Bollox Bob or Dr Fox - Two Halves of the Same Coin?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by meridian, Nov 21, 2009.

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  1. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    I know Bob Ainsworth comes in for a lot of stick here but having heard him speak recently I am thinking he is no worse than the others, out of his depth perhaps but I think his heart in in the right place.

    Maybe he is a bit out of an irrelevance anyway, although not a foregone conclusion it is likely that the next SoS Defence will be a certain Dr Liam Fox.

    Having listened to him over the last few months I have to admit to a serious sense of foreboding, he is simply not acting like a future Minister of state in one of the most important ministries at a time of conflict but resorting to sound bite politics and spouting utter drivel every time he opens his mouth.

    The recent nonsense about the MoD CD and BFG just confirms to me that he is either being ill advised or is simply a lightweight. Whichever it is, its not a good sign.

    Perhaps its just knock about opposition politics but is anyone else getting a sinking feeling about Dr Fox?
  2. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    No I don't think your the only one who is worried, the sepration between the political and miltary classes is exceptionally worrying; but with any luck Fox might not hold the position following the election, either that or he will get some better advisers in. Dannat seems to be lined up in the party and Rory Stewart appears to have been chosen for a safe seat (although I think its most likely if he gets a cab position it will be in Int Dev.)
  3. I think this is due in part to how much of politics is being driven by the media nowadays, and also how 'big' and complicated government has become. Ministers no longer have the ability to learn their job thoroughly before being thrust in front of the camera for the slaughter.

    The solution is to have ministers who actually know what they are doing being being appointed to the job. But then, you end up with a much reduced pool of talent from which to draw and groom.

    Whatever the reason, Liam Fox really hasn't impressed and the whole remove troops from germany to free up troops nonsense has really lowered him in my estimation.
  4. Talent? In today's breed of "Professional" politician..? You having a giraffe?
  5. Gaining your empathy is part of being a politician regardless of the colour of the flag they follow.

    I don't believe that the removal of troops is a military decision (i'd be very surprised if it is). I would wager that it's :-

    a) A cost saving measure, or an attempt at offering up an unpalatable cost saving measure.
    b) A shot across the bows of the German Govt for reason(s) unknown
    c) A means of helping to lower the national defecit by spending all that cash in the UK, thereby bolstering our economy. (Quite how this balances up against the cost of the move in the short term I don't know.

    4 Bde came back in '08 (?) with no huge drama's. The rest may well follow.
  6. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    I don't think it's just Dr Fox
    Nothing the Tories say fills me with confidence that anything will be better

    We are fukced
  7. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Exactly, where on the opposition benches is someone who could actually be a credible SoS Defence.
  8. Paddy Mercer wouldn't be a bad start.
  9. In addition to Mercer (who has blotted his copybook with the leadership, though), the Tories have quite a few former officers/current TA chaps amongst their number - Mark Lancaster, Desmond Swayne, Andrew Robathan, Julian Brazier and, of course, David Davis spring to mind.

    Lancaster and Swayne have recent op tours under their belts as well. Not saying that either of them would be good or usless as SoS, since I've not the first indication of how they'd do - but they'd certainly have a degree of credibility that's lacking from pretty much the rest of the House of Commons.

    The main problem, though, is the Treasury - a Chancellor who's sympathetic to the forces is at least likely to make some effort to mitigate the worst effects of cuts (for instance by telling the British Film Institute they'll have to wait for the £45 million for their new building because the money's needed by the MoD, which is a bit needier at the moment).
  10. You also have Dr. Andrew Murrison who was a Surgeon Commander in the RN. Still wears the uniform and deployed to Iraq (as RNR) a few years ago. Some experience has to be better than the current lot.
    Who would want the job?
  11. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Do you absolutely need military experience to be a good SoS?
  12. In my view it's the PUS and team that would be the main players. It's probably important for these to be apolitical in order to achieve the departmental aim. Probably not too much chance of that happening though. The SoS is just the figurehead, (these days more like a Fig 11).