Where are Gordon Brown's advisors? Surely someone could have told him that walking around in a suit in a war zone isn't a good idea.
Perhaps he shunned sensible advice, it wouldn't surprise me in the least. The MSM did his bidding this weekend though with their 'first PM to stay in a war zone overnight' headlines. I understand Mr Brown's 'basic accommodation' was the VIP area adapted for his determination to be seen as 'one of the lads'. All things considered, he was safer being protected by our troops than many of us would be on the streets of some of our inner cities.
Many of you know my feelings about politicians visiting the front line, but I will reiterate them. These visits require a great deal of forward planning. The military's usual schedules are upset. Transport is taken out of normal service because these VIPs require to be ferried around. It's not just the VIP but their entourage and press pack, therefore more than one helicopter is needed per trip. Soldiers are pulled off normal duties to line up for the compulsory photo calls.
One commenter on the ARRSE forums puts the PM's visit succinctly:
'Visits to hot and sandy places are of benefit only to those who are doing the visiting. Prior to these snakes arriving in theatre the lads, who are busy enough as it is, are required to sit through pointless briefs about media exposure, followed by hours of pushing brooms around the desert. On the visit itself the lads will stand around and nod in agreement with the PM whether they agree with his comments or not, purely because they don't want to rock the boat and embarrass the CofC. How does this benefit the lads? I've not even started about the extra security arrangements required while he's there. What possible benefit does this bring anyone, apart from himself?'
Nothing more I can add.