The special relationship between the United States and England appears to be tensing if the actions of our respective leaders are anything to go by.
First, Obama sent back the bust of Winston Churchill which England loaned to us in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They offered to let Obama hang on to it but were given a thanks but no thanks reply (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/4623148/Barack-Obama-sends-bust-of-Winston-Churchill-on-its-way-back-to-Britain.html).
Add to this the recent visit of Prime Minister Brown. Obama canceled the press conference in Rose Garden because of "snow". It was replaced with a Oval Office questioning which surely left something to be desired by Brown (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/toby_harnden/blog/2009/03/03/barack_obama_cancels_press_conference_with_gordon_brown_because_of_snow).
The gift exchange made things look even worse.
Mrs Brown, who has two boys, brought gifts for Michelle Obama's two girls. Mrs Brown got them, "Top Shop dresses (with matching necklaces) and a selection of books by British authors. Lovely." Michelle Obama in return got "two toy models of Marine One" for Mrs Brown's kids. It looks like Mrs Brown put some real thought into her gift and Michelle Obama forgot about getting a gift and sent a staffer to the White House gift shop. (More at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5848073.ece)
What about the gift exchange between Barack Obama and Mr Brown? Mr Brown brought; "an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet - once called HMS President.
The unique present delighted Mr Obama because oak from the Gannet's sister ship, HMS Resolute, was carved to make a desk that already takes place in the Oval Office in the White House, after being presented by Britain to the US in 1880. ... Mr Brown also took to Washington a framed commission for HMS Resolute, a vessel that came to mark Anglo-US peace when it was saved from ice packs by Americans and given to Queen Victoria.
He also gave a first edition set of the seven-volume classic biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert."
In return, Barack Obama gave Mr Brown; "25 classic American films on DVD". Twenty-five films on dvds!?! As if it matters, but the movies that were included were "1. Citizen Kane / 2. The Godfather / 3. Casablanca / 4. Raging Bull / 5. Singing In The Rain / 6. Gone With The Wind / 7. Lawrence Of Arabia / 8. Schindler's List / 9. Vertigo / 10. The Wizard Of Oz / 11. City Lights / 12. The Searchers / 13. Star Wars: Episode IV / 14. Psycho / 15. 2001: A Space Odyssey / 16. Sunset Boulevard / 17. The Graduate / 18. The General / 19. On The waterfront / 20. It's A Wonderful Life / 21. China Town / 22. Some Like It Hot /
23. The Grapes Of Wrath / 24. ET: The Extra Terrestrial / 25. To Kill A Mocking Bird." (More at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1159627/Just-wanted-Barack-Obamas-blockbuster-gift-25-DVDs-Brown-reaffirm-special-relationship.html)
Some think the snub was intentional and orchestrated by Michelle Obama (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/james_delingpole/blog/2009/03/05/was_lady_macbeth_behind_barack_obamas_snub_of_gordon_brown). Others think it is Barack Obama taking taking a personal vengeance against the British who he believes tortured his grandfather following the Mau Mau Uprising (British East Africa 1952-1960) (http://www.luoamerican.com/baldilocks/2009/03/vengeance-is-his.html).
What ever the reason, intentional or not, this could be trouble for the relationship between the US and UK.