Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Mates Rates

I am surely not the only one to have tried to “friend” Liam Fox on Facebook this week. I’m not sure my DIY skills are up to fulfilling a major defence contract, but imagine the duty free potential! Downing Street have said that the Defence Secretary has made “serious mistakes” in his dealings with friend and best man Adam Werritty, who accompanied him on  22 occasions to Ministry of Defence secure headquarters meetings, and bravely risked sun burn on at least 18 overseas meetings with his former flat-mate. I remember being confused about girls who always went to the loo together, but this is possibly more alarming, and potentially less to do with sharing lip gloss. Now, I must admit to once accompanying a mate on his paper round. But the trip was not state funded, mattered little to national security, and was unlikely to provide me with access to lucrative business opportunities. Although, in the interests of transparency, I should declare that a small bag of lemon bon-bons and a sherbert dib-dab changed hands.

It seems unlikely that Liam Fox benefitted financially from stashing Mr Werritty in his hand luggage, but the same may not necessarily be true the other way around. If the inquiry were to find that the self proclaimed adviser to the Defence Secretary was profiting, the interest has not been declared, and the waters might look a little murky. Now, the great and the good have given Dr Fox their full support, but the footage from the Commons did not show if any had their fingers crossed. On a quiet news week, his goose might be in the microwave, but if the feeding frenzy settles elsewhere, the Fox-hunt might be off. Of course, if it turns out that Mr Werritty was jumping the ministerial gravy train, using a well-placed pal as a mobile job centre, then, as all good friends should, he may soon need to return the favour.

It may fall out to be nothing more that a case of embarrassing mate, a beer brave bridesmaid-botherer at a Westminster wedding. And who has not suffered a dose of that? The cringe-worthy case of Jacqui Smith’s husband and the biological cinema springs to mind. Prince Andrew could hardly be blamed if he quietly dropped Jeffrey Epstein from the Royal Christmas card list. And then there’s Mark Thatcher. Enough said.

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