As Gordon Brown sups his cuppa and eats cake with Veterans at the Cabinet War Rooms today he might reflect that his efforts might be better spent ensuring that our troops in Afghanistan get the resources they need to do their job safely. In Defence Questions yesterday David Ruffley MP raised the question of our armed forces in Afghanistan using so-called "Snatch" Land Rovers to get around. These are vehicles which are completey unarmed and without protection, not exactly the sort of thing you want to be seen in in downtown Kabul of a night. Des Browne, a man so overpromoted he makes Ian McCartney look statesmanlike, replied that the armed forces didn't want to use armed vehicles because it "gave the wrong impression". Bollocks. They would dearly love to use vehicles which are equipped to protect their men properly, but they can't do so because they aren't available. Why aren't they available? My armed forces contacts tell me it's because the "Soldier's friend" at the Treasury won't give the armed forces they need to do their jobs. Let's hope Gordon Brown enjoys his cake today and that the veterans he meets tell him exactly what he can do with it.
UPDATE: 9.52. The influence of this blog is deeply worrying. A mere half an hour after writing this post I switch on Sky News to be told that Des Browne is launching a review of the use of these Snatch Land Rovers. Either I'm ahead of my time or this story has been running all night and my post was completely coincidental. I suspect it's the latter!