When British prime minister Gordon Brown visited President Obama for the first time earlier this month, he sought to demonstrate the importance of the cross-Atlantic “special relationship” with a unique, thoughtful gift: a pen holder crafted from the wood of the HMS Gannet, the sister ship of the HMS Resolute, whose oak was carved into the desk that sits in the Oval Office. Wow! Symbolic, earnest, and classy. What a gesture. Then there was Obama, who, like all Americans who don’t know what to get someone, gave Brown a bunch of DVDs. A 25-disc box set of classic American films selected by the American Film Institute at Obama’s special request but DVDs nonetheless. The British, sensitive as they are, were a little insulted. But at least Brown had some good quality movies for those quiet nights at 10 Downing Street, right? Nope! He recently tried to watch one, only to see a “wrong region” message appear on the screen. Turns out the DVDs only work in North American DVD players. We expect them to be regifted to Canada’s Stephen Harper in the near future.
Gordon Brown is frustrated by ‘Psycho’ in No 10 [Telegraph UK]