When BritainAndAmerica covered the first Brown-Bush summit we were a little more positive than most commentators. Most commentators noted how Britain's new Prime Minister returned none of the personal warmth that George W Bush had attempted to show to him (eg Nick Robinson). It appears that most of the other commentators might have been more right than this website.
The well-connected British journalist Fraser Nelson writes a devastating critique of UK operations in Basra today (unfortunately his News of the World column is not online) but most interestingly he writes this:
"Blair used to speak to George W Bush about Iraq every week. But I'm told Brown hasn't spoken to him since they met five weeks ago."
If true this is very worrying. Without communication at the highest level misunderstandings can become serious tensions. Recent criticisms by US generals of UK operations in southern Iraq and by British military leaders about US war planning mean that it is even more important that Downing Street and the White House are in close touch. Otherwise the bureaucracies below them will start taking key decisions.
The Tory-GOP relationship is already cool. Neither the current not previous Conservative leader have visited Washington (whilst at their party's helm). It is now the longest period since WWII that a British Conservative leader hasn't visited Washington DC.
If John Howard loses the forthcoming Australian election President Bush will have lost the last major ally who stood with him at the time of the invasion of Iraq.