Gordon Brown’s speech was clearly designed to show him as steady, I would call it dull but that’s down to personal preference. The Today Programme on Radio 4, however, were gushing in their praise of the most plagiarised speech in history.
The one thing that came out of yesterday which tells us more about the “principled” Gordon Brown than anything else was his announcement of a council tax reduction for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Let’s just think this through for a second. He hasn’t committed any more money to the forces which means that they will have to pay this money rather than the individual soldier. That is money that could be spent on things like refurbishing the military housing stock, training, vehicles or even bullets.
The other option is that the local council loses out on the money. Bear in mind that soldiers tend to live in clusters and when deployed do so as a group. This could be quite a dent for the council affected.
Either way Gordon Brown is trying to buy headlines with money that rightly belongs elsewhere. To me this demonstrates that he is not willing to make bold decisions about forces’ funding and is willing to take money from the every department that needs it most just to appear to be friendly to the forces.