Politics drowns in rubbish…..
One of the drawbacks of enduring the fag-end of a government is that politics becomes tired and the sorry incumbent becomes a figure of fun; unreasonably so in many cases. Three major news sites; The Times, The Telegraph and the BBC all lead on the Gordon Brown letter story. For those that missed the story; Brown appeared to misspell the name of a deceased soldier;
In a video distributed by the Sun newspaper, his mother Jacqui called the letter a “hastily scrawled insult”.
Now this is obviously a media-generated personal attack and I think it is fair to say that while the mothers sense of injury maybe understandable my personal sense of sympathy is reduced by the fact that she has seemingly actively encouraged its use as a weapon the Murdoch press can use personally against Brown. Following the decision of The Sun to switch to the Conservative camp we can, sadly, probably expect alot more stories like this. Brown obviously did not intend the slight; Iain Dale in a thoughtful and sober blog states that;
It is easy to understand the mother’s anger, but even his political opponents should tread very carefully before making political capital out of this. Gordon Brown has always had terrible handwriting. He writes in felt tip because of his lack of eyesight.
It’s easy to dismiss this kind of personal attack; most bloggers have indeed cut Brown some slack as Dale does in his blog as not meaning too much or else being a reflection of discontent over troops being in Afghanistan in the first place but when the political becomes too personal it looses it’s political content. You end-up with things happening like Gordon Brown effigies being burnt on Bonfire Night; something that actually happened in Ripon. Legitimate critiques of Gordon Brown’s policies (and there are plenty of them) become submerged in personalised rubbish and politics as a whole is cheapened.