By Paul Goodman
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Three quick points:
- For defence, David Cameron clearly wanted someone who will calm down the department, who has management experience, and will see the spending scaleback through. I'm unaware of Hammond having any previous defence experience, and suspect that he'll be seen by some senior military figures as a front man for the Treasury.
- For almost any other vacancy, the Prime Minister wanted…a woman. Nadine Dorries contributed on this site as recently as this afternoon to the debate about what the party can do to boost its popularity with women voters. Greening emerges from under George Osborne's wing at the Treasury. Does her appointment presage an HS2 review?
- I didn't get the chance to know Liam Fox well when I was in the Commons, and voting for David Davis in 2005 did nothing to improve my acquaintance. So I've no vested interest in writing that he has a lot still to offer the Conservative family: courage, energy, fluency and wit – plus unswerving devotion to Thatcherite ideals.
I tweeted last Sunday: "Hammond to Defence, Grayling to Transport possible". Must try harder next time.