What’s going on at the Foreign Office?

Baroness Murphy

When Baroness Warsi suddenly resigned last week from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) it was patently clear that her reasons were not as advertised by herself. Ministerial resignations like this, with no warning and no previously expressed public concern about policy, are nearly always a symptom of bad relationships between ministers or a quiet sacking. Now that Mark Simmonds, the Conservative MP for Boston and Skegness, has also announced his resignation as an FCO Minister it begins to look suspicious that Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond wants his own ministerial choices. And fair enough.

Simmonds is complaining about the expenses regime. Blog followers will not be sympathetic but I am…but successful MPs and ministers know that the price of that success demands, as in many other occupations, that family life comes second and right now no political pressure from an individual will improve politicians’ remuneration. If both Warsi and Simmonds were considering their positions, then surely it would have made more sense to discuss their future with Cameron before a major reshuffle took place? Foreign policy did not change when William Hague was replaced with Philip Hammond, so Lady Warsi did not suddenly come across a policy on Gaza she didn’t like. Or perhaps Simmonds was indeed sacked at the reshuffle but as Africa minister was allowed to stay on to chair a meeting of the UN Security Council on the Democratic Republic of the Congo last week. The UK assumed the presidency of the Security Council on 1 August. Loud protests usually mean something very personal has happened. Be sceptical about these former ministers’ protests.



2 comments for “What’s going on at the Foreign Office?

  1. maude elwes
    12/08/2014 at 3:53 pm

    It strikes me that regardless of how either of them left their position it is clear they both felt they were either on the way out one way or the other. Warsi could have returned to the Lords even if sacked but knew she was not up to it and would feel humiliated as a result. I’m sure we will all hear about her true discontent very soon. She has already been spitting bile so something got in her craw. Nowhere else to go from the warm seat leaves those who expect more than they deserve furious. And she’s unelectable, so could not expect another ‘safe seat’ for ultimate rejection at any future point.

    The other guy simply used the old tale of family was not getting enough of me lark. Which means he didn’t think he would be reelected come May. He probably has something in the offing and felt if he turned it down he would be all at sea with no income to speak of should he not flee now. I don’t think he’s a sad loss. Not like Ken Clarke a good old boy.

    Mind you the one who has taken a place, Hammond, in the new position is a horror story I don’t relish hearing about over the next weeks and months. Come the next election, should the Tories return in whatever form, we will be facing a disaster of magnum proportions. The lies will be hitting the fan and the real agenda of poverty for all will be at the ready. How does the Red Riding Hood story go? Wold disguised as Grandma, hears Red, ‘Oh, what big teeth you have, Granny,’ …. ‘So much better to eat you with little girl.’ … Or something close to it.

  2. MilesJSD
    12/08/2014 at 11:38 pm

    your “…no warning and no previously expressed concern about policy…” is ‘wobbly’.

    Be reminded, please, that the best, and most long-term-deserving, solutions to Problems are often excluded from Policies;

    and historical-note herewith that when two Civil Service Heads were this millennium asked by a parliamentary scrutiny committee
    “If any member of the Civil Service were asked ‘What would be the best way of dealing with this problem we are now facing ?’
    what would be their likely answer ?”
    [After shufflings one replies}
    “Well, the way we are doing it now would be the best way”

    [Brief pause; smiles, chuckles, many giggles, eventually outright laughter; from all sides of the Room].

    “And that” (added the second chief civil servant) “would be because they have never known nor even been required to read-about any other way !”

    Chair: ——— “And with that we close this session”! ————–

    Baroness, neither You nor The People need to look any further for Alternative Solutions/Policies than to the various Comments coming in to this ‘official’ Lords of the Blog ‘democratic’ e-site;

    why, even some of the alternatives put forward by the Media are occasionally clearly better than prevailing official Policies;

    but neither ever make it, “up” through the professionally-protected and private-memberships Structure of the UK Governance System, into Law and Successful-Implementation do they ?

    Any surprise, therefore, that even the ‘Indispensable Top Expert’ can either suddenly or slowly “wake up” and responsibly choose to be ‘self-corrigible’:

    “Waking Up”
    through the life-work of Charlotte Selver presented by William Littlewood & Mary Alice Roche, in paperback
    would be a very good personal-life-companion,
    for any level of human-being,
    not just for any, or all, of you ‘top experts’.

    Incidentally, “foreign-wise” and “globally”,
    your imminent ‘Hammond-Horror-Story’
    will still have to be an also-ran
    under the world-shaking-brighter-fireworks skies
    of the Hamas-Hell-On-Earth; –

    and that alone will make us ‘People’ more ‘privately-vulnerable’
    and your UK-governmental ‘officially-secret’ “Teeth”
    sharper and more ‘privately’ shark-like;

    don’t you think ?

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