Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Did Gordon get his timing wrong?

Mrs Rigby hasn't a clue whether this is good timing or not, but she has a feeling the overall impression will be that Mr Brown was trying to beat Mr Cameron to a PR opportunity - and it won't help the troops one little bit.

From the Mail

Mr Brown flew to Afghanistan yesterday to meet British troops and military leaders just 48 hours before Mr Cameron was scheduled to make an identical journey.


The Tory leader scrapped his own visit – which has been in his diary since July – to avoid an unseemly cat-and-mouse game and wasting overstretched military resources.
Mrs Rigby thinks that if Mr Brown had kept out of it he might have been able to ask why Cameron had gone to Afghanistan, he could have claimed it was a vote-gaining political stunt, he could have asked how much it had cost and so on. He might have been able to make some capital out of it all - especially when we all know that the MoD is strapped for cash.

But, he's lost that chance, and it looks too much as if he merely scurried out there so he could get in first and, somehow (at least in the Rigby household) Cameron looks like the good guy who has called off his own planned visit to the troops because,

‘We were conscious of the military resources required for our trip and chose to reschedule.’

While I don't have a lot of time for Mr Brown, mainly because he likes to hide behind his sofa when the going gets tough, I think he's been badly advised and this is yet another PR calamity.

But is it deliberate?

In the end, assuming all the various polls are right, when Labour is trounced at the next election the blame will no doubt be laid solely at Gordon Brown's door - and none of his so-called advisers will get an ear-bashing.

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