Fox and werrity. Just good friends?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by dandelion, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. dandelion

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    So any ideas what we should make of this?

    For anyone outside the Uk who might not yet have heard this, Liam Fox is UK defence minister. He seems to spend a remarkable amount of time in the company of Adam Werrity, who is a longstanding friend, former flatmate and was best man at Fox's wedding. Right now the conservative party are falling over themselves to say what a good chap Dr. Fox is. No one has (yet?) really demonstrated he has done anything wrong except spend an unusually large amount of time in the company of Mr Werrity. Mr Werrity's business as an advisor to companies seems to remarkably parallel Dr Fox's career as he has moved from ministry to ministry, and those companies seem quite clear Mr Werrity is Dr Fox's advisor. Whereas Dr Fox now seems quite clear he is not. It might be imagined that Dr Fox would see that suspicion of one sort or another would fall upon this situation, yet it has continued.
     
  2. superbot

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    This is such a lame story,only the beeb seemed to be transfixed by it. I'd be more interested if 'another' side to the friendship emerged,Liam Fox was quite the looker a few years back,bit tubby now tho!!
     
  3. Jason

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    Fox has presumably been using his friend as a sounding board for ideas, for advice, as someone who helps him. Often ministers use their wives in this role. Anyone in the 24/7 job of a minister needs a friend who is consistently on their side - not a civil servant who has worked under Labour or a colleague who wants your job.

    The role is a necessary one. Ministers who don't have such support are risking a nervous breakdown. There is a risk that this relationship might be exploited to the financial gain of Werrity, but no-one is actually suggesting this has happened, and in view of the media scrutiny probably hasn't happened. Rather Werrity has given considerable unpaid support to the MofD and therefore to the UK. He should really get a gong in the next honours list.
     
  4. superbot

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    This is all very well,but have they being playing 'Trains and Tunnels' ??!!
     
  5. dandelion

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    Might be a lame storey but Fox has now resigned. On such lameness to big events turn. But last night on the telly Portillo was saying if various allegations were true then his position would be indefensible, and it would seem Fox was watching.

    It seems that Werrity was being paid for though dummy companies by donations from right wing supporters. That he realy was acting as an advisor, which of course has been denied. The sin seems to be firstly not recording him as an advisor, and secondly not declaring the interests who were paying for him.

    Funnily enough, Fox seems to be quite well regarded and I also do not see why he should not have personal advisers. Especially as seems perhaps to be the case, as a previous leadership contender he apparently represents one faction of the conservative party. But he does seem to have thoroughly broken the rules about advisers, whether they are right or wrong.

    Of course, although it has not been suggested yet, it remains possible fox and co had been pushing the interests of their backers, which would be a problem.

    And on the subject of ministerial accidents, Oliver Letwin has been discovered by reporters regularly working on his correspondence in the park, and then throwing dealt with paperwork in a bin. The newspaper naturally has been collecting the discards over a couple of months. letwin claims none are classified, merely constituents correspondence, whereas the paper says some discuss security issues. I guess he will now be forbidden from hiding in the park.
     
  6. Jason

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    Once upon a time in the public sector employees who were summoned by the boss for a meeting about their performance went in fear and trembling, and went alone. Now they might still go in fear and trembling, but the public sector has accepted the concept of bring a friend.

    Within teaching in the UK, both school and Uni, there is formal monitoring of teaching. There are also classes where a trainee teacher will sit in and observe. Increasingly being developed is the middle course - peer observation. Here a teacher watches another teach both to give feedback and to learn.

    The idea of a minister taking a friend along is one we should look at. It may well be best practice. A minister needs another pair of ears, someone who can give informal feedback to the minister, including feedback on the minister's performance and shortcomings, and someone who is not a civil servant. The Fox-Werrity approach is a model of good practice. It is just that it breaches the ministerial code. We should be changing the ministerial code to encourage just such behaviour. In this case it is Fox who is right and the code that is wrong. Fox has taken on a department in a mess - including Labour-supporting civil servants - and delivered a good outcome for the UK. Libya looks like a triumph. He has done this because of Werrity.

