Sunday, 9 October 2011


If there's a lesson that stares us in the face from every episode of ministerial misadventure, it is that, when you are in a hole, you should throw away your spade and cough up the truth.

It's fair to say that probably 95% of misadventures go unnoticed, but, for the other 5%, once it's out.... it's out, and the press (rather than the pathetic opposition) will not rest until it has unearthed every last salacious detail. Not, you understand, in the interests of goodness, truth and beauty... but because it sells papers.

The Right Honourable Mr Liam Fox should probably have heeded that advice. It wouldn't have looked good for him, but at least he wouldn't have warranted the appellation LiaR LiaM.

Because, while he has been assuring us that absolutely nothing untoward has gone on between him and his young friend, Adam Werritty, details of the convergence of their careers has emerged; the press has, bit by bit unearthed the all sorts of juicy morsels. For example, when Fox was shadowing Health, Werritty ran a health consultancy and when Fox moved to Defence, yes, you guessed it, Werritty opened a defence consultancy. Now why, I wonder, was that?

Amazingly, Werritty ran a right wing "charity" Atlantic Bridge, from the taxpayer funded parliamentary office of his friend, in parliament, at a salary over over £90,000. The aim of the "charity" was to foster the Thatcher-Reagan relationship between the UK and US. Mrs Thatcher was a patron and Gove, Osborne and Hague were directors. It has since had its charitable status removed because it was too political, endorsing David Cameron in the last election.  Werritty also lived rent free at a flat which was being paid for out of  Fox's Additional Costs Allowances. You'd have thought that on £90,000 he could have paid something towards the rent.

And now bit by bit we are learning that Mr Werritty's many visits to the MoD were not two old mates having a cuppa and a natter, as had been suggested, but that Mr Werritty was indeed involved, through his consultancy, in setting up meetings for Mr Fox, presumably at a fee, and then attending these meetings himself, on occasions without the previously obligatory Defence staff.

Meetings in Dubai, meetings in Sri Lanka; accompanying the SoS on four foreign visits, echoes of Mr Haig's adventures with his young friend, Chris Myers. Fox has also stayed with Mr Werritty, during at least one of these foreign visits, in a luxury hotel  (unchecked for security), instead of using the Embassy, which would have been cheaper.

If Fox had only been a bit more up-front at the beginning, this would be over by now, one way or another; the prime minister would have dealt with it as he saw fit, and the press would have moved on to pick on Philip Hammond, Chris Huhne or Ken Clarke.

As it is, it will run and run and it looks increasingly likely that Mr Fox will have to leave the government... 


  1. tris

    they just are unable to follow their basic nature to lie ,steal,cheat and generally act as an all-round bad eggs.

    I mean the expenses fiasco has just meant nothing to the Torys

    just watching tosspot Fox grovelling on the TV you have to ask 'HOW COME YOU ARE BEGGING FOR YOUR CAREER ARSEOLE?'
    If you have done nothing wrong eh?eh?eh?

    anyways cant wait till Christine Grahame is doing her mea-culpa

  2. He was sued for lying back in 2005 and had to cough up £60K. Some people never learn I suppose. His latest mistake was to blame the military top brass at the MOD for the defence cuts. That's when the leaks to the press started. Drip, drip, drip....

  3. At least William Hague's male "squeeze" was good looking. Foxy seems to have saddled himself with a cross between Frankenstein's monster and the thing from Quatermass's pit.

  4. Actually Niko, there were a good few Labour MPs who seemed to think nothing of trousering a fair old packet.

    I haven't seen Fox on tv tonight, but I'm sure he's begging... by the same token I doubt Cameron can let him stay.

    As for Christine Grahame, yes, I look forward to finding out what she has been up to.

    I understand that an ex-employee, sacked for gross misconduct has accused her of swearing in emails, and calling Patrick Harvey a prissy something or other. Hmmm. Not very serious.

    Gordon Brown was foul mouthed beyond belief for a son of the manse.

    The other matter is much more serious. I hope she didn't break election law, but if she did she'll need to take the consequences.

  5. Monty: He is one of the most disagreeable of the Tories. He seems to have been constantly in trouble. He was one of the few Cabinet hopefuls who refused to pay back the money that he had stolen, until he was forced to by the commissioner for parliamentary standards.

    He's withheld information from the register of MPs' interests.

    He's just a wee money grubber. That £60k must have broken his heart. Wee shame as Spook would say.

  6. LOL Munguin. He's a bit of a monster. He must be about 7 ft tall. Wee Basil Brush looks tiny next to him.

    So far there has, of course, been no suggestion that Old Foxy is, or has ever been, conducting a sexual relationship with young Adam.

  7. If the relationship was platonic then the only explanation is that Fox was and is a complete and utter idiot.

    He's been taking his business touting pal Werritty along on official government visits and let him use Government provided offices for non-governmental business and to visit him in the MOD.

