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Good of him to put in an appearance.

[The media has had a big downer on him this summer, but that hasn’t ruffled him. He has got the steel to come out the other side. I have huge respect for the man, actually. And I wouldn’t be doing it otherwise.]

That's more like it. However this needs to be said in front of a camera.

I've just completed Con Home's survey and I realised that I had not marked the female members of the cabinet very favourably. And then I realised that I can't remember the last time they did anything to make the news.

If Hague's popped up does this mean he's got another book out?

I didn't think I'd agree with Hague, but I wished he'd entered parliament 200 years ago, as well.

It is one of these rather absurd things that people say - what he means is that he rater thinks he would like the way parliament was 200 years ago, usually people want ipods and baseball caps and Sky packages, of course the Westminster Parliament is rather like a working museum.

Pitt is the ultimate career politician: Prime Minister at 24, dead at 46, having worked and worried and drunk himself to death
And if William Hague had been around then he would have struggled to have any hope of becoming a party leader.

The media has had a big downer on him this summer, but that hasn’t ruffled him
The same thing could have been said of Michael Foot in 1983, Norman Lamont in 1991 and Edward Heath for most of his life. Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher and Clement Attlee all got quite ruffled and were all somewhat more successful.

Just imagine how different things might have been if Hague had not pulled out of his agreement to be Howard's deputy in 1997....

If only politicians would see beyond their own ambition.

I only hope Cameron doesn't suffer the same fate.

Passing leftie - the thing being that Hague would have been capable of entering parliament 200 years ago and holding his own. Could the same be said of anyone on the left?

The man was a laughing stock when he was leader. I don't know why he now believes the hype and thinks he's some sort of great statesman.

Even IDS was better.

Just imagine how different things might have been if Hague had not pulled out of his agreement to be Howard's deputy in 1997
Would it really have made much difference, in terms of policy the two were very similar - in the fact the only difference that springs to mind was over Capital Punishment, otherwise apparent differences merely amounted to William Hague trying to attract John Redwood's supporters in the 1997 campaign and were rhetorical rather than actual.

Otherwise both struggled with what they wanted as their image, the total votes each got were little different and in fact William Hague took over in a situation in which the Conservatives appeared to be in a position where their support was continuing to fall after the General Election, Michael Howard took over the Conservative Party in a situation in which Labour had run into major difficulties, in fact IDS had built up a number of sound policies based on principle that Michael Howard quickly ditched for a tabloid approach.

Neither did very well, but Michael Howard took over in circumstances in which the Conservative Party were on the up, he claimed the credit for the extra Conservative seats when in fact the Conservative vote only edged up and it was the collapsing Labour vote that made the big difference.

William certainly understands the thread of continuity that runs through political history. I think its a great shame that the term 'Career-Politican' has now become synonymous with something unsavoury. A career of public service in politics ought to command respect, sadly that is no longer the case. Much of the blame for this lies with the parties themselves and their selection of career-mongers rather than career-servers.

There are people in parliament today who would not have been fit for office even thirty years ago. Looking at the parties today its possible to count the real heavyweight politicans on one hand. Willam Hauge is definately one of them. However for the most part most MPs could be replaced by another party functionary and they wouldn't be missed.

What a great shame Mr Hague is not prepared to stand for leadership again.

In him I see a man who is true to his word and understands the importance of countrysports to the English way of life and the civil liberties of the English people. Unlike Mr Cameron, he is not shy to promote his support for hunting.

Mr Cameron seems more interested in promoting the rights of assorted minorities than the rights of his own indigenous people. Forever the consummate politician, he makes encouraging noises from time to time to the tens of thousands of hunt supporters who helped the party during the last election, but taken in the round there is little doubt he is loath to broadcast his support and fails to grasp the gift this issue presents to the party.

Encouraging noises are not enough. As each day passes I become more and more convinced the man simply wishes to do the minimum to keep the legions of hunt supporters ‘on board’ to act as foot soldiers at the next election – there’s little doubt that this countryside army can deliver victory to the party. Once achieved, we will be cast adrift as seemly more pressing issues arise.


Admirable as he is in many ways, William Hague remains unsuitable as leader. He is brilliant, articulate and subtle, but he lacks vitality and strength. La Rochefoucauld, the driest of wits, observes that only passion will convert people. If you wish to win hearts and minds your voice must ring with conviction. Mr Hague's voice rings with merriment but he harbours no deeper notes in his belfry.

