Tuesday, 11 October 2011

That's what chums are for

I tend to steer clear of politics in the blog, although I'm as exercised as anyone by the continuing idiocies of our political masters across the whole spectrum. My excuse is that this isn't about politics, it's about standards and even use of language.

And so to Liam Fox. The interesting thing for me in the last few days is the number of Tory backbench MPs - and there'll be those in the other parties - who appear to genuinely believe he's done nothing wrong. Yes, his chum who at one point lived rent free at the state's expense in the flat they shared, set up a health consultancy at the same time he was Health Secretary. Yes, the same chum miraculously changed his area of expertise to defence at the very moment that Dr Fox became Defence Secretary, but that's what chums do. Chums jet all over the world and sit in on sensitive business meetings with heads of state and high-ranking military officials (it's not yet clear who paid for the jets, but it'll all come out in the wash). Who hasn't got a chum who'd accompany him on 18 trips abroad, to Dubai, and Washington, and New Zealand and Sri Lanka? After all a chap needs someone interesting to talk to when he's stuck on a plane with all those boring civil servants and defence contractors.

Who cares that everyone outside the tranquil and economically independent village of Westminster thinks that, at best, Liam's chum Adam has been living off his back like an ever-expanding leech? And that Dr Fox has been a willing host to his blood-sucking best-man? All that matters is that Liam is one of us and has done a fine job making the armed forces more efficient, on the Greek model. Why, he even set up his own charity ( 'to establish, and develop ... a network of like-minded conservatives in politics, business, journalism and academe on both sides of the Atlantic' - Who knew the definition of charity was so broad?) with his chum, Adam in charge.

And of course, Adam didn't benefit directly from all this networking.

Liam:  I am absolutely confident that he was not dependent on any transactional behaviour to maintain his income.

Interviewer: You what?

Liam: He's got his own money.

Interviewer: How do you know?

Liam: Because he told me.

Interviewer: That's all right then.

Who wouldn't be proud to have a chum like that?

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