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Is this going to win Brown back any votes?

August 29th, 2009


BBC online

Won’t his trip just highlight the problems?

The big political story this afternoon is the surprise trip by Gordon Brown to Afghanistan and the suggestions that the scale of the British deployment might have to be increased.

Fine – but what’s the political point at a time when the opinion polls have shown increasing scepticism amongst voters to the whole undertaking?

Such a visit over such a distance is a massive undertaking and there really has to be a purpose beyond the obviously political desire to grab some headlines.

It will be recalled that just under two years ago Brown’s surprise trip to Iraq at the time of the Tory party conference was one of the factors that started the spectacular collapse by Labour that has continued.

The danger is that Brown’s travel might start to be seen as a substitute for policy. After all he has been there often enough.

  • This evening I’m taking part in a panel discussion with Anthony Wells and Ian Dale on the internet’s impact on politics which is being held at a conference of political dons in Glasgow. At least one poll is expected – I’ll cover that when I get back.
  • Mike Smithson