The row over Gordon Brown’s spelling mistakes in a letter to the mother of a soldier who had been killed in Afghanistan shows how badly run Brown’s Downing Street is. It is well known in Westminster that Brown’s handwriting is poor because of his bad eyesight. There is little that can be done about that and it is rather unfair to criticise him for that. But someone in Brown’s office should be checking all his letters to the families of the fallen to check that all the names in them are spelt correctly. Because this basic fail-safe mechanism is not in place there is now a family whose grief has been compounded and a political situation that is damaging the Prime Minister; this is the kind of story that sticks in peoples’ minds.