Top of Sky News this morning was the poor bereaved mother of a soldier who has fallen in the Afghan war. She received a letter of condolence from Gordon Brown that got her surname wrong and was littered with misspellings. She was distraught at the loss of her son, her boy, her baby, speaking with a grief that was truly heart-rending. There was also bitterness that all he amounted to from no.10 was a scrawled letter that would not have passed muster from a 10 year-old.
Gordon Brown has bad eyesight and apparently his handwriting isn't very good, and you have to give him some credit for doing the letters himself when he could so easily delegate that painful task. For something like this though excuses will not do. A letter like that has to be right. It is not just his fault though. His private office should have made sure they got the soldier's name right at least, and someone should have had the guts to tell him that the letter simply wasn't good enough.