Sketchup: PM's statement on troops in Afghanistan
Gordon Brown's statement to the House of Commons that 500 more British troops will be sent to Afghanistan was the main attraction in Westminster on Monday.
Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail describes the flurry of excitement in the chamber, especially among the fairer sex, at the arrival of the soldiers from 19 Light Brigade in the public gallery midway through proceedings:
"There was a tangible turbo-boost to the discussions in the Chamber. It was as though everyone was determined to put on a good show. This was a reverse of the usual carry-on when a politician visits an Army base and everything is given a fresh lick of paint."
In the Times however, Ann Treneman says that Mr Brown does display military leadership, referring to him as "General Gordon" (or "General Gordo") throughout:
"The general's list of what we are accomplishing was ambitious to the point of fantasy (removing corruption, training up the Army, co-ordinating the entire globe, wiping out poppy cultivation) but there was little carping."
However, the Telegraph's Andrew Gimson says that he doesn't have the ability to rouse an audience as a war leader should:
"Mr Brown's oratory can induce overwhelming feelings of lassitude in those who are exposed to it. He does not have the gift, so essential to a war leader, of raising the nation's spirits and making us feel that together we shall finish off that mad old bat Alky Ada."
His interpretation of the PM's pronunciation of the network controlled by Osama Bin Laden "making them sound like an eccentric great aunt who drinks too much" is not one that is new to members of the press gallery.
Simon Hoggart in the Guardian says that this no longer applies:
"Al-Qaida is no longer 'Alky Ada', the drunken old aunt. She has become Al, Kay, Ada - a music hall act of the inter-war years."
Any other business? The Independent's Simon Carr was on the other side of Parliament Square, at the Chilcott Inquiry where Sir David Manning, "one of the thousand and one knights giving evidence" was talking about a memo he'd written which indicated that the UK secretly supported regime change in Iraq.
"Wouldn't this get the Chilcoteers examining and cross-examining what that meant? On the one hand British policy was set firmly against regime change, on the other hand an official memo showed the prime minister actively but secretly supporting it. And here he was, the author of the memo in front of them, referring to that trip, that visit, that very dinner!
"The Inquiry didn't enquire. Maybe it was ungentlemanly to quiz about something that had been dishonourably acquired."
• Quentin Letts | Daily Mail | One MP shot them some hot glances... Watch out, corporal!
• Ann Treneman | Times | General Gordon plays to the gallery where it's a matter of life or death
• Andrew Gimson | Telegraph | Brown's battle with 'Alky Ada'
• Simon Hoggart | Guardian | Once more unto the breach
• Simon Carr | Independent | I thought that inquiries were meant to enquire