It is hard not to be sceptical about politicians these days, and Philip Hammond’s comments about cutting welfare ahead of military spending only make it harder. Hammond may be sincere about taking a ‘hard line’ if the government tries to cut military spending, but there can be no doubt that he has feathered his nest nicely for a non-exec role on leaving office.
A while back I came across this report, “The Political Influence of Arms Companies”. Written by a few academics, on behalf of the Campaign Against Arms Trade, the report details the close links that exist between arms companies and ministers. Although written in the early 2000s much of what is written is still relevant, and based on evidence rather than conspiracy theories.
Of particular interest in report is the list of non-exec appointments to arms companies of former defence ministers. Should the report be revisited in five or ten years time, one imagines Philip Hammond will be on the list too. Certainly his comments yesterday can have done his prospects no harm.