    Didn't he work out how bad this was going to look if it came out? On this evidence Fox simply doesn't have the brains or common sense to hold high office in government.

    If it wasn't a platonic friendship then he was and is a complete and utter cheating randy idiot.

  8. Dr Fox has brought this upon himself. The need for declarations of interest in the HoC is well known, and something very familiar to Dr Fox.

    That said, the new question is this: can Cameron afford to lose Dr Fox, and move against Clarke in the coming reshuffle? I think not, he can't lose two big cabinet hitters in one go, that would upset the balance in the coalition.

  9. Just read your link Monty... Brilliant!

  10. Doug: Fox has been vociferously anti-gay. He even has a record of this for his uni days. I must say, I'd have thought that that was rare in university life in the 1980s and even more so amongst medical students.

    I'm not sure how MPs' minds work, but it seems almost impossible to imagine that he wouldn't see how his behaviour would look.

    Hell mend him, though. He's a nasty piece of work.

  11. Yes Dean, losing two big names at one time is hard. He has no need to get rid of Ken. He simply pointed out that May made up her story... she did.

    Fox on the other hand may have to go. if he can risk security with his friend, what is he doing with troops?

    Of course Cameron also has to worry about a hard right winger, and a left winger, both big hitters, on the back benches, when he is trying to a Neo-Liberal, and keep in with Nick.

    Hard job Dave, huh?

  12. tris..
    Yes it's a good article about foxy. I see that the blogger wrote it 3 years ago yet it has retained it's usefulness and currency.
    I heard that Liam's brother is Colin Fox the SSP leader. if that's true it would be a good story. Learning how they took different paths in life despite coming from the same working class Scottish background.

  13. Monty... Yep, it's a belter.

    I can't find any reference t the fact that he is related to Colin Fox. They were born 2 years apart and Fox's Wiki page sways that he has a brother, without giving any details. They were born in different parts of Scotland, (Motherwell and East Kilbride), but the family could have moved.

    It would be interesting, if they were brothers, to see how their lives had gone in different directions.

  14. tris..
    I did some research myself and it seems it's not true about Colin Fox.
    Liam's brother is actually a teacher in East Kilbride and he was involved in a car accident recently...

    The Colin Fox brother story was reported in the comments to that link I gave you earlier.

    Hope his brother is ok after the accident.

  15. Thanks for that info Monty. I join you in hoping his brother is ok after the accident.

  16. Tris,

    I wonder how many other politicians have skeletons in their closet?

    Consider how many ex-Ministers, no matter how incompetent in office, are offered jobs as 'consultants' usually in companies which they 'consulted' with whilst in office.

  17. A great number John. I've always thought that they wouldn't risk any of it if there were not a good chance of getting away with it.

    At the very least then you would reckon that 50% of misbehaviour goes unnoticed; in reality I think, as I said in the post that 95% of it goes unnoticed or unmentioned.

    When Chick Kennedy was having problems with drink and was, quite honestly incapable of doing his job as leader of the Liberals, many people knew about it, but said nothing.

    Now I'm not suggesting that Kennedy's problems were comparable to the kind of dodgy dealings that some of them get up to, but there was a story there, yet the press let it go.

    I think it's possible, human nature being what it is, that nicer guys get a longer rope from the press than ones who aren't much liked.

  18. The allegations against Grahame go way beyond swearing in emails. There has been a large dossier of evidence passed to the authorities showing she systematically misused parliamentary resources and MSPs staff in support of her election campaign. The ex-employee was only suspended and then sacked after he had already gone to the authorities and Grahame learned he was gathering evidence against her... much much more to this story is going to come out. Bill Willison, Greenock

  19. Thanks for letting me know that Mr Willison. I know nothing about it, except what I read in the Herald. I'm sure the "Scotsman" (printed in England) will ensure that we are kept well informed.

    There's a robust system of regulation in parliament, which I hope would be used against any kind of misbehaviour.

    It has been used before. I can only imagine and hope that it will be used again in any case, including this one, if improprieties are found.

    This is certainly more than can be said for what's happening in England with Fox and his special friend, who now it appears has been on 18 of the defence ministers' trips abroad, although it seems that miraculously he has just con-incidentally happened to be there at the same time as his friend. Well, I never, who'd have thought that co incidence could strike so many times. I see too, that records show that the previously imagined 16 visits to the MoD have been rather underplayed. He seems to have spent a good deal more time there.

    However, the correct procedures have not been followed. First we had him investigated by one of his staff, then the prime minister had him investigated by one of HIS staff, and all the time the ministerial code says that something entirely different should happen... and indeed a person exists to do this investigating.

    Still, wouldn't want to upset Fox and his young friend. I wonder how many times Mrs Fox has accompanied him on visits abroad.