Gordon Brown is mad. This much we have established. On the subject of helicopters provided to our troops in Afghanistan he is both mad and deluded. Bob Ainsworth – our man at the Defense Ministry reportedly nicknamed “Bob Ain’t Worth It” by senior miltary types – is clearly just as unable to grasp the issue seriously. There are not enough helicopters in Afghanistan, that much is clear. All this “60% increase” nonsense is playing with numbers – the amount of troops and the increase in helicopters do not match.
Calls for more equipment seem to fly over the head of Brown. At the Liason Committee earlier this week – minutes of which do not seem to be easily at hand – he refused even to answer the simple question about whether a request for more troops was made. Any straight answer is seen as a potential trap for Gordon Brown, that much is frank and obvious. He cannot give a straight answer in case the truth trips him up, it’s almost paranoia. Maybe it is.
This time last year the Times reported on one of the Ministry of Defences many cock-ups – £500m wasted on Chinooks stuck in a warehouse in Cambridgeshire warehouse. Are these dust-covered helicopters counted among the increase in equipment supply I wonder?
Gordon Brown was quite rightly put on the ropes by David Cameron on the subject of public spending – everyone but Brown it seems is smart enough to realise that taxes will have to increase to deal with the £700bn (and counting) public debt wrapped around our neck by our one-time Chancellor. Now Cameron, and Nick Clegg, are triumphing over Gordon again.
Brown has never done a decent thing in his entire political career. Just one thing will save his reputation – calling a general election. Everyone – from our soldiers in Aghanistan to low-paid workers suffering under the abolition of the 10p tax rate – deserves better than Labour.