The judgement of Mr Hague

It’s not a topic I wanted to write about. I have studiously ignored the rumours and stories circulating on other websites and at a fairly empty Westminster. Today I cannot ignore it, as Mr Hague himself has issued an unusual statement and has invited all to comment on it.

His statement confirms that he has shared hotel rooms with a young male assistant, and argues that this assistant was well qualified to become a Special Adviser to the Foreign Office. Mr Hague has now accepted the resignation of this Special Adviser, Mr Myers. Mr Hague tells us he did not have an inappropriate relationship with this young man.

Let us hope this is now an end to the matter. Mr Hague himself now seems to believe that it was poor judgement to share a hotel room with an assistant.

A bigger issue of judgement is far more important. What does Mr Hague intend to do to improve the UK’s relationship with the EU? How does he intend to win over Euroceptics to his tenure at the Foreign Office? When will he implement the Coalition’s promise to end transfers of power to the EU or to give us a vote on such transfers? How does he fit in EU criminal justice changes to this policy? The mutterings I hear from fellow Conservative MPs relate to this, not to the state of his marriage.

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98 Comments

  1. APL
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    JR: "Mr Hague tells us he did not have an inappropriate relationship with this young man."

    Many of us do not care about Mr Hague's sexuality, what concerns us is not his relationship with this man, but the appearance that the man may be receiving preferment at the public expense *because of* a relationship with Mr Hague.

    Hague may distribute his salary in any manner he likes between his family and other associates. That is a matter for them, when it comes to the public finances, that is a legitimate matter for public scrutiny.

    • David
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that this is the case; merely happenstance and innuendo.

      That is why the tabloids steered clear of it, because even they knew the had nothing on him. Sadly the blogosphere hasn't got the, errm, 'standards' of the tabloids, it seems…

      (Not saying much, I know!)

      • APL
        Posted September 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        David: "There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that this is the case"

        To suggest what? An unqualified and inexperienced friend and associate has been given preferment that numerous other more qualified people already in the employ of the government might have been better fitted?

        What qualified this fellow to be a special advisor in the first instance?

      • Bill
        Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        The Tabloids didn't ignore it..it was all over The Mirror and the Sun was only "restrained" presumably because of a quiet word from Conservative central office to the friends at the top!

      • Autonomous Mind
        Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Conversely there is no evidence that Mr Myers was suitably qualified for the role. No one in the media is asking questions about this because they are too busy salivating over emotive personal statements and innuendo of illicit sexual conduct.

        Ask yourself why evidence of suitability for the role has not been provided.

    • Trev
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Pathetic. Special assistants can be appointed and are not based on a job advert and interview. its not the civil service.

      Your comments are a thin shield to the nasty homophobic smears.

      • APL
        Posted September 3, 2010 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Trev: "Special assistants can be appointed and are not based on a job advert and interview. "

        Then perhaps we should have greater safeguards around the recruitment of such people? After all, we are talking about public money here.

        Hague is reputed to be a millionaire – how he managed that after a lifetime in the commons is anyone's guess – but if he wants a special advisor, he can well afford to pay one himself, out of his own pocket, who could possibly complain?

        Trev: "…homophobic smears."

        Yawn.

  2. Boudicca
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    This Coalition Government is pro-EU. Cameron's much vaunted Euroscepticism was a load of tosh and Hague has had to fall into line with Call Me Dave and Cleggover's pro-EU Agenda.

    Eurosceptics in the Conservative Party have achieved precisely nothing. I am so glad I voted UKIP.

    • Morningstar
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Me too !

      Well done to all those who did not fall for the "I'm a Eurosceptic" throw away line from the 'How to deceive the idiot pleb taxpayers' Manual !

  3. Nick
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    His statement confirms that he has shared hotel rooms with a young male assistant, and argues that this assistant was well qualified to become a Special Adviser to the Foreign Office.

    ================

    And what qualifications would those be?

    Was the job advertised?

    How were the applicants assessed?

  4. JohnnyNorfolk
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I think he has always shown poor judgement, baseball caps and swilling beer included. Your questions are totaly correct to ask and I look forward to his replies.

  5. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    After his much castigated article in the DT let's have a referendum on overseas aid, he obviously is on a different planet from the people as with past and present governments on the EU, capital punishment and immigration.

