While listening to Gordon Brown's speech on Afghanistan I have been doing further work on the new Yes Minister Miscellany we are publishing in October. His speech was clearly written by civil servants. I don't believe he wrote a word of it himself.
As ever when the Prime Minister delivers a speech on a subject he has no interest in, the delivery was stacatto, with little change in tone and with little emphasis. There was nothing new in it and as a restatement of government policy it did little to answer the points made by Eric Joyce yesterday. What the country wanted was a clear vision of where the Afghanistan campaign is going and why we are still there. Simply to say we're there to make Britain safer just doesn't cut it. It's perfectly possible to make the argument that it makes our streets more dangerous.
All in all a very disappointing speech delivered in a rat-a-tat-tat manner as if he were speaking like a machine gun.