Another reason for disliking Gordon Brown. Watching Friday’s BBC News on the coroner’s inquest into the death in action of Captain James Philippson in Helmand Province, I was most struck by the juxtaposition of a film of a grinning Gordon Brown meeting troops in Afghanistan, and the interview with Anthony Philippson, Captain Philippson’s father. According to the BBC, Mr Philippson said,
“He [the coroner] laid into them [the MoD] particularly badly for the lack of equipment. I do hold the MoD responsible for James’ death but it is not just the MoD, it goes much deeper than that. The Treasury and the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown, will be really to blame for what happened. The MoD was starved of cash by the Chancellor”.
He was in fact far ruder about Gordon Brown, and the written report on the BBC website not only doesn’t give any feel of Mr Philippson’s cold fury, but edited some of it out. What he actually said (and the video is on the BBC website) was:
“It’s not just the Ministry of Defence, it’s the Treasury and the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, our present Prime Minister, the miserable, parsimonious Mr Brown. He’s really the person responsible for what happened.”
When recording a narrative verdict in which he said Captain Philippson was unlawfully killed, Mr Walker, the assistant coroner for Oxford said:
“They [the soldiers] were defeated not by the terrorists but by the lack of basic equipment. To send soldiers into a combat zone without basic equipment is unforgivable, inexcusable and a breach of trust between the soldiers and those who govern them.”