While he is here, GW is – we are told – talking to Gordon about progress in the world trade talks. But he really should not be wasting his time. World trade issues are an EU competence so, if George wants to discuss progress he would be better off popping over to Brussels to talk to the organ grinders rather than the monkey.
Over term, that is what will happen more and more frequently. Once the
US officials will gradually realise that power has moved from London (and other member state capitals) to Brussels. In decades to come, US presidents will see no more sense in visiting Downing Street than, in the past, there would have been any value in a British prime minister dropping in on the state governor of Colorado to discuss US policy.
In effect, therefore, this is not only Bush's last visit here. It is also the last time a US president will visit a prime minister of Britain. The next president will be meeting a provincial governor.