Watching his speech on Sky just now it appeared that he was addressing the press cameras (thank you, thank you, thank you) while all the troops were arranged behind him on a couple of trucks. Talk about posing....
Just your average trip to bolster the troops morale- did he mention- oh your are doing a great job. But when you get back I will make 30% of you redundant?
'Prime Minister Tony Blair has told troops in southern Iraq that the prestige and reputation of the British armed forces had never been higher and that everyone in the UK felt "enormous pride" in them during an unannounced visit to Basra.
Mr Blair arrived in the city of Basra, where British troops are based to pay tribute to the nearly 10,000 British troops currently serving in the Gulf.
He arrived on a special military cargo plane from Egypt where he was on holiday. It was his second visit to Iraq since British forces fought alongside US troops to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
He told troops that no matter what people's views on the war against Saddam Hussein's regime they have the full support of the public at home for the job they are now doing.
And added that British armed forces were "the new pioneers of soldiering in the 21st century" in defending the world against the dual threats of terrorism and brutal and repressive regimes.'
Seen on BBC news. Typical faux sincerity and reptilian grin. It was clearly for the press; apparently those service personnel who met him were 'selected' - anyone else notice the 2 Fijians carefully placed in shot behind him - neither looked as if they were even listening to him.
He didn't actually say very much, but then that's no surprise...
Andrew Marr - the BBC political correspondant (Am I right in saying that he is not only a Labour supporter but contributes to Labour party funds) - said that Mr Blair was not speaking to the troops but to the people who matter- the elecorate. He then went on to say that Mr Blairs emphasis on why we went to war had changed from WMD to getting rid of an evil dictator who badly abused human rights. Does this mean that Mad Bob Mugabe is next in line.