Amid the soap opera of the US Presidential Elections, and with all eyes focused on who will be next in the White House, it has become all too easy to forget that George W Bush is still officially the man in power across the pond. Having been something of a forgotten figure in the British press of late, Bush arrived in the UK today to fulfil the demanding task of sipping tea with the Queen.
As this was going on, supporters of the Stop the War Coalition started gathering in Parliament Square to protest Bush’s presence in the capital. “George Bush, terrorist!” went the chant from inside the square. Lucky for Bush, then, that these protestors were unable to enact the same detainment laws for terror suspects as the Government.
Among those at the rally were anti-war figureheads Tony Benn, Bianca Jagger, George Galloway and the ever mind-bogglingly dedicated Brian Haw. Each gave rousing speeches to a crowd of more than 2,000, who cheered passionately every time a speaker called for the withdrawal of troops from the Middle East and George W Bush from his dinner with Gordon Brown.
The protest never made it as far as Number 10, however, after a police ban on entering Whitehall was imposed on the recommendation of Bush and his advisors. An unwise move on two accounts: firstly it served to anger the protestors further; and secondly it meant poor George had to endure the agony of an uninterrupted conversation with Gordon Brown.
By Laurence Brown