Monday, 30 April 2012

Ministers... they're always so rash

The first thing that strikes any observer about the Jeremy Hunt (above) imbroglio at the moment - so little commented on by the press - is just how rash and reckless our governors must be.

The Prime Minister appointed him to make a judgement on a matter the new Secretary of State's opinions were crystal clear about. He was allowed to walk into a so-called quasi-judicial role that was always going to cause him and the Government a whole heap of trouble. Then - at the very, very least - he was completely ignorant as his Special Adviser sent a stream of deeply embarrassing and deeply compromising emails to the very people he was supposed to be sitting in judgement on.

Crazy stuff. And it might well still bring him down, despite David Cameron's furious, red-faced and rather swivel-eyed defence of his Minister today in the Commons.

But is this unusual, strange or new? Not a bit of it. What about Hugh Dalton, who told a journalist the key to his Budget while he was walking to deliver it in 1947? What about John Profumo, who lied to both the Prime Minister and the House of Commons when it became dreadfully clear that he had been pursuing an affair with a prostitute who was also sleeping with the Russian Naval Attache in London? What about David Willetts (now a Minister again, of course), who placed indelicate pressure on a supposedly-neutral Parliamentary Committee? Or Peter Mandelson, borrowing money for a mortgage from a fellow Minister and 'omitting' to tell his Permanent Secretary (or his mortage company) about the loan?

I fear that even the internet couldn't contain all the words I could spew if I went on. And on.

Jeremy Hunt, reckless? You bet. Is there anything new in this? Sorry, no.

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