It felt just like going back to school – but only for a moment. Then it was back into the familiar routines when Parliament is sitting and as if the summer recess had never happened.
The big one yesterday was Gordon (I used to be taken seriously) Brown – coming to the House to give a statement on Iraq. I was trying to think: if he hadn’t made such a pig’s ear of the last few weeks – would this have been well received? Partially – is the answer.
His news on reductions in troop numbers – albeit not enough – and half-hearted help for the Iraqis whose work for us in the war now means the Basra death squads are hunting them down and killing them – was typical Brown, picking up on the big issues but only making partial and unsatisfying moves on them.
As I am sponsoring tonight’s meeting on the fate of the Iraqi interpreters who worked for the British armed forces, I was glad the the pressure that has mounted on this issue (mostly thanks to the blogosphere who pushed it to the fore) had obviously got to Gordon.
As usual, Gordon threw his big arms around the Iraqi employees tent – not wishing to look bad publicly (which he does) for using them then throwing them to the dogs. But he didn’t say what he should have said. Instead we got the mealy-mouthed Gordon version which was a financial package to help resettle somewhere – and ‘under agreed circumstances’ some would be allowed to come here.
A more detailed statement will follow this week. It had better!