An unfair battle
Gordon Brown is being treated in a monstrously unfair fashion. To say that I am a long way from being Brown's biggest fan is to put it mildly. He is a liability for Labour. But there comes a point when common decency demands that people - even failing Labour Prime Ministers - are due some respect. I suspect Gordon Brown was sceptical about Tony Blair's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But having inherited them, he has supported the armed forces fighting in extremely difficult circumstances on the ground.
Brown writes to the family of every fallen soldier, and does so by hand, even thought the temptation to have a secretary type them up from a pro forma script must be great. The story which led yesterday's Sun highlighted the disappointment of a dead soldier's mother, Jacqui Janes, over the quality of Gordon Brown's handwriting in his condolence letter. This was deeply unfair. Brown does indeed have poor handwriting, partly because of the loss of sight in one eye. He clearly fluffed a couple of the words in this particular letter and should probably have started over. But you get the distinct feeling that under different circumstances, the Sun could run a story along the lines of "Mother's Fury at Typed Round-Robin Condolence', if Brown had chosen the other route. He can't win. The Sun has already come out, aggressively, against Brown and in favour of David Cameron. This is of course of legitimate line for any newspaper to take. But the story is an example of the ruthlessness with which the Murdoch press will pursue him. You do not have to be a Brownite to be sickened by the sight of the pursuit.