Saturday, 15 October 2011
How the British Defence industry and the M.O.D. waste billions – and kill young Scots service personnel – and English and Welsh and Northern Irish
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Nick Boles MP offered a fatuous and increasingly irascible ‘defence’ of Liam Fox to Kirsty Wark, demonstrating just how thin the ice the Fox is skating on really is. But it also demonstrates the weakness – and the hypocrisy – of the Labour attack on Fox, with Labour snouts still dripping with their insatiable feeding at the trough for 13 years of M.O.D. incompetence accompanied by the enrichment of Labour ministers and their favoured squad of lobbyists, defence contractors, Middle Eastern dictators, et al.
Jim Murphy’s rather leaden attack on Fox in the Commons debate was also fatally flawed because of his party’s acceptance of cash from Cellcrypt, a company at the heart of the charges laid against Fox and Werrity.
There used to be a scatological version of the lyric of The Finger of Suspicion Points at You, a popular song of the 1950s, with the substituted line -
Someone crept into the Crypt, and crapped and crept away
the finger of suspicion points at You!
The defence discussion in the Commons that preceded Fox’s statement consisted of rampant self-interested questions about the distribution of defence spoils around the constituencies – the Defence as Job Creation Scheme concept of the defence of the realm. It was of course prudently interspersed with pious expressions of concern for our brave servicemen and women on the front line, who make all this profitable enterprise so rewarding for those who stay at home while they place their young lives and futures on the line, inadequately equipped, fighting for a cause for which no coherent justification has ever been offered, although many contradictory and self-serving attempts are made at regular intervals.
In between all this inhuman cant, the brutal reality burst through occasionally, of death, injury, brain damage, psychological damage, broken-hearted relatives and ruined lives, in the form of interventions by the tiny number of MPs who really cared about our service personnel and were trying to alleviate their suffering and that of their families.
After this undignified, self-serving spectacle, Liam Fox and his chorus of loyal admirers defended - with straight faces, indeed faces set in a rictus of patriotic indignation – the series of astonishing coincidences, surprise meetings in dining rooms across the globe, family holidays that to everyone’s surprise happened just at the same time and in the same place as pivotal defence discussions, and diaries that miraculously synchronised, in a kind of unique serendipity, with the joint interests and undying friendship of Liam and Adam, a friendship that will surely go down in history along with David and Jonathan and other shining examples.
Monday, 10 October 2011
A superb, perfectly judged example of what a political interview should be. When BBC political interviewers challenge the powerful, they should always do it as effectively as this.
The choice of Chris Grayling to champion Liam Fox's cause was profoundly misconceived - his involvement with Atlantic Bridge should have been enough to ring the warning bells. He was probably selected for his emollient personality and style - another misjudgement, since this was his undoing - a champion with a lance made of putty.
With friends like this, Fox needs no enemies ...
Sunday, 9 October 2011
Liam Fox must be as lonely as a kitten in a wash-house copper with the lid on this weekend, perhaps reflecting that it is a melancholy truth that even great men have their poor relations. Or he might think that charity begins at home but justice begins next door.
What’s with the Dickensian quotations, you make ask? Well, no good reason other than the Werrity, a surname I’ve never come across before, sounds Pickwickian to me – a Sam Weller pronunciation of verity, perhaps – and verity means a true statement, especially one of fundamental import.
I don’t like Liam Fox, for a variety of reasons, other than the fact that he’s a Tory (some of my best friends are Tories – I’ve even had relatives who were Tories) but certainly including the fact that he is a high-road-to-England Scot who followed the heat-seeking missile route to defence that ambitious Scots, often Labour politicians, have blazed the trail for, because of certain well-known advantages that it confers it those who wish to have a secure financial base to their political career, as I observed in recent blogs.
I don’t like him because he is a medical doctor by profession who is an enthusiast for weapons of mass destruction capable of killing and maiming millions and blighting the planet for centuries, maybe forever.
And I don’t like him because he loses no opportunity, and spurns no platform where he may profess his undying support for the Union, something that I wholly irrationally don’t like to hear from an East Kilbride boy and graduate of Glasgow University.
And I do not like him for the same reasons as an ancient Roman once set out -
or in a late 17th century version, familiar to me as a child’s rhyme since primary school
My distaste for the man, however, does not make him guilty of anything, and we await the results of the enquiry.
The facts, as far as they are known, have been set out by the press, and despite being wary of trial by media, they seems pretty strange to me. Some of them, e.g. the trips, the access, the business cards, the two incarnations of a right-wing charity set up to celebrate the Thatcher-Reagan era – Atlantic Bridge - and which some interest groups seems to have been almost indecently enthusiastic about financing – seems to speak for themselves, and they don’t tell a tale I would like to be associated with, but who knows?
(Other speculations about the exact nature of the relationship between Doctor Fox and his friend I will leave to those who trawl in such waters.)
He has the full support of David Cameron, rather as Andy Coulson had, and that should be enough to send a chill down the good doctor’s spine. If in a few months the question is Doctor who? we may be assured that the post will be filled by yet another career politician, party immaterial, since politicians are not at all doctrinaire when it comes to the Great Honeypot and the military/industrial complex.
Perhaps the Coalition can make him a Lord – that path is well-blazed, and well-greased as well.