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FFS he is half blind

(76 Posts)
Fabster Mon 09-Nov-09 13:02:26

Gordon Brown does not have full eyesight and that is why his writing isn't great. A name that has been spelt wrong is easily done and does not mean that he doesn't care.

I am no fan of GB at the best of times but I think this is just too much when he can hardly see.

herbietea Mon 09-Nov-09 13:05:37

Message withdrawn

GunpowderTreasonAndDragons Mon 09-Nov-09 13:06:52

I don't blame him for making the mistake but someone should have checked the letter before it was sent.

Fabster Mon 09-Nov-09 13:09:13

My point is he probably can't read the letters properly and James and Janes are very similar.

FreeTheGuidoOne Mon 09-Nov-09 13:09:23

Fabster I agree with you.

It's sad that somebody cannot be allowed to make a genuine mistake. Or course every small action, however unfortunate, is indicative of a general malaise.

Lulumama Mon 09-Nov-09 13:13:18

i agree to an extent fab, however, he should have had the letter checked to ensure the basic courtesy of getting the deceased's name right was done. yes, a handwritten letter from the PM is very touching , but not if it looks as though it was dashed off and chucked in an envelope

it is another nail in his political career now, everything he does is subject to such intense scrutiny, he cannot afford to make basic mistakes

mumblechum Mon 09-Nov-09 13:16:34

I think the mother is putting some of her anger and grief into a GB box, understandably.

Agree that it was an honest mistake and am sure he feels bad about it.

PeachyInCarnivalFeathers Mon 09-Nov-09 13:17:54

I'm a bit in both camps.

The handwriting is appalling and the spelling bad bt I wonder if she even knows he has any VI? Dh didn't when I asked him. I have some eyesight issues and theya re pretty detectable on MN- so I imagine that gets worse as you rise up the severity scale.

But someone should have checked.

Then again if it were me, would I rather have a slightly misspelled letter from a man with VI quickly, or a completely correct letter received sometime later when it ahd been checked, resubmitted for rewriting, checked again...... probably the first tbh.

throckenholt Mon 09-Nov-09 13:20:29

I think they should give him a break. He is one of the busiest people in the country and he took the time to write a personal letter, and his writing is obviously not something to be proud of.

The sentiment is what counts - and whilst the mother is allowed to be upset I find the rest of the media jumping on the bandwagon much more offensive.

pagwatch Mon 09-Nov-09 13:20:45

I agree with Mumble

I cannot possibly believe that he ad anything other than sincere intent when he wrote that letter. I like the fact that he wrote it himself when he could just have some staffer type and spellcheck.

I think she has anger and grief mixed up. It is entirely understandable but news fottage of her working her way through his letter having put rings aroundthe spelling mistakes was just quite uncomfortable viewing.
I had " stand up Pagwatch and explain to the class how you reached that answer" flashbacks.

The Sun really are unplesant people

wannaBe Mon 09-Nov-09 13:21:06

well, everyone makes mistakes, but I don't think that having issues with his sight is an excuse tbh.

Think we need to be careful not to fall into a position where second-rate is accepted and perhaps even expected on the basis of disability.

If he can't see well enough to read a letter then he should have some technology to make that easier for him - there's enough of it on the market.

I think too big a deal is being made of this particular issue, but I equally don't think that eyesight issues should be used as a get-out..

starkadder Mon 09-Nov-09 13:21:37

Agree with Fabster. I think it's pretty impressive that he took the trouble to write a handwritten letter, tbh, rather than just getting a minion to type one.

HeadFairy Mon 09-Nov-09 13:24:49

I'm starting to get very uncomfortable about some of the criticism of Gordon Brown now... an awful lot of it smacks of playground bullying... if you look at the letter some of the so called spelling mistakes are a bit questionable... just perhaps the writing of a visually impaired man. Not the neatest. Not written in felt pen as some mark of disrespect but in a dark pen so the contrast is great enough to allow him to see it better.

And it's not checked, proof read and run through the Labour party spin machine because it's a heartfelt letter directly from the leader of the country who took time out to pass on his condolences to a grieving mother.

And as for the sneering about his choice of jogging bottoms at the weekend, it's just typical nasty Fleet Street bile.

All they're succeeding in doing is making me feel really sorry for the man and want to vote for him and his party!

HuwEdwards Mon 09-Nov-09 13:25:39

Not a fan of GB either, however James and Janes are incredibly similar to look at. While James is a fairly common surname Janes is not so I could understand anyone writing the former instead of the latter.

