20 November 2006

Praise indeed

While we are so far off the Tory Boy radar that the invisible man could be used as a warning beacon by comparison, our views on The Boy seem to have struck a chord with Samizdata. If they are the people that the Boy has to bring into the fold, then he is in real trouble.

Furthermore, unless the Boy has got something serious up his sleeve, the visit to Darfur, in media terms at least, has been an almost complete failure.

Unlike the Norway trip, when he was photographed every inch of the way, there have been no photographs so far and only the Telegraph seems to have given the Boy any coverage.

Blair, on the other hand, seems to have done swimmingly well with his visit to Camp Bastion and the his meeting with President Karzai. Once again, of interest, at the joint press conference, we see no EU flags. There are Union Jacks and Afghani flags but no "ring of stars" flags.

Of the many reports, The Times is as good as any, having the prime minister pledge Britain's continuing support for war-torn Afghanistan until after the Taleban is defeated. "Our commitment remains," he told Karzai, "that whatever challenges, whether of security or reconstruction or development, we are up to meeting those challenges with you."

Just how that stacks up with the Mail on Sunday report about troops being denied equipment is uncertain. The paper was fairly certain in its assertion that Brig. John Lorimer had asked for "up to 12 Challenger II tanks", which would put him on a par with the Canadians.

The Brigadier also wants up to 14 Warrior MICVs - which seem to be the wrong equipment for Afghanistan - so we'll be looking at this issue when we get a chance.

But if these are to be denied, Blair did at least inspect the equipment there was at Camp Bastion, giving Private Eye an unmissable opportunity. And despite that, by comparison with the Boy, Blair is sounding almost statesmanlike.