Another transport secretary on the way down

Oh woe, oh despair. The prospect of Geoff Hoon as transport secretary makes me long for the exciting days of Alistair Darling. Hoon is a man so devoid of charisma or style, and so smug and complacent, that it is a wonder he has survived in politics so long and, indeed, been in the Cabinet for over half a decade. I wonder how many people in the street would be able to name him from a photograph – probably fewer than 5 per cent.
I think it was the way in which he seemed to send troops into Iraq to be killed when he was defence secretary that got my goat the most. He seemed – or conveyed the impression – not really to care or be aware of the import of what he was doing. Certainly he was not going to take responsibility for it.
Moreover, the bastards have sacked Tom Harris, who had taken a real interest in the railways and told me recently that he realised he was wrong to say that transport policy should be ‘modally agnostic’. I might not agree with many of Tom’s stances, but he has a brain and was prepared to talk outside the box, not something we can expect from Hoon. Harris’s departure means we will have two ministers responsible for the railways who have absolutely no knowledge of the subject whatsoever.
Hoon is a classic case of a politician on the way down whom the Prime Minister can’t quite be bothered to sack. ‘Give him transport’, you can hear him say, ‘that will keep him quiet and keep him off my back’. Please, Geoff, prove me wrong – you can’t be as awful as your public image, or can you?

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