Wednesday 16 June 2010


Just a wee thought crossed my mind the other day when I was listening to the news about Jock Stirrup and his employment situation.

I mean, the guy was supposed to stay till some time in the middle of 2011, but clearly the new minister for wars, Liam Fox, with his deep knowledge and understanding of all things military, much more for example than Mr Stirrup himself, who’s only been in the services since the late 1960s, has decided to sack him. Fox said he wanted "the best people to be in the appropriate posts".

Fair enough.

I don’t approve of this broke little country punching above its weight in military matters, poking its nose into all manner of things that don’t concern it, and about which it knows nothing. But I have always said that if, in order to give an impression of some semblance of importance, we have to continue to pretend that we still have an empire, we must always, always kit our men out for the job, provide them with the weaponry they need, the back office they need in logistics, etc, and the best possible management at all levels. In short, "the best people to be in the appropriate posts".

Now if Mr Stirrup is not the best that there is at the top, he should go, but surely now, today, this minute. Not in 5 months.

Firstly because the new Libtory government is conducting a strategic defence review, and it would be sensible to have the new man in post to carry that out... as he’s the one who will have to operate within the parameters of its findings.

Secondly because a man who has clearly been sacked and is working his 5 month notice, can have no real authority; no real respect. Everyone now knows that he doesn’t have the confidence of the government.

And thirdly, and by far the most important reason, because the guys out there in danger, doing the fighting, need the best NOW. Not in 5 months’ time.

Maybe someone can explain why they are not getting it.

And, while we are talking about our men getting the best, can we remind ourselves that Mr Fox has a rather dodgy record on expenses, and in particular a mortgage over claim of £22,476, and cellular phone bills of £19,000!!!!!!!!!...... He also has a record of breaking parliamentary rules over visits to Sri Lanka, and failing to declare interest in Sri Lanka in debates, which, big man that he is, he blamed on his staff. And rather dangerously for a War Minister, he has said: "Israel’s enemies are our enemies and this is a battle in which we all stand together or we will all fall divided." So we know where we shall be standing over the Middle East in future.

I hardly think that Mr Fox has demonstrated that he is the best we can have as our Defence man. He only got a reasonably senior brief because he stood for the leadership of the Tory Party and came third to David Cameron and David Davies.

I think he should resign with Mr Stirrup, as of tomorrow.

Pics: Liam Fox: You can tell a man by the company he keeps, and here he is with Mayor Giuliani and some old woman they picked up..... and poor old Jock, whom Liam thinks won't be up to the job in 5 months.


  1. I'm right behind you on this one Tris.

  2. Tris,

    My loathsome hatred for Liam Fox is well known.

    A superb post.

    I served under Jock Srirrup for 6 years in a particular role and well to hear Laim Fox is enough to send a sane man over the edge.

    I welcomed the change of face in British Politics with with Cleggeron arrival but at the same time knew the arrival of Fox would be a further military insult.

  3. Didn’t Cameron say something about there not being room on his front bench for people with dodgy expenses histories? Mr Fox fought to keep the money he stole didn’t he? And was told that he had in fact stolen it and to just get on and pay it back.

  4. Yep,
    22K in fact.
    Remortgage for home improvements.

    I blogged on it and indeed called the man a thief direct.

    Hateful little bastard............still East Kilbride fer ya !!!....ooops

  5. Yep Subrosa. In my view, personalities notwithstanding, it defies logic.

    If he can't do the job sack him now; if he can let him finish his contract.

    I fear though that politicains use the military (always have) for political advantage.

    If you want to be popular there are two groups or people to bash (the unemployed and foreigners)and two groups of people to praise (pensioners and the military)... Usually they wait till they ar in a hole to resort to that, but politicians of such low calibre as Liam Fox have obviously never heard of keeping their powder dry.

    In a way this is a good thing. He will probably not last long. He's simply not good enough.

  6. Munguin: In fact, to be fair to him, he paid it back and then contested it. Cameron had insisted that they all pay it back, but I suppose he hadn't reckoned on the greed of the bottom feeders (or rahter feeder, because I don't think that anyone else was a tight as Fox despite him being a wealthy man).

  7. LoTF

    I do know that you don't like Liam ... LOL. I read your posts on him...pheeeeeew.

    You may like him even less than I do.

    He is certainly not right for that job... or any other in government, given that he is a cheat and unlike many others, it seem his cheating has been consistent and utterly intentional. But I think you're a wee bit unfair on East Kilbride there. The person at fault is Mr Fox.

    (BTW I know he's entitled to call himself DR Fox, but he is a medic. They aren't actually, academically speaking doctors, the title is honourary and really only for use in their work. As Fox has not persued a career in medicine, I think the use of the honourary title is popmpus.

    It's like Billy Graham using the title, when all he ever had was a BA.

    So I shall continue to refer to him as Mr Fox.)

  8. I did not know that Tris.

    I feel another blog post coming on.

    Or if you are aready on that angle I will leave for you.

    He never was the right man for the task and that my personal feelings aside.

    Even simple things like his performance next to that banana waving pillock Davis Milliband post the leaders debate showed him in his true light.
    Ineffective, weak, ill informed, and not a statesman.

    I feel for Jock Stirrup, I served under him, .........but he is between a rock and a hard place.
    He is a principled man and sadly men of principle and politicians dont mix.

  9. Lotf...

    Feel free to do any post you want on him. I wash my hands of him.

    All my info on him came from his Wikipedia page.

    As for the doctorate thing... as you know an academic doctorate is a tertiary degree involving reasearch which increases the sum of human knowledge.

    A medical "doctorate" is an honourary title given to someone who has studied and passed medicine related a couple of bachelor degrees and associated courses, not at the same level as an academic doctorate.

  10. I'm not well versed in the English (I do mean ENGLISH) language, or in British slang...or terminology.

    But would anyone in Britain recognize that JOCK Stirrup is a funny name. Suppose he would adopt that nickname deliberately?...LOL.

  11. Jock is a Scottish name Danny. Jack I suppose is the English version.

    His real name is Graham Eric Stirrup, so there's no connection there, and it sounds so close to Jock Strap when you say it quickly that you can only guess that it was a nick name goiven to him in his early days that stuck, and he has accepted.

    He certainly is always referred to by that name here in the press... including with his titles and rank... It's very odd.

    he sounds like he may be great fun, if he can take on a name like that and run with it...

    The Last of the Few perhaps can fill us in on that as he served under him...