Monday, May 08, 2006

What Geoff Hoon is for

I heard Any Questions? on Friday and was rather disconcerted to find that Geoff Hoon is a humorous and likeable man. Which makes it harder to smile at his recent humiliation by Tony Blair.

I did forecast it a couple of years ago, though I assumed that he would be forced to resign rather than be demoted. Here is House Points from 6 February 2004:

We all know what a hoon is: a subordinate kept so he can resign if his boss runs into trouble. Leon Brittan was Mrs Thatcher’s hoon at the time of the Westland affair. Norman Lamont was John Major’s hoon after the ERM débâcle. Both winced at Elvis Presley’s words: “You ain’t nothing but a hoon dog.”

For the past few months Tony Blair’s hoon has been, well, Geoff Hoon. It was widely expected that he would have to resign when Lord Hutton’s report appeared. So much so that his colleagues rallied round to ensure he wasn’t forced to resign over British troops’ inadequate kit in Iraq. A hoon too soon is no hoon at all.

Now Hutton’s report is out, Hoon is off the hook. He has lived to resign another day.

1 comment:

Peter Mc said...

When he was defence secretary Armyfriends referred to him as TCH.