OrmIrian Mon 09-Nov-09 13:26:58

If you read my handwriting you probably couldn't tell N from M TBH.

wannaBe Mon 09-Nov-09 13:29:05

so perhaps there are two separate points to this really.

The first being whether it was appropriate to underline his spelling mistakes and go to the press and hound him for that when he clearly did have honourable intentions. And to that I would say that no it's not right and that it's been blown out of all proportion and that the woman clearly has a lot of griev and anger inside her and needs someone to take it out on, and the press are only too happy to oblige.

But the second is whether a VI or other disability should be seen as an excuse for second-rate performance, and to that I would say that no, it shouldn't. Not because some things aren't harder with a VI, but because we're in danger of clasifying those with disabilities as less capable than those without. And that if someone with a disability wishes to work as an equal to those without, then they need to be able to perform as an equal, iyswim.

There are some jobs that some people with certain disabilities cannot do for example, and we accept that. But when we reach the point where we have disabled ministers and prime ministers I think we have the right to expect that they be able to do that job on the same level as someone without a disability.

edam Mon 09-Nov-09 13:30:22

Agree criticism of him is a bit unwarranted. It is quite something for the PM to spare the time to produce handwritten letters.

My handwriting is very scrappy - I use shorthand and typing all day so rarely have to handwrite anything and when I do it looks VERY messy. Would hate to think that disqualifies me from being PM! (Not that I'm in the queue or anything, but you know...)

Fabster Mon 09-Nov-09 13:31:31

I never wanted to imply he was less capable because he has vision problems but the fact is his writing is a mess because he has sight problems and there is no getting away from that.

edam Mon 09-Nov-09 13:33:36

Looking at a pic of the letter, my handwriting's as bad as his and I don't have a visual impairment. I cringe when I have to write in ds's reading record for school - am sure they think I'm functionally illiterate!

PeachyInCarnivalFeathers Mon 09-Nov-09 13:35:36

but was the job done badly wannabe?I would say that taking the time to send the letter was a sign of doing the job well- a sign that the bits I liked about him, his humanity, were still very much there.

there is a very fine line beetween making allowances and what you say, I wopuild say this falls under the banner of making allowances. The letter is readable, presumably and sadly one of many sent that the apents did not feel the need to complain about....

The alternative solution is to accept he cannot see well and get someone else to write it, but I think the fact that it was him and not a secretary or aid makes the letter so much more valid.

The letter was intelligible and did the job. I would never say that the Mum waswrong to complain because grief is what it is.... but by grabbing onto it as a story (Man Spells Name wrongly (makes N look like an N)...' crappo healdine or what?) The Sun have simply used her grief for their own agenda

edam Mon 09-Nov-09 13:40:08

Sorry to go on about my appalling handwriting, but my Ms look like Ns because I have got into the habit of smoothing out the shapes - think it's to do with having to write shorthand bloody fast when I'm interviewing someone or taking down a speech. So I do sympathise with Gordon who has much more reason for messy writing.

fembear Mon 09-Nov-09 13:58:00

There's none so blind as those that will not see.

I'm not referring to GB but the NuLab sychophants on MN. That letter is appalling. The discussion of visual impairment is a red herring - I don't recall Blunkett ever having to rely on the "not bad for a disabled person" sympathy vote.

However, we shouldn't worry as it appears to be a hoax. Judging by the signature at the bottom, it was not sent by the Prime Minister but by someone called Gorm Bum. PMSL.

FreeTheGuidoOne Mon 09-Nov-09 14:09:02

Of course believing that a human man is fallible makes you a "NuLab sychophant". hmm

However, I choose to believe that as you cannot spell sycophant then you are offending all sycophants in your lack of attention to detail. Shame on you.

MaryAnnSingleton Mon 09-Nov-09 14:10:37

surely it's the fact that he bothered to hand write a letter and what the letter actually says that is important ? Of course getting a name wrong is very bad and it should have been checked before sending.

Niecie Mon 09-Nov-09 14:13:12

I agree with Fabster and Peachy. Much better surely to know that the PM has taken the time to write himself than to have some perfect type written soulless letter with his signature at the bottom. You wouldn't even know if he had read it, would you?

Of course I can't know what I would do in such circumstances but I doubt it would involve letting the papers get involved. I suspect that that the woman will end up feeling worse for having done this - she has been used by The Sun to sell papers and score political points.

I think I read somewhere that Winston Churchill was dyslexic - I don't think the ability to write the perfect letter is any mark of a person's leadership ability.

GB has apparently phoned to apologise so hopefully that is the story over and done with.

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