What a difference a prime minister makes.
The attitudinal split between the British and American publics over Iraq, the urgency of global warming and some global counterterrorism policies that steadily grew in recent years helped undermine voter support for Tony Blair, who refused throughout his later years at 10 Downing Street to back away from the close public relationship he held with President Bush. Observers looking for evidence of a colder shoulder from newly installed Prime Minister Gordon Brown at Camp David yesterday weren't disappointed. To the Telegraph, for example, Mr. Brown tried to "redefine" London-Washington relations and "demolished" suggestions at their joint news conference that Britain might delay withdrawing troops from Iraq to ease pressure from Congress on Mr. Bush. Mr. Brown, whose own popularity is rising at home and who may soon call new elections, contradicted Mr. Bush's claim that Iraq is the "central front" against terrorism, instead describing Afghanistan as "the front line," the Washington Post points out. And while Mr. Bush reiterated his view of counterterrorism as an ideological fight against "evil," Mr. Brown spoke of terror as a "crime."