  6. Iain
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately that is all politicians do is..mutter. We elect a Government, well at least the majority of a coalition, to stop the haemorrhage of our sovereignty to the EU, yet what happens? The old discredited EUphile Ministers get jobs in the new Government, the MP's dutifully troop through the lobbies to vote for EUphile policies and we lose more of our sovereignty to the EU.-

    What is the point of voting for the LibLabCon parties, which ever we do vote for the outcome is the same, the haemorrhage of our sovereignty

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted September 3, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      You said it, there is no point in voting Lib/Lab/Con

  7. robert
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    It is obvious that the Foreign Secretary has shown poor judgement over the matter and this has not done him any favours.

  8. Stuart Fairney
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Well said, I couldn't care less about Mr Hague's private life ~ his business, no-one elses. Your latter points are compelling.

  9. Posted September 2, 2010 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Rather a silly thing to do, but hardly worthy of comment.
    I've known, and indeed still know, quite a few men who share rooms for no other reason than to save on cost. When I as working, I was aware that my junior technicians, when away from home, would often share as they were paid a fixed daily allowance and so could save a few bob by having a double room. These days it is often widowers, holidaying together, and finding that single rooms cost the earth, who decide to share (and I know a couple of widows who also share on a regular basis, but that doesn't seem to attract so much attention). People seem to have forgotten the word "friendship" these days and we now have to have "relationships" with implied sexual connotations where there are none.
    Still, rather silly of Hague, as I assume that he is not short of money.

    • loz
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      It's when that friendships extends to creating a job paid for by public finances that it becomes a matter of public debate.

      • Autonomous Mind
        Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Exactly the point. Well said.

        • David in Kent
          Posted September 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          Not at all. Myers was not a civil servant but a personal assistant. Presumably someone whom Mr Hague trusted and whose advice he valued. Those were the only required qualifications. Indeed this fuss is just disguised homophobia.

      • Trev
        Posted September 2, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        its not only not unusual but also quite common practice for SpAds to be appointed precisely because they are known to the minister – usually for quite a long time.

        Anji Hunter was at university with Blair.
        You people are living in cloud cuckoo land your ignorance only matched by your venom.

        • APL
          Posted September 3, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          Trev: "its not only not unusual but also quite common practice for SpAds to be appointed"

          Right! Let them be paid by the party that recruits them. If their 'special advice' is party political then the tax payer should not have to pay for these people.

          If the 'special advice' is not party political, then it can be provided by the civil service!

      • Posted September 2, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        The issue of whether this man was suitable to be an adviser is a red herring and is just being used as a further excuse to attack Hague..
        If we are to question his suitability, we need to question the suitability of all the other advisers throughout the government, something which I would fully support. Personally, I am against all such advisers and believe that they should be established civil servants and appointed using normal civil service procedures. (they were until NuLab came to power).
        And, being a cynic, if we are to question suitability for the post, I would suggest that probably 80% of our MPs are equally unsuitable for the job!

  10. yaosxx
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Hooray for Guido! I'm only sorry Hague didn't resign as well. Makes me laugh seeing everyone come to WH's defence. The hypocrisy is breathtaking! After saying how things were going to be very different with this government we have Hague employing his ex-chauffeur as a SPAD – HIS 3RD SPAD! What's more we have a Foreign Minister who doesn't feel the slightest obligation to take on the iniquities of the eu – rolling over and dying appears to be his policy. THE MAN IS TOTALLY UNSUITABLE FOR THE JOB! Did anyone read his bilge the other day in the DT – a sort of sentimental quagmire on human rights and foreign policy – positively nauseating!! The sooner we see the back of Hague and his treachorous opinions the better.

    • Mike
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Under Labour ministers regularly had 4 or more Special Adviser's so what is the big deal with Hague having 3 and other ministers 2 – it is still a reduction.

      You want to forget that Brown blackmailed Tony Blair over an investigation into loans for peerages and dropping pension reform. Remind did you think Brown was moral?

    • Trev
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Crap – he was not an ex chauffeur.

      But you do not care about the truth only your own ignorance and prejudice. Guido is just a self serving smearing bar-steward.

