William Hague - fatally flawed, fatally wounded

There is a formula to political scandal stories. The longer they run, the worse it gets for the protagonist. I was right about Charlie Kennedy, long before they got rid of him as Lib Dem leader, and I will be right about William Hague. As I predicted in December 2005, Kennedy resigned as leader in the new year. This was because the sheer volume of Westminster chatter spilled over into the public domain, revealing what insiders had known for some time; that Kennedy had a serious drink problem.

And so we come to the case of William Hague. What is the story?

The story is that Hague shared a hotel room with this young man (pictured left at a gathering of a gay chatroom) , that he paid for trips abroad for this young man, where he also shared a room, and that Hague subseqently promoted Chris Myers, the young man in question, to the position of Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Given that Myers' ostensible role beforehand was a driver for a campaigning Opposition MP, one William Hague, and that his CV did not amount to a hill of beans, the question was and is, what was the nature of this relationship and how could Hague justify taking on Myers, at public expense, given his feeble qualifications.

The answers have not come thick and fast. There is a reticence in this story which belies the righteous disavowals of wrongdoing, not to mention the abrupt resignation of Chris Myers for no cogent reason.

What is the background?

This story goes back a long way before Chris Myers was even a twinkle in William Hague's eye. It is not the first time that Hague has employed a gay young man with dubious qualifications. One Barnaby Towns, a law graduate who had not entered practice, became the subject of a HoC question, such was the concern about the unusual terms of employment:

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what were the requirements for candidates for the recent appointment for a political adviser to the Secretary of State; what factors determined whether this post was advertised; and if he will list the previous experience, the current pay and length of contract of the successful candidate.

I am not sure this makes William Hague a serial anything, but his propensity to court young, underqualified, gay men and lavish them with exotic trips abroad and highly paid government jobs is worrying.

Next, we move on to the outcry, and Hague's own response. William Hague married Ffion Jenkins, shortly before he became leader of the Tory Party. Hitherto, he had not been known for having girlfriends. Hague paraded his wife and made a statement about the affair which, to say the least, mystified most of the commentators. The statement did not amount to an out and out denial, couched as it was in equivocal and Clintonian terms  - "suggestion" "relationship", and centred on the the couple's attempts to have a child, which by anyone's reckoning was bizarre and by general agreement, unecessary and inappropriate.

It did not help that the only vocal support for Hague at this time were some high profile homosexuals. It has also been very clear that the fact of Myers' sexual orientation has been kept out of the MSM. Clearly, they are not ready to go for William Hague. Just yet.

So, What is the problem?

Let us get one thing straight, shall we? I am not anti-homosexual. But gays do not have any special right of avoiding scrutiny, when it comes to public office. Had this been a heterosexual story, it would have destroyed the protagonists already. If Hague has had a gay relationship, it will only have been middle class guilt and political correctness that has protected him thus far. What I am against is hypocrisy and undue favouritism. Hague claims to be a married heterosexual. The raft of circumstantial evidence suggests otherwise. If he is lying, and it is a big if, then at best he is guility of cheating on this wife, and at worst, he has attempted to deceive those he serves (us) by pretending to be one thing whilst being another. That might just be ok if it did not affect his public position, but it does. The issue of favouring lovers and giving them jobs paid for by us, is a serious breach of process and propriety. Generally, it is a wholly probable scenario, given the poor moral reserves of MPs as a whole, and there are plenty of examples of this happening. In every case, it was deemed to be acting against the public interest. This time it involves a Cabinet Minister, who should in theory be at least capable of separating his private life from his public one.

I am afraid that today's story, from Guido Fawkes puts paid to the screaming silence of the MSM, the one question everyone was asking but nobody was answering. As Kelvin MacKenzie said:

“If it turns out Christopher Myers is gay it could be a real problem for Mr Hague…”

Well he is, and it is. This story has run now for weeks. The formula requires that the subjects will bow out. Hague will go soon. Perhaps the reason will be couched in the usual euphemisms, and it will be on a slow news day, but it will happen, and it will happen before January 2011. Watch this space.


Bob said...

Hague was one of the few Tories that I used to like. His decline must be one of the fastest since the fall of David Laws.
In opposition he promised to make Afghanistan his number one priority. I must have missed what he has done about that farce of a war. He told the UN last week that climate change was the number one priority so maybe he changes his priorities as fast as his Spads.
If Guido got hold of that info on Myers then the secret service must have had it aswell. Maybe that's why Myers went without a fuss.
I doubt if anyone cares that Hague is a homo but lying about it is a different matter. Most folk assumed he was gay since he appeared on stage in the 70's with a safari suit and squeaky posh voice so he should have just admitted it earlier and saved Ffion joining the 'poofgate' farce aswell.

Tapestry said...

His wife's a big girl. She can make up her own mind about her situation without help from anyone else. As for the rest of your comments, fair enough.