Thursday, September 02, 2010

Definitely not vague

William Hague's statement yesterday, following years of innuendo and snide comment, was as unequivocal as you could want
Any suggestion that his appointment was due to an improper relationship between us is utterly false, as is any suggestion that I have ever been involved in a relationship with any man.

He is either possessed of steel cojones or is telling the unvarnished truth, for I have no doubt that the tabloids are off and running to see if that last phrase can be demonstrated to be untrue. Crispin Blunt came out only a week ago, announcing that he was gay and was also leaving his wife and he remains in his post as prisons minister, so I would hazard a guess that the Tory party has changed sufficiently that even a very senior minister could weather that little personal storm and keep his job. What would terminate Hague's career at this level would be a lie of that magnitude - there is no offence in being gay (even in the modern Conservative Party).

His sexuality, his marriage and the revelation that his wife has suffered a series of miscarriages are all entirely irrelevant - they have no place in the political story and frankly, I don't even care if he choses to sleep in a twin bedded room with another man. It may come as a great surprise to those living the sheltered lives of tabloid journalists that two people can be in the same space and not have sex. I appreciate that they have lives packed full of innuendo and euphemism, but human beings are sometimes able to control their lustful animal instincts and just sleep. It is, to my mind, a marginal lapse of judgement.

More serious is Hague's judgement in appointing an inexperienced 25 year old Durham graduate, with a couple of years behind him acting as a gofer, to a special advisor post within the Foreign Office - somewhere entirely unsuited as a training ground. Hague took with him two experienced advisors, with considerable knowledge of the field, but felt the need to appoint a third to assist him with the non-existent workload of 'First Minister' and to advise on matters relating to the Falkland Islands. It is all extremely odd and comes on the heels of the revelation that Lord Ashcroft had renegotiated an agreement to secure his peerage and left Hague looking like a halfwit.

I have to say that I'm not convinced that the story is yet over. I'm puzzled by the inclusion of the details regarding Ffion's miscarriages - is that being used cynically to provide an additional layer of protection against any further questioning and to generate public support? I hope not, but with Andy Coulson at the centre of the Downing Street web, nothing is impossible.

The other point to make, as Conservative bloggers and politicians alike have been wringing their hands over the slurs made by Paul 'Guido Fawkes' Staines, is that few of them were running to defend the Labour and Liberal politicians who felt the bile and poison spewed at them by that purveyor of sewage and tittle-tattle, masquerading as a political blogger. While I feel genuine sympathy for the Hagues and even some for Christopher Myers, who has lost an opportunity that many would love to have, I can't help but feel that those who helped create the beast that is Guido Fawkes are now realising that it cannot be controlled and that they can also look forward to some years of abuse from the sidelines.

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