      What hypocrisy? As I point out above Blair selected his friend from university to be an aid. Brown selected Balls – did he have to sit through an interview panel?

      On every count you talk drivel.

      • waramess
        Posted September 3, 2010 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        No, you talk drivel; it's not what they do that matters it is what they ought to do.Having a process, just like the private sector, would be a great advantage to transparency.

    • Holly
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Everything IS different under this government…How many Labour bods resigned,for doing a damned sight worse than sharing a TWIN room,or being an advisor?
      It is the Labour bods who are the same… nasty,spiteful and vindictive.
      Guido has nothing to be cheering about,he has fallen for the Labour way of doing things.
      Even if Hague had resigned,it would have made no difference to the state of play…Labour would STILL be out of government…wailing from the opposite benches,Oh how fantastic they where…NOT!
      Makes me laugh seeing bods yakking on about hypocracy….coming from Labour, now that is funny.

  11. Posted September 2, 2010 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    "Mr Hague himself now seems to understand that it was poor judgement to share a hotel room with an assistant."

    No it wasn't.

    It was poor judgement of the media (and blogs) to try and suggest that something happened despite a total lack of any evidence.

    Hundreds of people share hotel rooms in totally platonic manners every single night as companies know it is cheaper to rent a room with two single beds than it is to rent two single rooms.

    Half the UK's overnight hotel industry is built around the presumption that will happen.

    What baffled me is to how the media have managed to turn a fairly normal event into a scandal.

    I am equally baffled as to why commentators (and Mr Hague himself) now claim this was "poor judgement" on their part.

    • Autonomous Mind
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Every other member of the campaign had their own rooms. Multi millionaire Hague saw the need to share. Yet you don't consider this to be bad judgement? Would you bunk down with your boss?

      • John77
        Posted September 2, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Election expenses limits – not whether Hague can afford it. Richmond Yorks is the largest constituency in England so overnight hotel bills were going to be a problem in the strictly legally limited expense budget
        I've shared a flat with my team leader on overseas trips and the last-but-one wedding that I attended the Best Man said one of the great things about the Bridegroom was that when they had to share a room on an overseas trip he didn't snore – and this was a firm more specialised and higher paid (per head) than Price Waterhouse.

    • Henry
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      When two men share a 'Twin Room', it's a big deal. When two women share a room, no one bats an eyelid! Just title-tattle, that's all.

  12. Julian Bass
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Damned if you do damned if you don't. When I heard about them sharing a room I thought it was a cost saving measure. I positive trait for a furture government. To jump to the conclusion he is therefore gay is a sad reflection on the people making the assumption.

  13. Amanda
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Quite right too John, excellent comment.

    William Hauge is going down very fast in my estimation, not because of gossip, but because of his willingness to hand the UK over to the EU . This is quite the opposite of what was promised at the election, to stop any more transfer of soverignty, whilsts repatriating some.

    As far as I am concerned Mr Hague could run a stable of speical advisors in his bedroom, as long as his actions were with the UK's best interests at heart, and in line with the majority view in this country.

    • APL
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Amanda: "..as long as his actions were with the UK's best interests at heart.."

      I would agree except, the job of British foreign secretary is a charade, that role has been handed over to the EU and Baroness 'nobody ever elected'.

      What we are watching is over paid popinjays prancing around a stage. They no more have any power than we have any say in the governance of the country.

      My old school teacher used to say, "The devil finds work for idle hands".

  14. Posted September 2, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Precisely, Mr Redwood. On the subject of the EU, when may we expect a referendum?

  15. Tim Carpenter
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Alas, I do not see any real attempts to resist or repatriate Sovereignty, in fact our Home Secretary is signing away yet more.

  16. Bill
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    It’s a fuss about nothing. Made up by bloggers

    Years ago these people would write letters in green ink, now they have worldwide access thanks to technology.

    Focus on his performance as foreign secretary, a role in which he seems bland and disappointing.

    • Derek Buxton
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Surely his performance is far more than bland and disappointing, wrong doesn't even begin to get near it, but this is a family blog. It is in fact anti British.

  17. Posted September 2, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Hague is a turncoat. I don't care about these unfounded rumours. Tories conning us daily. Prisons, Crime, Human Rights, Europe, Immigration etc. That's the bigger issues.

