When the coalition cabinet was being forced in the early part of summer 2010 the political commentators were awash with stories that Paddy Ashdown was going to become Secretary of State for Defence but in the end it wasn’t to be. For whatever reason Cameron & Clegg went in another direction and the dream died.
In the past week or so that dream became slightly more possible and whilst hope was never really in a position to make a push up my emotions I could still daydream. That small isolated part of my brain that was dealing with hope for a Paddy Ashdown appointment has been extinguished as today Philip Hammond was appointed into the role vacated by Dr Liam Fox after his resignation was accepted by David Cameron earlier this afternoon.
I know I’m a Lib Dem so I have some levels of bias but I think Paddy Ashdown in that position would have not only had the respect of both sides of the house but also from the electorate who would like Paddy’s well-known credentials for that particular job. It would be one of those rare appointments to a job in the cabinet that most people would look at and say ‘yeah that makes sense – he’ll do a good job’ and even hard line Labour MPs and voters would think he’s probably do a good job in that role.
Sadly due to the way the cabinet is made up had Paddy come in another Lib Dem would have had to go and in all likelihood that would either be Chris Huhne or Vince Cable. One is doing a great job and the other is Vince Cable. I love Vince but he has looked out of place in the cabinet and unless he had direct control of the governments finances I just don’t see a role for him.
In an ideal world I would have exchanged Paddy in Defence for Vince at Business. However this is not an ideal world and when I go to bed at night my dreams won’t be of Paddy saving our armed forces but in all honesty my dreams are whack anyway. Last night I dreamt of David Allen Green dressed as a medieval knight along with my old uni buddy Peter Donelan and all three of us had been skived off work to be extras for a new Pepsi ad and we were in a room floating on the River Thames which started to take in water.
Still no MoD Paddy. This leads to sad Neil. Maybe a Chinese or a trip to the chippy will cheer me up…
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