It’s a Dirty Business
Geoff Hoon, the ever popular and well respected UK Defence Secretary, finds himself in a rather unusual position.
He is being called upon to resign by Samantha Roberts, widow of Sergeant Roberts (who was the first British casualty of the Iraq war), for failing to ensure that there were sufficient supplies of body armour and other pieces of kit for the troops.
However, despite this, Hoon still “enjoys” the support of the Prime Minister. Indeed, he has a guarantee that he will not be called upon to resign.
This guarantee, in political terms, lasts a very long time; one week to be precise. In one week’s time (on the 28th of January), the Hutton report into the suicide of Dr David Kelly will be released.
It is widely expected that the report will be less than “flattering” to the government. In view of this, Tony Blair knows that there will have to be a fall guy; who will have to resign and take the blame.
Heaven forfend that it would be Tony himself!
Therefore, Hoon has been lined up to take the blame and resign. Obviously he can’t resign if he has already resigned over the Sergeant Robert’s affair. Hence the one week guarantee.
This sorry little episode proves the point that politics is a dirty business; but that is more of a reflection on those who seek power and high office, rather than on the concept of public service.