If anyone thinks that nice Comrade Chairman Brown would not do all he can to get the Tory conference out of the headlines, his visit today to Baghdad is all the proof you need to know he will use any instrument he can to manage the news agenda and deny opponents the coverage they would expect to have in a multi-party democracy.
Brown is posing as the statesman and is on a "fact finding" mission to Iraq. Oh yer, pull the other one, it's got bells on! The person who wrote the cheques and could have stopped British involvement before it started knows all the facts he needs already. So this is simply a massive publicity stunt for Labour to keep the Tories off the front pages, a jolly paid for by the taxpayer.
Mind you, given the choice of going to Iraq of Blackpool, I'm not sure which one I would want to do!
Expect an announcement next week in Parliament of a further troop reduction which the formerly pro-the-War-and-now-very-much-against-it Labour party will spin for all it's worth as the end of the Iraq episode. And then expect an election shortly afterwards.
Brown is probably planning something big for this Thursday as well. It could be the trip to the palace or perhaps a major policy announcement. Whatever it is, expect Labour to attempt to manage the news agenda on the day away from the Conservative conference.
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