12 November 2009

If only Gordon had ripped it up

Matthew Parris, who worked for Margret Thatcher as a correspondence clerk, explains what she would have with done with a misspelt letter:

The only difference I can see between her letters and Mr Brown’s to Jacqui Janes, the mother of the dead soldier, is that her handwriting was clearer, and that if she had misspelt the name of the deceased she would not have tried to correct it, but ripped the letter up and started again. We, her staff, saw her letters before we dispatched them, but I cannot remember ever needing to suggest a correction.

But none in her small, close-knit, loyal team, would have hesitated. I can easily imagine ….saying: “Er, Mrs Thatcher, the name you got wrong there and corrected was that of the dead soldier. Can we get you a fresh sheet of headed notepaper — just in case you had a moment . . ?”

I do just wonder whether Mr Brown’s staff would dare.

Indeed.  If Brown had ripped it up, and the Sun had not started a personal campaign against Gordon Brown, we certainly wouldn't have had this from the Mirror:

David Cameron last night stood accused of exploiting the war dead for the sake of a set of Armistice Day publicity pictures.

He took his personal snapper into the Garden of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey yesterday to pose for carefully-choreographed photographs.

Mr Cameron had clearly been instructed on how to behave and moved briskly from pose to pose, often bending down to read the names on crosses as he was snapped.

After the service, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Gordon Brown went into the garden at 12.10pm to pay tribute to the Great War heroes. But rather than ensuring a photographer stuck to his side, he followed normal protocol.

How low will the tabloids go?

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  1. If the Heir to Blair really did take a photographer with him the question should be:

    'How low will Cameron go?'

  2. They're all as bad as each other. There's people saying how good Brown is to write letters to the bereaved. Few realise he was talking about the fact to the press just the other week so it certainly wasn't private.