A correspondent tells me of a reception in Portcullis House last night for service veterans. It started at 6pm and the Prime Minister was good enough to put in an appearance, along with his combative PPS Ian Austin. However, he left shortly after six o'clock while most of the veterans were still queueing to get into the building. Gordon Brown had only met the sprinkling of MOD officials in the room and spoke to hardly any veterans. As Brown walked out of the building he walked past a long queue of veterans - some of WW2 vintage - but failed to acknowledge them at all, let alone engage any of them in conversation. How crap is that?! Tony Blair would have at least schmoozed the queue! Several of them reckoned afterwards that it would have been better if he had not gone at all but had sent a message.
Schmoozing is part of the job of a modern day Prime Minister. Time and again Gordon Brown shows he is SO unsuited to the finesse part of the job.
UPDATE: Justin Webb reckons Mitt Romney has a similar problem.
UPDATE 2: Oh dear. What have I started? Adam Boulton has a tale of some disgruntled businessmen who are travelling with El Gordon to China today.