  18. john williams
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    On the money, as usual, John. It is interesting how the "leaders" of our country – and for that matter France and, I think, Germany – defy the wishes of the people they are supposed to "serve." Yes, it is difficult to be absolute. The will of the people would probably bring a return to hanging which many others would find repugnant. The people also ignore laws they don't approve of such as speed limits so it may be hypocritical to criticise politicians for listening to them when we often don't listen to us. I'm an even bigger hypocrite as I live in Spain at weekends and at least enjoy the subsidies for transport and infrastructure that my taxes have helped pay for!

  19. Richard
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Mr. Hague will do what his predecessors have done-nothing.

    I once listened to a speech he made at an Open Europe meeting where he ripped the EU to shreds, then said how the EU should be reshaped to British thinking. I commended him on giving a speech detailing exactly why we should leave the EU. He is now in a position where he can do something about it but my guess is he won't.

    There is no way the EU will adopt any kind of Eurosceptic thinking. There is no way they are going to change course. It's now a simple matter of in or out. There can be no more dithering.

    • yaosxx
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately when people get into power – the rot sets in. Very much the case with Hague – which is why he must go.

  20. Jer
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    APL correctly sums it up for me.

    It is all about whether this young man's employment was necessary, and if so whether he was appropriately chosen.

    It is not enough for this government to be less dribblingly inept and kleptocratic than the last, we'd really prefer fully honest and reasonably competent.

  21. thegasman
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Resign!

  22. THE ESSEX GIRLS
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Quite. Public finance..public scrutiny..proper procedures. The EU question is far more worrying. Less than 3 weeks ago JR raised the problem of the EU fine for the non-display of the flag. We were amongst the 135 bloggers to agree with your comment:
    "It is time Mr Hague went to Brussels and tackled some of the issues which feed our sense of unfairness. Many people in the UK are fed up with power seeping away. We did not like Mr Hague’s acceptance of an enlarged EU diplomatic service. That is more cost for the member states, seeking to undermine our own Foreign office and diplomatic service. We did not like Mr Hague’s opting in to more of the EU’s movement into criminal justice affairs. We do not wish to see the UK have to pay out £150 million for a technical infringement, at a time of public spending restraint. We would like the EU to cut its budget to help with our spending review, and would like to see EU spending cut back rather than important domestic programmes."

    Clearly Mr Hague is operating far below his best. Personal issues may be part of the reason but we suspect that poor guidance and mixed messages is another. Let's hope he and DC shape up.

  23. Phil Pinnington
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who becomes obsessive about Politics in his early teens is decidely odd.I'm scratching my head to identify a Political achievement in Mr Hague's career.He seems to have become wetter and wetter with advancing years. Particularly since Mr Cameron became leader.Now that we have the first Liberal Government of my lifetime, Mr Hague seems to fit in nicely.I bet Maggie's disappointed with him.

  24. notareargunner
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Spent all my working life sharing a bedroom with another man, and often many men.
    Luckily I was in the Forces when homosexuality was not compulsary.

  25. R.Rowan
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I do not care if Hague is male female or convertible, but I care strongly about the constant snipping away of this countries sovereignty. The latest acceptance on arrests and extradition beggar belief,are we supposed to brush up on foreign laws in case we inadvertently break one, that is legal here and get carted off to God knows where.

  26. forthurst
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I find the credence and coverage given to the allegations made by the Daily Sport of political blogs in very poor taste. The public interest is not served by documenting 'events' in the public arena as a succession of 'scandals'; the events that matter are those that affect our daily lives and our future as a country. The individual that braodcast these allegations is entirely without loyalty or affinity with this country and is solely motivated by self-aggrandisement.

    • George
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      If the Daily Sport regularly broke important political stories I could agree with the comparison. Paul Staines is pretty even handed, works a lot harder than he pretends and is a very useful deterrent to corruption in our politics. Thank God for him.

  27. Kelly
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Hague and other so called "Eurosceptics (I prefer the term Eurorealist)" have now been caught in the gravy train trap. They no longer represent us or they would be fighting for our referendum. I am truly sick of this Conservative Party. It no longer represents us, its no different from the last EU regime!

    How I wish we had a decent leader… Slovakia has one, why can't we?

