The new Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, days into his new job has demonstrated that he may be as foolish as the Fox. On Andrew Marr’s programme this morning he expressed disappointment that Gaddafi had been killed before he had a chance to face trial. Fair enough, it might have been better to put him in the dock (although many will be relieved that he wasn’t), but he then went on to say that the new Libyan government’s “reputation had been stained” by the killing.
Oh for heaven’s sake! Firstly there is no Libyan government and secondly he was killed by a group of untrained, fired–up, leaderless ‘freedom fighters’ who had spent the last eight months suffering brutal assaults by Gaddafi’s army. To say that the Libyan government’s reputation had been stained is not only stupid, it shows a complete lack of understanding of what was going on and the mood of the people on the ground. And why poke a finger at ‘the Libyan government’ in such a schoolmasterly fashion? What purpose will it serve? All it is likely to do is to alienate those trying their best to create a ‘new Libya’.
Don’t do a Gove Mr Hammond. Read your briefs before you open your mouth, and force yourself to avoid making any further comments until you have a better handle on your job, there’s a good fellow.