Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Amazing Comeback of Dr Liam Fox

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When I began blogging I fancied myself as a political pundit and so on 31 December 2010 I made my Predictions for 2011. I made three and got two right, including the prediction that by the end of December 2011 Dr Liam Fox would not be Secretary of State for Defence. He resigned in October 2011, mired in scandal, but basically because he had used his very major government post to pursue private agendas and, more specifically, to enable one of his friends, Adam Werritty, to pursue private business agendas under ministerial cover. The freelancing was blatant, even as early as December 2010. You just had to read the newspapers.

Now Dr Fox is back with an extraordinary brief to look for new alternatives-to-Europe Trade Deals and within days he is clearly pursuing his own agenda rather than one which has been collectively agreed in Cabinet or endorsed in Parliament. He has his own vision of what Brexit should look like and he is using his new post as trade envoy to promote that. There are two possibilities. Either his vision becomes government policy, by Cabinet decision or simply because Dr Fox got there first (at the moment, government is on extended holiday so if he works through August and September he has a head start on the slackers). Or he will be out of a job by Christmas. It is comforting to think the latter will be true, so I choose it and predict that Dr Fox will have to resign or will find himself moved by the end of 2016 and more or less for the same reasons that he had to resign in 2011. I don't think he understands collective responsibility or the difference between what he wants and what his official post entitles him to do.

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