Most MPs who were caught claiming massive amounts of dosh on expenses for things like unnecessary second homes (and in Hammond’s case teaspoon collections*) immediately apologised profusely to taxpayers and offered to pay the money back.
Not, however, boorish multi-millionaire Hammond – who was so oblivious to public anger he said he would continue claiming for his second home until the rules changed.
And when he was once asked by journalists about a tax dodging scheme he was accused of being involved in, he undiplomatically snapped: “What has it got to do with you?”
As transport minister, Hammond’s diplomatic acumen was no sharper. He ignored 200 years of cycling history and offended millions of cyclists by trying to officially eliminate the popular activity as a form of transport.
Hammond’s extreme lack of diplomatic skills were on show again when he became Defence Secretary – when he sacked thousands of armed forces personnel denying them a full pension.
Still, Hammond couldn’t surely turn out to be as bad at running the economy as he was as Foreign Secretary. He is so lacking in diplomatic finesse, he can’t even be bothered to remember the names of the people he’s engaged in debate with.
And bungling Hammond once almost derailed the delicate nuclear negotiations between the US and Iran by using a gesture considered to be extremely offensive in Iran:
In Iran, this is so bad it’s akin to giving the middle finger to someone.
So why don’t we all give a big (Iranian style) thumbs up to Philip Hammond – yet another of the incompetent clowns now running our country?