Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Fox and the hounds

UK news is currently full of the story of Defence Secretary Liam Fox. Doctor Fox, as he is all too frequently called (wasn't that the name of a DJ?), is in the middle of a storm of accusation because of allowing a close friend, Adam Werritty to act as if he were an official advisor and accompany Fox on a range of official visits. This doesn't look too good, especially as it's possible Werritty could benefit financially from it - something that he may not have done, but certainly could have done.

What I find fascinating is the way that those who speak up on Fox's behalf - bluff Tories one and all - are producing the most irrelevent arguments. They seem to fall into two camps:
  1. Liam Fox is a nice guy -  well, yes, so are quite a lot criminals. This doesn't signify anything.
  2. They are saying this about Liam Fox because they want to do him down
Let's look at that second accusation in a bit more detail. Notice that it is an argument about motive, not substance. Just transfer the argument to a mass murderer for a moment to show how useless it is. Imagine someone has very clearly committed a mass murder. There is absolutely solid evidence that he did it. No question. But his defence team argue that we should ignore it, because the people who are putting forward the evidence don't like the murderer. Yes, that's a fine argument, folks. That will get him off.

The facts seem to be that Werritty presented himself as an offical advisor, including having a business card saying this, embossed with the trademark portcullis of the government. There is good evidence that Werritty accompanied Fox on 18 of his 48 overseas trips (not spin from his enemies, data from the Ministry of Defence). It really doesn't matter why people are saying this, the facts are clear.

This was unacceptable behaviour for someone in Liam Fox's position and he must have known that. This makes it rather pathetic when those defending Fox say 'I'm sure he has learned from this.' A 15-year-old would know this isn't a good idea. If he needed to learn from this, he shouldn't be doing a serious political job. Send him back to the surgery.

I genuinely don't want the government destablized. I think it is bad for the country in the current difficult climate, and it's a shame. But this is a fox that should be given to hounds and dispatched immediately.


Image from Wikipedia

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