Like Tim Dunlop I am a little disgusted but not at all surprised to hear that President Bush will not be addressing Parliament on his visit to Britain. According to ABC News, “such a speech could invite the kind of heckling the president received when he spoke to the Australian Parliament last month.” One might have thought that a leader with thicker skin might have told the begrudgers to “Bring it on.” Bush’s aversion to explaining himself to people who might talk back is well known, of course, but it seems insulting to treat the representative body of your staunchest ally in this way. Some Tories appear to think so, too, though most of the anglospheroids seem content to bash Red Ken instead.
Needless to say, the spin on the visit—see the same ABC news story—is that Bush is in London to “address” and “confront” those who doubt his policy in Iraq. He’ll just be doing this without, you know, addressing or confronting anyone.