The United States 66th Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, is visiting the British portside city of Liverpool today where she is expected to get a less than warm welcome.

On Thursday the local newspaper, the Liverpool Echo, called her coming “The most unwelcome visit to Liverpool since Oswald Mosley came here in the 1930s.” Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley was a British politician principally known as the founder of the British Union of Fascists.

Dr Rice is first visiting Blackburn to repay a visit British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw made to her home town in Alabama in 2005. She will then attend a gala concert at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall to celebrate the city’s status as European Capital of Culture 2008.

This is the first visit to the region by anyone from President Bush’s administration which is, to say the least, very unpopular throughout not just in Liverpool but the whole of Great Britain. A website at was set up as soon as Dr Rice’s visit was announced.

Dr Rice is of course no stranger to seeing, and ignoring, demonstrators. But if she was under the impression that the British public share support for President Bush in the same way as our beleaguered Prime Minister, Tony Blair, she will certainly be disappointed.

Several groups have already planned many peaceful demonstrations opposing not only the war in Iraq, but many of America’s foreign policies. A planned visit the Masjide Al Hidayah mosque in Blackburn was said to have been cancelled due to safety concerns, though later it emerged that the mosque simply withdrew their invitation to the US Secretary of State under pressure from the local community. The Muslim Council of Britain, the largest lobby group for the UK’s 1.6 million Muslims, said the cancellation was not surprising given hostility towards US foreign policy.

Such is the extent of bad feeling toward Rice, a representative of American politics, that the security surrounding the most protected woman in the world is being stepped up. City workers have even been ordered to make sure paving slabs are secure so as they will not be able to be thrown at the US Secretary of State!