    • Andrew Johnson
      Posted September 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      I really like your noun "Eurorealist" Thank you. I'm going to use that from now on.

      • EJT
        Posted September 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        How about Nationalist ? Is there any reason why we should not reclaim this term from the racist fringe ? Add secessionist – from the EU state.

  28. Penfold
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I'm not sure that Hague carries sufficient EuroScepticism or tries hard enough to separate Brussels from Westminster. In any event the recent blog/media storm regarding Myers is an irrevelance which should not divert Hague's attentions.

    Hague has demonstrated a questionable level of intelligence by sharing a hotel room with his assistant. It would also appear that the appointment is questionable.
    (words left out ed)

    The questions of sexuality went too far, though one can see the need to probe where public money is being disbursed/used.

    Hague now needs to win back the sceptics support by taking on Brussels and winning. If DC and Clegg are agianst him then he needs to blow the whistle.

  29. AndyC
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Agree totally. This has all been great fun for the prurient, but it's policies that count. I emailed both Mr Hague and Mr Cameron prior to the election with regard to EU policy. Mr Cameron's office replied non-committally, but Mr Hague didn't even do me that courtesy. He has a justified reputation as a fine speaker and a tough talker, but words aren't enough. A responsible government will need to tackle these issues one day.

  30. Anon
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Hague's voting record on gay rights is only marginally better than your own, Mr Redwood (your record is dire). I think that there's certainly cause for public interest if a politician might be indulging in a type of behaviour that he has in the past (implicitly) condemned.

  31. Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Was Chris Myers too young at 25? Come off it. He wasn't there to provide expert analysis of the Middle East or the European Union. That is for others. At 30k a year, it seems likely that he was a very hardworking bag carrier, there to get stuff fixed, communicate the wishes of the minister to the civil service and provide some honest, partisan advice. Native wit and judgement matter more in that regard than experience. William himself could have done the job at 25, and so could you or I. How does anyone know that Chris Myers could not? William has also made clear that they do not have an improper relationship.

    I think this post is beneath you, and challenge you to reflect on whether you have been fair.

    • Private Schultz
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Well said Sir!

  32. pipesmoker
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I don't believe it, period.

    I wish he would apply the same honesty to his position on this countries continued membership of the EU.

  33. Cookie
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I find it disturbing that people will use such content as someone's sexuality to sell books and increase traffic to blogs (i.e. this one). Surely William Hague should be applauded for saving money and sharing a TWIN room. If questions were raised over someone's sexuality every time they shared a room with a colleague, it would be a pretty sad state of affairs. William Hague is a fine politician and this has nothing to do with his sexuality. As it turns out, these claims are wrong and actually must have been very upsetting for him and his wife., who has had several miscarriages. The concern I have is nothing to do with WIlliam Hague, but a lot to do with the morals of Tony Blair and John Redwood for making capital out of it. Last time I visit this blog.

  34. Bill
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I spent many years in the services and wouldn't think twice about going in the shower with another man…we need to put this all behind us now and unite behind William Hague.

  35. rose
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    We have been absolutely disgusted by the BBC et al, and not for the first time. Sharing a room is sensible – it saves money and time, and avoids telephone tapping. Mr Hague's simple unaffected ways should be applauded, not made the subject of prurient innuendo. We have never been more tolerant in general, yet never more intolerant in particular. This reflects the moral confusion our country is in. It also enables the opposition always to attack the conservatives on this sort of front and the BBC et al will always abet them. We should rise above it. After all a week is a long time in politics.

    • Sajn
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Rose,

      Why blame the BBC for something that was started by right wing bloggers, the same bloggers who did exactly the same thing to Labour MPs?

      • rose
        Posted September 3, 2010 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Sajn, bloggers will blog, left, right, centre, and all round, including this one. But did we have Mr John Redwood on radio 4 this morning explaining the disadvantages of EU membership? Of course we didn't. We had Mrs John Bercow discussing Mrs William Hague's feelings.

        To Mr Redwood I will now say, knowing the BBC as we all do, it was not well judged to elide the two topics.

