As you know, I have always placed a great deal of importance on accountability and responsibility. As I said in the House of Commons on Monday, I mistakenly allowed the distinction between my personal interest and my government activities to become blurred. The consequences of this have become clearer in recent days. I am very sorry for this.
I have also repeatedly said that the national interest must always come before personal interest. I now have to hold myself to my own standard. I have therefore decided, with great sadness, to resign from my post as secretary of state for defence — a position which I have been immensely proud and honoured to have held.
I am particularly proud to have overseen the long overdue reforms to the Ministry of Defence and to our armed forces, which will shape them to meet the challenges of the future and keep this country safe.
I am proud also to have played a part in helping to liberate the people of Libya, and I regret that I will not see through to its conclusion Britain’s role in Afghanistan, where so much progress has been made.
Above all, I am honoured and humbled to have worked with the superb men and women in our armed forces. Their bravery, dedication and professionalism are second to none.
I appreciate all the support you have given me – and will continue to support the vital work of this government, above all in controlling the enormous budget deficit we inherited, which is a threat not just to this country’s economic prosperity but also to its national security.
I look forward to continuing to represent my constituents in North Somerset.
Just a wee thank-you to Tesco for sponsoring my son’s rugby team, Deeside U18’s and to all the customers who donated at the bag packing on Saturday. Also thank you to the wee dog in the photo for posing so well.
ED Balls will today attempt to convince Britain that we have him confused with that smug little prick who ruined everything.
The shadow chancellor will tell the Labour conference that while he looks vaguely like himself he is actually an up and coming politician full of brilliant ideas.
And to complete the illusion he has taken his wife’s surname of ‘Cooper’ so that horrid bullies do not use his real last name as an excuse for remembering who he is and then chasing him down the street with a broken bottle.
Mr Cooper will say: “Hi, I’m the shadow chancellor and I’ve got some great ideas about how we can get rid of all the debt that got left here so mysteriously.
“We’ll never know how Britain got into such a mess, but it’s okay because I’m here now with my completely new and exciting theories about public finance.”
Gordon Brown’s former scrotum buffer will then hand everyone in Britain a business card which says ‘Ed Cooper, problem solver.”
But Tom Logan, from Hatfield, said: “Yeah, actually, we’ve met. I know who you are, you bumptious little twat.
“I recognised your meaty face and your shit-eating, thin-lipped grin immediately. Then there’s your voice, so arrogant, humourless and chippy that it makes my ears want to throw up.
“But the real giveaway is your signature scent. You could be at the other end of a busy room and I would know you were there just from the stench of your bullshit.
“That said, you should change your name. Ed’s really boring. What about ‘Fanny’?”
Wind power has taken another blow, as the P and J reports:
The owners of more than 600 small wind turbines have been told to shut them down amid fears of catastrophic mechanical failure.
Experts said last night that blades could fly off the Proven 35-2 generators, which are dotted all over the north, in the worst-case scenario.
The troubled manufacturer of the turbines has suspended all sales and warned its biggest investor – the London-based Low Carbon Accelerator (LCA) fund – that it will not be able to cope with its current losses unless it gets another cash injection.
Proven Energy revealed drive shafts in the 35-2 model had an “acute” defect and told owners that the machines – which can produce up to 12.1kilowatts and cost up to £70,000 – should be left stationary, with the “parking brake” applied. The advice to stop the turbines follows so-far unspecified problems with three machines.
Proven Energy has become aware of a potential manufacturing defect in its Proven 35-2 wind turbine (The Proven 7 and Proven 11 are unaffected). We are investigating this, however, our work to date has now shown that a significant number of shafts may be affected across multiple manufacturing batches.
With that in mind we are now advising all Proven 35-2 owners to place their wind turbines on brake as soon as it is safe to do so. Under no circumstances should you apply the parking brake whilst the wind turbine is rotating at normal operating speeds since this will place extra stress on the shaft. We will ensure that you receive regular updates in the interim period. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Details of the company’s financial troubles emerged earlier this week when investor Low Carbon Accelerator (LCA) announced that Proven is “incurring losses that it cannot sustain without a further injection of cash.”
LCA has more than £11m invested in Proven, but said it “anticipates having to make a substantial or total write-down of its investment.”
Might be a little tricky getting a return on that investment. Never mind I’m sure there will be a subsidy along shortly.
Rory Stewart on the outcome in Libya has this to say as his conclusion of an article on Libya
Libya is still very fragile. If there is peace, it is not because of the new government, it is because the criminals and spoilers are staying at home. Policing is largely coming from ‘local committees’: groups of armed men from neighbourhoods, from very young to very old, some connected to mosques, many not. Committees may not disarm, there may be fights between tribes. Islamists may become more powerful. There will be incompetence and corruption and human rights abuses. And a powerful international lobby will urge the West to ‘solve these problems’: to send thousands of consultants under the slogans of ‘state-building’ and ‘capacity-building’, or even to send our troops for ‘stabilisation’. That we must resist. There is a real limit to how much the West knows about Libya, still less to how much we can do to fix fundamental structural problems if they emerge. Meanwhile, Libya is not a threat to its people or its neighbours. Too many Western ‘advisers’ risk making things worse: making the government appear like a foreign puppet; stirring Islamist resentment; raising expectations we cannot meet. We would soon be trapped by our guilt at lost lives, and deter Libyans from taking responsibility for their own future – to their detriment and ours. In Libya, as in much of the world, when it comes to foreign involvement: less is more.
What seems to have escaped the Defence Committee and the media pundits is that for much of the past decade, the military have been unable to deliver. The escapade in Southern Iraq was an egregious military as well as a political failure, and the operation in Afghanistan is following a similar pattern.
What we need to confront it that the British Armed forces have the highest per capita spending of all the forces in the world – three times the spend per person than the US military. And for that, we get serial failures. It would be too much to expect that either the Defence Committee or the present administration could improve our performance with the existing budget – neither have the capability nor understanding so to do.
The issue is that we are not getting what we pay for. If the budget was used correctly we might just be able to do what is required.