The Times is reporting that the Brown offer of an Afghan role to Paddy Ashdown is a "flyer".
Yesterday's report said that Paddy had turned the role down, saying:
I am not looking for a new job. I don't intend to go to Afghanistan and I do not know anyone who would want that...I enjoy in my role of grandpa and gardener.
The Times reports Paddy as saying that a co-ordinating role for Afghanistan would be best conducted by someone actually in Afghanistan and he, as quoted above, does intend to go there.
Perhaps the Times envisages a role based in the UK, but that seems a nonsense.
I think Paddy would be mad to take the role. If it's based in the UK it will be a nightmare and an ineffective role, if it is based in Afghanistan he'll be miles away from his gardening and his grandkids. At his time in life, indeed at any time in life, those things should be uppermost in one's mind when making these sorts of decisions.
It is one thing being High Doobri-feature in Bosnia after a peace settlement had taken place. It is another entering the muck and bullets of Afghanistan.