  36. Adrian
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    With you entirely, Mr. Redwood.

    Glad to hear that EU-sceptic Conservative MPs are asking those questions of Mr. Hague, and I hope that within a very short space of time now, we might start seeing action regarding the repatriation of our national sovereignty and the restoration of our system of laws, rights and freedoms in accordance with the lawful terms set out in our written national constitution.

    Anything else is a distraction.

  37. i albion
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I to admired Hague,and thought when the Conservatives were in Government he would only get better, he has proved very disappointing.
    And all this tittle tattle ,has knocked the disaster about sharing our Navy and selling Dover in the long grass.

  38. Bill
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I agree that giving the Hague "Misjudgement" endless scrutiny only plays into the hand(s – words left out ed) of the working class tabloids with there endless title tattle..linked with a lack of backbone and no spunk!

  39. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    John

    Do you have a special advisor ?

    Pray tell me why any special advisor is employed by anyone, on a full time basis.

    Surely if you need advice, you bring in experts as they are required, but only on a demand basis for certain tasks, they are then surely employed on a fixed term or contract basis for each task given, which when finished so is their contract or employment

    If a Minister needs a full time advisor or two or three, then its about time the advisor stood for Parliament, and the MP stood down.

    Surely the Civil Service can offer all/most of the information that is needed for Government, we have enough of them !

    Reply: No I do not have a Special Adviser. When I was a government Minister I asked not to have one, but Mr Major insisted on appointing one for my department.

  40. Ray Veysey
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    All this fuss and blather, and the european continent sinks further into (authoritarian-ed) rule with the coalition seemingly happy about it, when is someone going to wake up to the truth of the EU ? It's a hopeless money pit that will break us all and leave us at the mercy of the rest of the world.

  41. simple soul
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    We know nothing about the morality and accountability of those doing the attacking.

  42. simple soul
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Would the editors of the Mail and DT sack any staff who shared rooms? Would the BBC? Indeed is this laid down in their existing code of conduct? Or is it all just humbug on the part of proprietors, editors, and broadcasters?

    • Rosemary
      Posted September 5, 2010 at 12:18 am | Permalink

      When people get on their high horses to question other people's "judgement", expect a good dose of humbug. See Simon Heffer in today's Telegraph for a polished example of the genre.

  43. Iain Gill
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    im more worried about his attitude to immigration, the ongoing open doors intra company transfer visas printed like confetti for the indian outsourcers and so on

    and what he and cameron have been saying to the leaders of india welcoming more movement of jobs from the UK to India

    really he is a British minister he should be speaking up for Brits not for Indians

  44. Dave
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    The recruitment of special advisors differs from regular civil service task. Ministers are allowed to use discretion and effectively appoint who they want. This isn't a bad thing since it allows excellent people to be recruited who have unconventional backgrounds but who the minister believes can still play a role at the highest level.

    I have absolutely no idea if this is the case here. However, in the absence of evidence to the contrary (and so far there is none) I see nothing improper in anything Hague has done.

  45. Socrates
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Morecombe and Wise must have been exercising very poor judgement – if I remember correctly they frequently appeared in bed together on their show and that was in the same bed let alone twin beds!

    The trouble with this type of allegation is that it is impossible to prove it is untrue.
    I feel very sorry for William and Ffion to have been impugned so unfairly.

  46. Trev
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    You have gone down in my estimation Mr Redwood – all your remarks have done is give the Telegraph and the BBC for two an opportunity to quote you (misquote?) and attack the govt.

    And of course it give the homophobic extreme right and UKIP anti EU dingbats a chance to vent their ignorant spleen.

    Nasty. Nasty all round. Oh and Albion – sharing our navy? really? Selling Dover really? Thank you for defining crass for me.

  47. John Hirst
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    It was inappropriate to appoint Chris Myers as a Special Adviser according to s3(2) of the Ministerial Code on Special Advisers. Number Ten has criticised his appointment as a lack of judgement. Did Hague breach the Code? According to the Code the PM must authorise and appoint Special Advisers. Did Cameron authorise Myers? If so, wasn't the lack of judgement the PM's?

  48. simon_555
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Im sure most people aren't even interested in this story, if you can even call it one. I've shared rooms on holiday, it saves money, doesn't mean a thing.

