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Has Gord won the Afghan visit battle?

August 30th, 2009


Mail

But will he lose the post-visit PR war?

There’s an interesting angle on Brown’s surprise trip to Afghanistan in the Mail on Sunday this morning which has all the potential to blow up into a big incident.

According to the paper the Tory leader was forced to call off a trip to the country after discovering that the PM had beaten him to it.

The report goes on: “The Tory leader scrapped his own visit – which has been in his diary since July – to avoid an unseemly cat-and-mouse game and wasting overstretched military resources. Unbeknown to the Tories, Mr Cameron’s plans were highlighted in No10’s weekly ‘grid’ – a confidential Whitehall spin doctors’ guide to key political events designed to help Labour win the propaganda war…”

With the general election only months away at the very most every action of the two leaders will be subject to the most intense scrutiny. Why for instance had Cameron planned to go?

Brown’s problem here is that he’s got form over visits of this kind as we saw with his surprise trip to Iraq on the day of Cameron’s conference speech in October 2007. This means that the most negative interpretations are placed on his actions however honourable in intent they might have been.

I’ve got a feeling that this will develop.

Mike Smithson