Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Rum, sodomy and the lash and Michael Fallon

Embed from Getty Images

Michael Fallon has resigned as defence secretary. As far as one can tell, it is because he fears further allegations of sexual impropriety will surface.

But that is not what he said in his resignation statement:
"I accept that in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the Armed Forces that I have the honour to represent."
That is nonsense and for two reasons.

First, we are not a Central American republic. The defence minister is not a member of the Armed Forces bound by their code: he or she is a civilian.

Second, the defence minister does not "represent" the Armed Forces. He or she is over the Armed Forces and may well have to impose spending cuts or reforms they do not care for.

As proof, I give you Winston Churchill who, as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1913, was
having trouble with some of his admirals at a strategy meeting. One of them accused him of having impugned the traditions of the Royal Navy, provoking the reply: "And what are they? They are rum, sodomy and the lash."
To return to the first point, Fallon did not resign because he has fallen below the standards we require of the Armed Services.

Fallon resigned because he has fallen below the standards we require of our politicians.

He should have admitted this in his statement tonight.


The Singing Organ-Grinder said...

Heart-broken: the phrase isn't George Melly's after all.

crewegwyn said...

I'd go for the Melly option.

Neville Farmer said...

Fallon was always a master deflector. He was regarded as a safe pair of hands by May because he could lie without blinking for the sake of his party. A thoroughly unpleasant man. If he really did resign for touching a woman's knee, which seems bizarre, we are heading into madness. He should have been ousted years ago for bringing the house into disrepute for his bullying and fibbing.

iain said...

I thought it was significant that his resignation interviews did not contain a decent apology