Wednesday 7 October 2009

Dannatt and the lesson of goats

I raised an eyebrow when I read this morning about Cameron initiating talks with General Sir Richard Dannatt about a Government role.

It reminded me of Gordon Brown’s GOATS – “Government of all the talents” – which included the likes of Ara Darzi, Shriti Vadera, Sir Mark Malloch-Brown and Sir Digby Jones.

Just as a reminder – Darzi quit in July to commit more time to his clinical role, Vadera quit last month to work with the G20, Malloch Brown quit for “family reasons” and Jones quit “to get his life back”.

When each stepped down rumours persisted that they did not have confidence either in Labour or in Brown himself.

It seems that although the GOATS may have been experts in their field, they disliked acting in the political way required of a ministerial role.

So, though I’m sure Dannatt is a great general, Cameron should remember that the problem with bringing outsiders into political roles is that they are not politicians.


Anonymous said...

Dannatt is not a quitter, Brown blocked his promotion and forced him to retire. While he is not a politician he will doubtless adapt and overcome very quickly.
It will be a good thing that our armed forces will have an experienced former general officer in a position of influence in the next government. Anything has to be better than Bolloks Bob Ainsworth

Anonymous said...

That’s the thing about becoming a politician you’re only a stranger until the maiden speech then without the slightest training another politician is travelling first-class on the finest gravy train in Britain.

General Sir Richard Dannatt would be like a breath of fresh air and stale old Mercer "rent-a-quote" with any luck would kindly leave the stage. It must be said that Mr Mercer made more than a few quid writing about war in Iraq/Afghanistan and I never did like the fact that he was connected to security firms that have made money because of the wars. I only hope the same cannot be said of General Sir Richard Dannatt but he does seem to be an honest and decent fellow so he gets my vote.

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