Tibetan leader visits Britain in May. We'd like to highlight this as an example of the Prime Minister refusing to kowtow to Chinese concerns; unfortunately, Brown's equivocations on the matter were thrown into stark relief by noted dissident Prince Charles, who announced his intention to meet His Holiness, a decision that the PM was essentially guilted into emulating.
Finally, in an effort to neutralise the simmering resentment between Moscow and London, Gordon will meet new Russian president Vladimir Puti... er, Dmitry Medvedev later this year. Mr. Medvedev and Mr. Brown will aim to have a face-to-face chat during the Group Of Eight summit in July. Off-menu topics will probably include Alexander Litvinenko and accusations of spying, but we're sure the two can find common ground on the subject of being given their respective jobs by controversial predecessors via democratically dubious means.
Image courtesy of Orin Optiglot's Flickrstream