A US speech writing company was paid over GBP 40 000 to help compose Gordon Brown’s speech to Congress. One Guardian columnist defended this.
Put simply, political leaders can either run countries or they can write speeches – there isn't time for them to do both. We wouldn't expect Gordon Brown to redesign the No 10 website single-handedly and nor should we expect him to write his own speeches.
There is a key difference. Brown never holds himself out to compose the Number 10 website; the uniformed observer, though, would think that he had written what for Brown was the speech of his lifetime to the US Congress. If Brown had got up and started,
Good evening, everybody. Here is a speech that a speech writing company in your country, West Wing Writers, has written for me. I will now read it.
At least that would have been honest.