The governments of Britain and America were both keen to play down the significance of Douglas Alexander's speech that hinted in a change in Britain's approach to the "special relationship". Both will find that much harder after the new Foreign Office minister, Lord Malloch-Brown stuck his oar in.
Malloch-Brown, a former diplomat, showed little in the way of diplomatic skill when he suggested that Blair and Bush had been joined at the hip and the relationship was "blinkered"
"You need to build coalitions that are lateral, which go beyond the bilateral blinkers of the normal partners. My hope is that foreign policy will become much more impartial. We have a whole set of emerging countries. There will be lots of exciting things to do with Mr Sarkozy and Mrs Merkel and other European leaders as well as strengthening our transatlantic relations."
I'm not sure how Germany and France will feel about being referred to as "emerging countries", but it's going to be pretty hard for either the British or the US governments to suggest this has been blown out of all proportion.
Personally, I think it's a little worrying that a representative of the British Foreign Office seems to think we need an "impartial" foreign policy. I thought the idea was to represent British interests abroad - but, hey, I guess I don't get the nuance.