Monday, November 09, 2009

Brown's 'Letter' Stinks

Blundering Brown is trying to dig himself out of a hole of his own making after sending a "hastily scrawled insult" to the mother of a death soldier. The only view that counts is that of a grieving mum.

Brown has telephoned the mother Jacqui Janes to say he did not mean any offence by misspelling the name of her dead soldier son. But that's not the point.

Of course he "would never knowingly misspell" a name. It's the pathetic presentation of a letter which should have taken pride of place which sticks in the throat.

Barley a month has passed since Hove guardsman Janes, of 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was killed in an explosion while on foot patrol in Helmand. The family is still grieving.

Describing the prime minister's letter as a "hastily scrawled insult", his mother Jacqui told the Sun the letter had been "scrawled so quickly I could hardly even read it" and that "some of the words were half-finished". She described it as "disrespectful" and an "insult" to her son.

Outrage, anger, pity and even lame excuses are coming thick and fast.

Trying to condone the insult, some are alluding to Brown's eyesight as an excuse. Some suggesting perhaps he was 'dog tired' when he wrote it. Downing Street spinners are even insinuating Mrs Janes is somehow in the wrong. What utter nonsense.

Brown is the prime minister for goodness sake. His sentiments should have been a source of comfort. Didn't anyone bother to check the letter before popping it in the post?

Image you've just lost a loved one in Afghanistan. You're trying to come to terms with the death. Regardless of your views on the war, you want to support the brave lads out there who are doing a damn good job. You look to the prime minister of the country for leadership.

Then a scribbled gaffe-strewn excuse for a condolence letter pops through the letter box. What on earth are you supposed to think and feel? What on earth are you supposed to do with it? Stick it on the mantelpiece? It's a disgrace.

The letter wasn't sent out on a whim. Nor was it sent out of the kindness of the PM's heart. It is official policy for the prime minister to write to the families of all service personnel killed in action while on operational duties.

As the BBC and The Times point out, it is sent in accordance with published MoD guidelines.

Like a letter from the Queen, a top and tailed typed letter would have taken pride of place. It would have helped. It would have meant something. It would show the guy at the top is on top of the job. It would have shown Brown understands that people - and names - matter.

But not missing a trick, Downing Street even had the cheek to spin the latest pathetic excuse for the war into the reason for writing a letter in the first place:
"The reason he personally writes to every family is to acknowledge the debt of gratitude owed by the country to those who have died to protect the people of Britain."
The Orange Party doesn't know what is worse. Brown's insulting scrawl, his apparent failure to bow his head at the Cenotaph or a Downing Street spin machine trying to wriggle around with a pathetic justification for why this mum's son had to die in the first place.

FOOTNOTE: The Orange Party has a personalised top and tailed typed 'condolence' letter from a secretary of state sent in entirely different circumstances. Sure he didn't type it or even personally write the sentiments but it's still a reminder of awful events and a treasured possession.

Top picture: Sky News


Anonymous said...

Then a scribbled gaffe-strewn excuse for a condolence letter pops through the letter box. What on earth are you supposed to think and feel? What on earth are you supposed to do with it? Stick it on the mantelpiece? It's a disgrace.

No, of course you don't. You get in touch with the Currant Bun - an everyday sort of activity - and hand the letter over to them. Funny, none of the otehr media seem to have felt able to reproduce the image in full to let us make a judgement about it. Do I smell an "exclusive" deal?

"Old Hack" is the appropriate..

the orange party said...

Anonymous - is this the best you can come up with troll?

You'll find the letter has been reproduced *in full* by the Daily Mail and the BBC as well as all Murdoch outlets.

Maturecheese said...

No matter what anyone thinks of the war, the Government or Gordon Brown, I think that this little episode is tacky in the extreme. Quite frankly, exposing that letter and even worse, recording the phone call and making it public, was a gross betrayal of trust.

As with Nick Griffin, this will in fact benefit Gordon Brown due to the British sense of fair play.

I have sons and I can imagine the hell that grieving mother must be going through but It doesn't make what she did or was encouraged to do, right.