    Now the Labour smear machine has got their teeth into Letwin. No doubt they have fished something innocuous out of the bin and will find some constituent that claims to be mortally offended that Letwin threw away their letter. Poor Letwin. We need the public to get real. MPs and ministers work very long hours. All make mistakes. And all make errors of judgment. In this case Letwin didn't know he was being watched through a telescope by a journalist who then fished his rubbish out of a public bin. Maybe he should have judged this a possibility. Or maybe we need national outrage against the Daily Mirror. How does their action differ from phone hacking?

    PS Radio 4 thinks Malcolm Rifkind might be the next Minister of Defence - back after 16 years. It occurs to me he could caretaker the role, then let's have Fox back. We need someone experienced in this job, and I'm not really sure who there is other than Fox.

    PPS just announced - it's Hammond. So in the middle of two wars we replace a competent and effective minister of defence with an unknown lightweight. How many of our troops are going to die as a consequence.

    Labour should be utterly ashamed of their actions. Their smear over nothing may lead to our soldiers dying. They've had a bad conference, so they try to make a bit of political capital at the expense of national security and perhaps the expense of lives.
     
    #6 Jason, Oct 14, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  7. dandelion

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    hey, dont blame it on labour. newspapers live on stories and scandals! Rifkind denied it.
     
  8. Jason

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    Labour have run this story with a view to getting rid of a Conservative minister. If they had simply said let's wait for the result of the enquiry he would still be in office. This evening some very senior Labour politicians will be cooped up somewhere deciding how they can get the knife into the Letwin story.

    Labour are putting politics before the good of the UK. We are at war in Afghanistan and Libya. There should be an instinctive rallying round of a defence secretary - ANY defence secretary - for the good of the lives of our troops. Instead we've had a lot of silly innuendo which has damaged the UK and risked lives, all because Labour have given the media the oxygen they need to run this silly story. So we now have an inexperienced defence secretary. Yes he will learn, but he cannot know the details of meetings over the last few weeks. Yes the civil service can tell him, but it is the minister not the civil service that takes the decisions. And his decisions on average cannot possibly be as good as those Fox would have made. Let us hope the only cost is money. If there is some wrong decision which leads to needless loss of life I expect Labour to admit full responsibility and take the blame. Labour have put politics before the life of UK troops. They are unfit to govern - ever again.
     
  9. Ryan10

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    Dodgy Cons at it again. Let's get rid of them all and bring Labour back.
     
  10. dandelion

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    Portillo, ex conservative minister of defence himself said fox had to go. Its not just labour. The conservatives were very keen when in opposition to attack labour ministers at any opportunity. This is automatic behaviour for all politicians and has nothing whatever to do with national interest. I assume Fox felt there was no hope so resigned while he could still do so with some dignity. What he did is defined as a breech of the code of conduct which Cameron recently approved.

    The case of vince cable was very similar, where he was seen to be anti-Murdoch when it was his job to rule on Murdoch's takeover plans. Therefore the decision was taken away from him. yet here is werrity in charge of all defence policy with now known or increasingly appearing links to certain organisations. There was no reason to remove cable, especially since he turned out to be dead right in his opinions.
     
  11. superbot

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    NEWSFLASH!!!!..."..Tory Miinister resigns after leaving wardrobe door open." Cameron says he was right to quit!!!!
     
  12. dandelion

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    Apparently the cabinet office was 'very concerned' about Fox's arrangements for some time. Someone just made a crack about Gus O'Donnell, Head of the civil service who is investigating this and who is shortly to retire and get a peerage. So instead of just being GOD, he will now be Lord GOD.
     
  13. Jason

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    as a civil servant his peerage will presumably be in the order of St Michael and St George. If a commander - CMG - the nickname is Call me God. Knight Commander KCMG is a polite Kindly Call me God. Grand Commander which I suppose he will get is GCMG, God calls me God. So Lord GOD God calls me God.

    Of course the cabinet office was very concerned about Fox. He was actually doing his job for the good of the UK and the world without getting bogged down in civil services red tape. We've lost one the best ministers in this role for a very long time. The obvious follow up is a root and branch review of civil service red tape, and a clear out of those senior civil servants who have allowed their required neutrality to be tainted by pro-Labour sympathy.

