In some European technical circles, the U.K. is sometimes considered not relevant to Europe and just a poor cousin of America. This poor cousin attitude is often reinforced by the claims from numerous bandwagon hopping analysts that if you want to make it big then you need to go to Silicon Valley.
Contrary to such blatant stereotypes, the U.K. (and Europe as a whole) has a thriving technical and entrepreneurial community with companies such as Dopplr, Last.FM and Xing to mention but a few.
Despite this, the government body UK Trade & Investment, has provided financial support to web mission 2008 for "20 UK Web 2.0 companies [to] travel to San Francisco to explore new opportunities for growth with key people in Silicon Valley".
As Ryan points out, whilst the intention is good, the whole web mission basically declares that "we don’t have what it takes over here”. The reality is we do, so why not invest in a U.K. based activity and promote the start-up culture here?