  49. Norman
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Your somewhat innocuous comments have been headlined all day on the BBC as some sort of attack on Mr Hague for his dealings with his adviser, rather than the actual attack on the apparent acquiescence of a 'Eurosceptic' Party of 305 Conservative MP's doing everything that the EU asks of them and the complete and utter abandonment of pre-election promises on the premise that 50 Lib Dem MP's now have the power to dictate foreign policy in the coalition.

    You should have stuck to the other stories of the day, such as….er….BBC Bias. Perhaps it wasn't such a good idea mildly attacking our glorious and incomparable state broadcaster (second only in terms of value for money to the 'world leading' NHS) on the same day that you headlined this article.

  50. Andrew Johnson
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    It's all so depressing – Will the politicians who care about what ordinary people care about please stand up and identify themselves? (present company excepted) Then perhaps they could get together and form their own coalition and we could vote for them. So many politicians say one thing and do another. I am reminded of Groucho Marx's comment. These are my principles. If you don't like them…….. I have others! O Tempora O Mores!

  51. david
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Well done for showing such compassion and loyalty towards a colleague who is going through hard times.

  52. Brian
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Your comments on this are unhelpful to the Party. Hague had to defend himself – the Press was full of innuendo even if Guido was more expicit. As for things EU – you know we are in Coalition and the possibilities for significant change are limited by this fact. At the next election we must gain a majority. I find your normal analyses most useful and interesting but your comments in this case have been used by the MSM to discredit the Party.

    • Morningstar
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Nobody voted for a coilition and Cameron should have run with a minority government rather than been beholden to the LibDims. If he had then tried to implement policies which would regain our national sovereignty – he would have had the support of true Conservatives – even had the policies been defeated in the commons. All he has done by forming the coilition is given himself the chance to lie to the people again at the next GE and blame the LibDims !
      And the sheeple will follow and believe.
      As it happens I am not convinced that Cameron can win the next election – he has alienated the Anti EU Conservatives already – and the Lefties will drift back to the Labour party having seen that the LibDims are fantasists at best.

      I for one will not support any one of the 'Been there already' parties.

  53. KEVIN
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    does it matter if william hague shared a room with another man what should matter is if william hague is doing the job that he was elected to do and giving the uk a voice abroad including european matters not about whats happening in williams hagues personal life and the media loves stories like this to imply otherwise it wasnt bad judgement because william hague did nothing wrong and even if he did thats his own personal life unless its his employment status and about his job that would be for public to decide but if its personal matter thats up to william hague nobody has the right to tell him how to live his life if his doing the job well that he was elected todo people mix job with personal and what really matters is weather william did anything wrong on his job and he hasnt so there nothing more to say and what should be discussing is the state to which labour left the united kingdom in a right mess but i suppose nobody bothered about that anymore real issues!

    • Kevin Peat
      Posted September 3, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      And now is the time to put those Labour mistakes right … except it's not happening.

      Mr Haig's private life seems to be as surprising as his political one for those of us (me included) who have had high hopes of him in office.

  54. Capybara
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    While I have nothing but sympathy for the plight of Mr and Mrs Hague, I can't help thinking that the Government has missed a political trick here. Why not change the law so that third (or nth) SpAds are funded from Party coffers? In that way, those responsible for ensuring that the Sir Humphreys have to knuckle down and implement government policy are paid for by those who believe in that policy. It might encourage a few more people to become actively interested in and supportive of political parties, and would ensure that the more committed the party membership, the better-placed the Government would be to implement its policies. Arguably, with the polticisation of the Civil Serivice in the previous government's favour over the last thirteen years, the Coalition has more need of SpAds, provided that are subject to the current Civil Service code of conduct, than ever.

    Much of the opprobrium levelled at Mr Myers elsewhere in the media has focussed on his relative youth and a perceived lack of perfect paper qualifications. It is time to inject a little realism here. In the private sector, qualities are just as important as qualifications. Which master would appoint an apprentice, with whom he had to spend a lot of his time, merely on fthe basis of formal qualifications? And that is what SpAds are: political apprentices. There is no reason for the electorate to have to fund the apprentice fee for them.

    The Government could also spike the guns of a future Labour administration, as we all know that Socialists like spending other people's money, rather than their own. There would be a reduction in the cost of government, playing well with the electorate, as well as, more important, a reduction in the need for the Government constantly to look over its shoulder for media machinations. A snip at £30k plus pension provision, I'd say.