    We also need some straight talking about the ministerial code. It is an ideal of behaviour, an impossibly high standard. Every minister will be breaching it daily. If they didn't no work would ever be done. The intention is that it should serve as guidelines for the highest possible standard, and the intention is that a PM might in extremis sack a minister for many breaches. But the idea of one breach and you're sacked is ludicrous. Yet we've caved into media pressure for just that. The result is of course going to be ever more ministerial secrecy and back covering. We've just discovered that if a minister sits on a bench in St James's park he is likely to have a Daily Mirror telescope focused on him and a reporter taking out of a rubbish bin anything he puts in. Seems to me this is as bad as phone hacking.
     
  14. redpw865

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    Anything that breaks the currupt ring wing Con Dem union is ok by me. The the fox see the rabbit lol. The press do not act to any socialist agenda as they are more ring wing than Thatcher. We all know the miners and steel workers of the 80's worship the ground thats coming to her. She would still be sending Gays to jail. I hope we find out Cameron is shagging Miss Piggy from the muppets and he has caught a dose of mad cows desease. Apols if i offend anyone but the tory gentre have never walked a mile in the the shoes of the most vulnerable people in our society.
     
  15. dandelion

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    When you put it like that, you do have a point. Though equally insane is Blair, Brown and cameron still sending pot smokers to jail.

    Jase, I think the rules are intended to reduce corruption. However, Blair found it most convenient to run the country from his kitchen cabinet without benefit of civil service interference. I dont know how Cameron is finding things.

    I guess the ridicule being put up at Fox about inviting a friend round so much was done because the papers could not quite pinpoint or prove what was really going on. Myself, I found the specific allegation, that he should not have a friend round once a month, as rather ridiculous. Likewise, the question of secrecy is quite absurd when what is being said is that the person at the very top cannot discuss with someone he trusts, what he believes it is appropriate to discuss. Fox then got himself into knots by denying werrity was in reality an adviser, as he put on his business cards and as he behaved, because he was not registered as one.
     
  16. Jason

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    Conservative MPs - and Lib Dem and Labour - come in all shapes and sizes. Some really do live in castles with moats. Some come from very modest backgrounds, and some from downright poor backgrounds. All MPs are dealing with the issues their constituents raise and know a jolly site more about the vulnerable in our society than most other people, in some cases because they really have experienced it. They're also making an effort to make a difference.

    The man we've just hounded out from office played a big part in getting the UN Libya resolution. He saw to the successful evacuation of Brits and others from Libya, authorised some amazing covert operations in Libya, and had responsibility for the UK part of the air support. He has saved hundreds of lives and helped usher in a better age for Libya, an enormous aid for some of the world's weakest. This is a magnificent achievement. And we've kicked him out because a bit of silly gossip. In a week's time no- one will even remember what it was about. The man had a friend?
     
  17. redpw865

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    Hi Jason - Feel free to work with me for a week and see the destruction our goverment is doing, in our name, to the most vulnerable people who i work with. Jason i respect that MP's are a cross section of society as are members of LPSG but the party political processes dictate they abide by the whips. I have worked unpaid for an MP in the past as a member of a political party. The constituents of an MP should be respected. Letwin didnt show much respect throwing casework in the bin. Fox showed no respect to the ministerial position he was in by giving a good friend direct finacial benefits not afforded others. Jason I know MP's of my party also showed no respect to tax payers by claiming expenses they were not entitled to. Greed has overtaken public duty such as JP's, school governors and the 10,000's of good people in the uk who want to make a difference and pay thewir own way. Respect and Love dude hahaha xxxx c2c for a wank off
     
  18. superbot

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    Cliche cliche cliche!!...
     
  19. dandelion

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    This week we have had stories about people being neglected in hospitals. I do not believe you can blame this on the tories. It is some sort of failure but it is not due to a shortage of money, nor to lack of trying by both political sides to improve things. Both have been equally ineffectual. More seriously, budgets are going to be cut because there is no alternative. Labour would have done this too.

    What benefits exactly? A job? Politicians giving jobs to their friends is hardly unusual and i am absolutely certain is standard practice in private industry.
     
  20. dandelion

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    Here we go again Home secretary Teresa May is now fighting to keep her job. Conservatives have come in on a policy of tightening border controls and what happens, home secretary presides over understaffed customs officer simply letting people into the country unchecked.

    Of course, she denies authorising the action, saying officials exceeded their authority to extend a trial scheme of doing this. So all she is guilty of is losing control of her department.

    How long before another minister has to resign?
     
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