"I have strengths and I have weaknesses. I don't pretend to be able to write a great thesis or doctorate - I have no pretensions in that direction...But I'll tell you what I do have. I have a good feel for ordinary people, for politics, and those are my strengths." He added: "I don't try to pretend I am cleverer than a general or the Chief of Defence Staff but I can bring something else, a knowledge and understanding of Parliament and of civilian life."
So, we now have a Defence Secretary who believes the main strengths he has for the job overseeing our armed forces at a time of war are a good feel for ordinary people and and understanding of civilian life! Heaven help us. I never thought anyone could make Des Browne look good.
I am sure our service personnel in Afghanistan are sleeping in their beds a lot easier tonight.