Thursday, 13 October 2011

Is Fox A Dead Duck?

There's no honour amongst politicians these days. Their only interest is saving their careers and ensuring their post-political jobs pay a sufficient amount to keep them in the style to which they have become accustomed - courtesy of the taxpayer.

I think it was Sunday night when I watched a pathetic, cringe-worthy statement from Liam Fox on the television news. He was begging for his job and obviously thought that admitting he had made mistakes, although there was no impropriety when he permitted his old flat mate to accompany him to top-level talks.

The crux of Fox's behaviour has been well recorded in the past few days so there is no need to repeat them here, but one point has puzzled me - who pays Adam Werritty?

Nick Robinson suggests he has the answer.  He has spoken to a wealthy backer of Liam Fox who says he and half a dozen others raised funds to pay for Adam Werrity to act as the Defence Secretary's unofficial adviser.  The backer wants to remain anonymous of course. How convenient. It seems to be a brazen admission that anyone with sufficiently large enough wads of cash can simply bypass democracy. But we have to ask what his backers want in return?

Being Defence Secretary is perhaps the second most important post in government and the country deserves someone who has our interests at heart and not those of his friends. He should be sacked immediately.

I've placed a poll in the right-hand column for those who wish to vote.


JRB said...

“Serious mistakes were made” …

… so admits Mr Fox of his own actions.
… so concedes Mr Cameron of his Defence Secretary.

I’m sorry – but – if any of my senior staff had admitted to making ‘serious mistakes’ they would have been bloody lucky to be allowed to count the paperclips by the end of the day, let alone still have their job.

What ever has happened to ‘honour’ amongst cabinet ministers?
For almost a week Mr Fox, his friend and their goings on, have been the centre of media attention. The office of Secretary of State for Defence has been completely hamstrung.

Rightly or wrongly Mr Fox’s “serious mistakes” have had a totally untoward effect upon the administration of his office.

He should do the honourable thing and go now .… but, in this day and age are any politicians still honourable?

English Pensioner said...

As one who worked for years in the defence industry, I find it amazing that Adam Werritty could have access to these high level meetings, apparently without any security clearance.
In my days it took about six months (and a lot of hassle) to get a clearance to "Secret" level, and I'm sure many of Fox's meetings were probably at levels above that.
Why didn't our security services intervene, that's what they are there for. Apparently no-one knows his source of income - could he be being paid by a foreign government? Who Knows?

petem130 said...

It all sounds so sleazy. There is also the break in at his flat.

The politicians and (un)civil (no)service are employed by us. They must have T&C of employment? There are rules? They expect us to stay within the rules. Looks like they can't manage that themselves.

We are slipping in to a huge financial collapse and the politicians are powerless or feckless or scared. 3rd world here we come. Or maybe it's the bits left of our country/society/system which aren't already 3rd world which will go.

What a sorry state of affairs.

Woodsy42 said...

Of course he should go, he should have been sacked immediately.
I don't care how often he saw his best mate (I see mine quite often) or who came to stay, or about his sexuality, or even whether there were underhand influences.
All that matters is that he is a minister. Anyone who becomes a minister, especially when politicians are under scrutiny, and is so naive that they fail to take basic care that their reputaion is uncompromised is simply too stupid to do the job.

Richard T said...

Although I am much tempted to make observation to his detriment by Dr Fox's public stances as a pillar of morality, I think the inneundo about his personal life should be set aside.

He should go and go now. The issues seem to me are that:

his enthusiasm for meeting a friend in London and abroad seems strange operationally;
he has been caught out running a private adviser financed by shadowy interests who may well be linked to defence interests;
he has clearly been operating against the declared policy of the British government in playing footsy with the Sri Lankan government which is tainted by the campaign against the Tamils;
he seems to have been less than competent in his timing of dismissals of service personnel; more seriously it seems to be the 'poor bloody infantry' who are suffering the cuts and not the brass who are responsible with the upper civil servants for the mess that is defence finances; and finally.
the fact that either he or sources close to him are describing Mr Werity as a Walter Mitty character looks an awfu lot like laying down your friends for your life.

Edward Spalton said...

I think ministers have often had particular confidants and unofficial advisors who were not civil servants. Ministers don't exist in a vacuum after all and, given the powers of manipulation by civil servants with their own agendas, it is probably all to the good to have an independent person to consult. However, the degree of prominence accorded to Mr. Werrity and the funding of his activities by "backers" seem excessive and suspicious. The whole point of any such arrangement is confidentiality, independence and discretion.

Denis Healey as Minister of Defence (a good one I believe)found that he had been un or misinformed so that the cabinet was misled because the MoD had its own policy which it hadn't told him about.

More dangerous to democracy IMHO is the growth and flourishing of the "special advisors" - party hacks, highly paid from the public purse, who have latterly been given unaccountable executive authority over civil servants and elected ministers. Think Alastair Campbell.

With regard to the sleaze and innuendo - the tabloids could be relied on to make an orgy out of the proverbial vicarage tea party.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

A prime example of why lobbying should be banned from the democratic process.

Joe Public said...

Cameron should have the balls to sack him, if only because of a demonstrable lack of judgement.

No fiction writer could retain credibility, by writing a story where someone known to be not employed by the Government, is allowed to attend multiple foreign meetings with the UK's Defence Secretary + high-level foreign dignitaries.

Observer said...

How could David Cameron sack him Joe, without opening a huge can of worms over his employment of Andy Coulson who didn't have the correct level of security clearance for the job he was doing either.

Both the PM & the Defence Secretary seem rather cavalier about their positions.

Brian said...

I don't believe any of this. Adam Werrity is actually an escapee from Pickwick Papers (as spoken by Sam Weler)or the Casebook of Sherlock Holmes - did Dr Watson really subsist only on his Army Doctor's pension?

subrosa said...

No JRB there is no honour these days, although our elected in London insist upon calling each other honourable.

He should have gone last week and shown some dignity.

subrosa said...

EP I have to agree with you. Even top ranking military require security passes for everywhere yet a politician's former flat mate can go anywhere without question. Something very wrong there.

Doesn't all this go to show just how useless these people are and more of a threat than an advantage to this country? The security services would be scared of losing their jobs if they'd said anything. I know full well that's the position today and has been for many years.

subrosa said...

Ah petem, the 'young friend' who was staying the night of the break in. I didn't mention that because it stinks too.

A very sorry state of affairs indeed.

subrosa said...

I agree Woodsy. If he'd had any sense of conscience he would have stepped down last weekend.

subrosa said...

Couldn't agree more Richard T. His sexuality etc is of no interest to me. All that concerns me is his handling and command of our military and with his 'alternative' agenda he can't be doing that job at all well.

subrosa said...

I'm quite sure they have Edward and perhaps years ago, because we didn't have video etc., they also accompanied their pals to secret meetings around the world, but Fox should be well aware of the modern media and this should never have happened.

It would be of public interest for at least one MSM journalist to investigate the number of 'special advisors' we have these days.

subrosa said...

Exactly Crinkly.

subrosa said...

Joe, this just shows that Cameron is spineless don't you think? I see Observer has a good point below.

subrosa said...

As well as that Observer, he can't afford to loose one on his 'own' side.

subrosa said...

You've been reading the Scottish Review Brian. :)

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