Last Word: PM Gordon Brown given rough ride over Jacqui Janes' letter
WITH regard to the letter of condolence containing errors and sent by the Prime Minister to the mother of a 20-year-old soldier killed in Afghanistan, two people have been let down – Guardsman Jamie Janes grieving mother, and Gordon Brown himself, writes
WITH regard to the letter of condolence containing errors and sent by the Prime Minister to the mother of a 20-year-old soldier killed in Afghanistan, two people have been let down - Guardsman Jamie Janes' grieving mother, and Gordon Brown himself, writes Louise McEvoy.
Mr Brown is at the centre of a story which has been hugely sensationalised by the national press.
While more than 20 mistakes in the letter have been reported, all but a handful are for not dotting the 'i', which is insignificant. I also imagine dotting the 'i' is incredibly difficult for Mr Brown, given he is visually impaired. He lost the sight in his left eye following an injury sustained playing rugby as a child, and last month tests revealed two tears in the retina of his right eye.
The PM's scruffy handwriting has also been criticised, but is surely a result of his poor eyesight. Although many in the press are suggesting he should have sent a typed letter I have no doubt that, if he had, it would have been slammed for being impersonal.
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The PM has been lambasted in the national press, accused of insensitivity and a lack of respect. The fact he has taken the time to personally write individually to the families of every soldier who has been killed in the war has been disregarded.
Mrs Janes' reaction to the PM's letter is understandable, and the scruffy handwriting and spelling errors are regrettable, but Mr Brown is being hauled over the coals without a second thought being given for his motivation for sending the letter in the first place, or for his physical disability.
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