Alex Massie Alex Massie

Shocker! Liam Fox is Right!

This, Watson, is the salient fact to be gleaned from the stramash over International Development funding. There is nothing especially wrong with aspiring* to spend 0.7% of GDP on overseas aid but it’s wrong to legislate to make this a legal requirement. Wrong because government should not try to tie the hands of or otherwise control their successors. Sure, Messrs Blair and Brown may have done this to Dave and the Gang but, as even a cursory acquaintance with the Good Book should remind them, that’s no excuse for doing likewise to their own descendents.

Similarly, of course, putting the so-called “Military Covenant” into law is a Bad Idea.If Dr Fox weren’t so enthused by his own ill-judged piece of symbolic claptrap he’d have a better case for opposing the similarly ill-judged pieces of claptrap favoured by other departments.

At this point I think I should also make it clear that Dr Fox’s lawyers become most upset when anyone suggests his office or people enjoy leaking letters he’s sent to the Prime Minister. I make no such claim nor even the tiniest inference that this could have happened on this occasion and want to make it quite plain to the good Doctor and his learned friends that I’ve not the faintest idea who leaked this letter.

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*The politics of this are not difficult.

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