Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sir Ted?

During his address to Congress, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that Senator Edward Kennedy would be bestowed with an honorary knighthood.

Kennedy is being honored ostensibly for the promotion of American-Anglo relations and for his activities in Northern Ireland.

However, back in 1971 the Massachusetts Senator compared the British presence in Northern Ireland to American involvement in Vietnam and that Protestants who opposed a united Ireland should return to Britain. Kind of like saying Abu Ghraib is open under new management. Of course, that goes over well in South Boston but not with the Ulster Unionists.

On the other hand, Kennedy is nearing the end of his life and this is a goodwill gesture on Brown's part towards the U.S. More specifically it is a goodwill gesture to President Obama. After all, Obama isn't exactly an Anglophile given its history in Kenya. One must also consider his recent move to return a bust of Winston Churchill that was lent to former President Bush by former PM Tony Blair after the September 11th attacks. By honoring an individual who was a strong supporter of Obama during the Democratic primaries and a household name; Brown is hoping Obama will bend his big ear in his direction.

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