President Obama set for upbeat speech to UK parliament

UK PM David Cameron and US President Barack Obama at No 10 Downing St (25 May 2011) Mr Obama has been stressing the "essential" nature of UK-US relations

The White House says President Barack Obama's historic speech in Westminster Hall will be the "anchor" of his whole visit.

The man, criticised by some in the past for pursuing new friends at the expense of old allies, will talk of how the world has changed, about the rise of new powers like India and China. But he'll say the transatlantic alliance is the cornerstone of global security. Not just relevant but, that word again, essential.

Of course that may be because there are many countries in Europe who largely do what America wants, and see problems through the same lens. It is a view that often comes down to the use of military force.

Mr Obama will talk a little about when he thinks intervention is justified, in terms of promoting common values.

But he won't want to come over as too worthy. This is the president of hope and change. He left Ireland in a haze of goodwill because he made them feel better about themselves and their prospects.

He'll want to be similarly upbeat in London. He'll say it has been a tough 10 years, but the future is brighter.

He'll suggest the problems of Iraq, Afghanistan, al-Qaeda and the economy may not be in the past, but that they are of the past and largely behind us. We're turning a corner, he'll say.

But with many of those problems unsolved will even the president of hope and change be able to convince us that thing are really looking better already?

Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

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  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    OMG, we elected a president who can't drink to music. What else can't he do, walk and chew gum at the same time?

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    I was more impressed by the First Lady's speech at Christ Church. Inspirational.



    It wasn't the President's fault!

    No.1 - The band started playing when they should have been drinking.

    No.2 - The President thought (understandably) the band was playing "God Bless America"

    Conclusion - Send the band to the Tower!

    That'll larn 'em...

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    30.Kingsley O
    "I wonder if Israel thinks and maybe believes the world revolves around it?"
    Being that they are God's chosen people, maybe so. I think scripture has a similar view on Israel's importance to world events.

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    Feel good Charlie upstaged Barney the Dinosaur again.Can't you just feel the love in the air?

    Kumbaya, Kumbaya
    blah blah blah

    We have so much in common.We're both human.At least I think Brits are human.Hey Mabel, are Brits human or are they descended from Neanderthals?It's okay she says you're human.So now that we're all lovey dovey, time to shove off to the next port of call.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    Economic recovery? Surely even the most pro-Obama Brit must have wondered how he could make that outlandish claim. Silver-tongued as ever, but hackneyed phrases in a speech he could have, with his oratical skills, made in his sleep! Now on to the tornado-stricken in the mid-west and south-east, where hopefully he can promise all the help they need and deliver.


Comments 5 of 49



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