The court case today involving the MoD in an attempt to reduce compensation payments to injured soldiers could not have been more ill timed. The contrast with the pictures of four coffins arriving back from Afghanistan could not be starker.
But this was a misfortune of the government's own making and could so easily have been avoided if any of the Defence Ministers involved had had any political nouse or influence. When their civil servants came to them with proposals for the case, all it would have taken was for Kevan Jones or Bob Ainsworth to say no, and send them away with their tales between their legs. And that would have been an end to it.
To be fair to Labour, they have raised compensation payments to injured servicepeople to a considerable degree. But this saga has undone all the political kudos which had been won in previous years. As Norfolk Blogger writes, this is something that won't go down at all well with Labour's core vote, as well as the rest of us.
But that's what you get when you appoint a Defence Secretary with no political clout. Mr Ainsworth has gone away on holiday for two weeks. The question is: will anyone notice?