Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Brown and Country?

Heaven knows I loathe the excrescence Brown and all his works, but this neverending letter saga has me almost feeling sorry for him. Of course, as a non-human lifeform (a fact I spotted very early on in his leadership) he is massively maladroit when it comes to normal everyday human activities, such as smiling, kissing ladies' cheeks and bowing the head at Remembrance services - but what was he thinking of when he scrawled this 'letter' and allowed it to go out? What kind of state is he in? Is it any fit state to be out and about, let alone running the country? It is really (to be charitable) desperately sad, and I rather wish I'd never heard about it in the first place (we only did because The Sun chose to milk a grieving mother's rage). But never mind this particular letter - what does he think he's doing writing to soldiers' families? It's most definintely not him or any government they're fighting for - it is firstly their comrades in arms, and, more broadly, 'Queen and Country'. Not Brown and Country. The only official letters sent out should be from senior officers and (in a non-personalised form) the Queen. Meanwhile, we should continue to be duly thankful that casualties in this war are on such a small scale that a prime minister can even contemplate sending out individual letters. But, please, no more.


  1. Odd business, this. I haven't spoken to a person who hasn't expressed some sympathy with Brown. Mistakes have obviously (clearly!) been made but the sentiment was a good one and the problems with the letter attributable to his failing eyesight. The whole business seems mean spirited, but especially by The Sun who are exploiting the righteous anger of a mother to score cheap political points.

    The whole episode has become a tangled mess of motives.

  2. When I knew him, his salient characteristics included not doing his share of putting out the bins, nor of tidying the kitchen. Why he feels that this qualifies him to write sentimental epistles is beyond me.

  3. I don't think many of us have come across a more mangled human being than Brown. I hope one day the subject coincides with a biographer worthy of the task.

  4. I don't like Brown at all but the letter makes me think the more of him. A lot more. At least he is desperately trying even if - and this is the tragedy - the country desperately doesn't need his efforts right now. Wrong guy, wrong ideas, wrong era. He strikes me as more of a Tudor prelate - one of the heavy ones - rather than a 21st century prime minister with troops at grave risk in the far reaches of Asia.

    What worries me about the letter, typos and all, is the suggestion that among the snakes and toadies at Brown's court no one seems able or willing to check his work or take him aside for a frank but helpful word. What a horrible world politics must be.

  5. If he didn't write the letters, the outcry would be that he didn't care about the soldiers he is sending to war.

    This is a no-win situation, because the media will spin it whichever way they want, to make whatever point they want.

    As a former soldier who's been in the situation, I think it's a nice gesture, even if it might be only a gesture.

    What's sad is someone close to the family convinced the woman to do this, and turned it into a political issuee. Why don't we hear that story?

  6. This story even made it to the New Zild news last night, and I also felt sympathy for Brown. The man can do no right.