Most people now agree that Gordon Brown's trip to Iraq and the (false) claim that a further 1000 troops are to come come backfired badly. Brown appears to be so used to rehashing the same announcement that he walked into this one. It was hysterically funny watching and listening to MoD minister Bob Ainsworth trying not to admit that some of the troops are already home.
In the Times , Camilla Cavendish (yes, I think she is a real person) puts a very Tory spin on Brown's speech but I think in some ways she's right. It's very cheap to say:
36 hours later almost every journalist I spoke to had privately come to see it as barren and dishonest.But then she does make a good point that:
cramming the media together in these conference centres always ups the chances of similar headlinesI would suggest that the collective view of the press pack shouldn't really matter, but of course it does.