    • Andrew Johnson
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      great post -Agree with you completely.

  55. blingone
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I haven't met a single Eurosceptic who doesn't want a legal, peaceful and democratic resolution to their grievances. For all that, as the years go by and the lies, deception and offences against our national democracy mount up, it becomes hard to imagine how the situation will ever be resolved unless we resort to (something stronger).

    As John Locke successfully argued, our political classes have no God-right to govern us. If they continue to sell us down the river we have the right to get rid of them using force.

    reply: Supporters of democratic process should not resort to force to win in a democratic country.

    • Morningstar
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Sorry John but we no longer have a democratic country – do we ? 3 Parties – all promised a referendum on Lisbon – all 3 parties have neglected to give us one. The stitch up vote in the commons looked far to much like a concerted action to get the outcome as desired whilst throwing sweeties to the plebs !

      Further – we are governed by unelected EU bodies with no democratic mandate. All countries (throughout the EU) were denied their democratic rights once the EU 'got it' that the people did not want the constitution !

      Like blingon notes – when the people have no recourse to the ballot box – or that recourse makes no difference, then the people have to look for a way to force the politicians to turn from their anti democratic path.

      How can it be acceptable that a person can be arrested in this country for a 'crime' which is not illegal in this country ? How can politicians elected to represent THIS country give their allegiance to a foreign power ? This used to be called treason and should be mentioned much more often in parliament.

    • colinc
      Posted September 6, 2010 at 3:48 am | Permalink

      We are a democratic country in name only .The three main parties have all failed to honour their election promises as regards the EU.They do not want to know what the electorate think in case it does not suit their own preferences.The same is true in the other major EU countries.Such a situation cannot continue indefinitely.

  56. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    For me, the sexual orientation of Politicians – senior or not; is about as interesting as watching paint dry. To issue a statement that he and his wife Ffion have suffered several miscarriages must be very difficult and an act of desperation at the thought that he is thought to be involved in a homesexual relationship with his adviser or accused of granting financial favours to his assistant. Either way I cannot understand why a man of his stature would have to share a hotel room with anyone except his wife.

  57. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    After politicians have been caught with their hands in the till claiming for duck ponds, toilet seats and moat cleaning, why would William Hague have to rough it with a subordinate – weren't there enough hotel rooms that night? Another aspect of this story might also be; who would benefit from William Hague's demise? Who leaked the story to the press and why? We should all look at the motivations of the people who print these stories and the people who tell them – or was it just for a cash hand out from the newspaper? In which case there may be a deliberate attempt of exagerating the facts or leaving out the context by which William Hague may have been forced to share a hotel room, Soldiers and Public School boys/girls share sleeping accomodation all the time and yet no one questions their sexual orientation. Are all soldiers Gay? I don't think so.

  58. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    If we do what is right for this country, how can we possibly improve relations with the EU, at least in the short term? As for asking questions of Mr Hague, please remember that the Foreign Secretary is the Prime Minister's messenger boy.

    The questions that you are asking, together your remarks about the cost of EU diplomacy, should be asked of the Prime Minister, not behind closed doors but openly in Parliament. It is high time that the Eurosceptic Right showed its teeth. The coalition cannot govern without us.

    Reply: We do raise these issues openly in Parliament. We do not have a majority.

    • Morningstar
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      JR – Is this because of all of the Cameron 'placemen' awarded constituencies in the last GE ? Or is it because the majority of Conservative MPs are pro EU and therefore NOT Conservatives at all really ! Just careerist sycophants who have no care for the good of their country – just their pockets ?

      I can see no other options. A true Conservative MUST by definition be anti EU !

    • APL
      Posted September 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      JR: "We do raise these issues openly in Parliament. We do not have a majority."

      So what do you suggest Eurorealist/Euroskeptic people who find themselves in constituencies that have returned notorious Tory Europhiles should do at the next election?

      Would you like Tory Europhiles deselected by their own consitituency party and replaced with more patriotic candidates?

  59. Bazman
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    I am that stupid.

  60. colinc
    Posted September 5, 2010 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Courageously written Mr Redwood.Please continue to prompt your party to honour its election promises as regards the EU.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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