"Passing leftie - the thing being that Hague would have been capable of entering parliament 200 years ago and holding his own. Could the same be said of anyone on the left?"

Looking at the relative weightiness and gravitas of the left and right in this country, there is a clear imbalance. The only heavy hitting Tory left that I've heard speak is Kenneth Clarke, and his European views made him untenable. I do feel sorry for you that you have such a peculiar bunch of non-entities to choose from. Looking at Thatcher's cabinets, love them or hate them (and you know where I stand) they certainly had political heavyweights in them.

I think that Gordon Brown and Tony Benn would both have been comfortable in that enviroment, as well as many others.

Hague was an old man at 17 years old. I doubt he was ever a normal teenager.
He has always lived in the past.
The Scots have a saying that "I am sure he has been here before"
I do not mean that in an uncomplimentary way I just mean when he was younger he belonged more to the 50's and 60's than he did in the 80's and 90's.
He would have fitted in quite well with his short back and side had he enough hair, braces, waistcoat and round toed shoes.
Sorry Simon, I think he has the most dreadful droaning voice and I normally like listening to Yorkshire people speak as I love their accents.
I know he can be witty that is the only thing about him that keeps me awake when I listen to him.
He is a good joker but if we wanted a comic in Downing Street I would rather have Ken Dodd teeth and all, he at least has a wonderful singing voice and does not bore people out of their skulls.
He is very clever but he will never be PM material.

I agree with you passing leftie.
We have to be thankful for the likes of Ken Clarke and Anne Widdecombe.
I hope she does not stand down at the next election as Conservatives really need people of her calibre, there are so few of them left now.


So you agree with this from Anne Widdecombe do you (from her latest Express column)?

I hope that next week, while I am fussing with menus, cake candles and seating plans, my colleagues give the public something seriously different by way of policy: that we promise to slash the size of the State, do away with the compensation culture, restore rights to free expression of opinion however much it may contravene perceived orthodoxy, ditch targets for police, teachers and doctors, let us keep more of our own money, stop taxing death, crack down on abuse of our immigration system and introduce zero-tolerance policing in inner cities.

Funny I never viewed as a Conservative before. Mmmmmmmm.....

I've always had a lot of time for Hague in the past, but if he keeps on bigging-up Cameron I'm afraid I'm going to lose interest in him.

Apart from a handful of Cameroons on CH Hague must be about the last person still prepared to claim he thinks what David Cameron is doing is right, and if that's the case why didn't he do it himself?

I'd like to have seen Hague arguing for 'inclusive' Cameroon policies 200 years ago. He wouldn't have lasted five minutes.

Come to think of it he's probably actually nostalgic for the days when he could have got away with wearing a wig.

John Leonard | September 27, 2007 at 18:26

John this may come as a huge shock to your system but Lady Thatcher-Lord Tebbit-Anne Widdecombe and Ken Clarke are ALL what I call conviction politicians.
They believe what they are saying, that does not neccessarily mean that "I AGREE WITH WHAT THEY SAY"
just simply that they do not just say what people want to hear to get elected at any price (I wonder who I am talking about when I refer to that?)
I could never see ANY ONE of them say one thing and stand on a platform for what was written in the Manifesto, then to be the Author of that said manifesto and do a complete about turn a year later.
I doubt if any of the Thatcherites could either.
I respect other people's opinions even if I do not agree with them if I believe the person is genuine, nothing more nothing less.
Each has a right to their opinion.

When people start praising Dave, we know trouble is brewing.

I've always had a lot of time for Hague in the past, but if he keeps on bigging-up Cameron I'm afraid I'm going to lose interest in him.

You're "quite right" - with GE speculation rife, god forbid anyone should be responsible and act as part of a unified team, especially the Shadow Foreign Secretary! Haven't posters here repeatedly argued that DC would benefit from stronger support from the Shadow Cabinet?

I know you're not interested in winning anything this time around, Trad Tory (you've made that clear for a long time!), so please just get the hell out of the way of the rest of us who are making the effort!

We have a party conference next week, where the media have already been writing "division" stories - do you and your ilk really think you're helping? (Not to mention Tebbit, of course...)

Traditional Tory - Cameron's policies would not have lasted five minutes 200 years ago, but neither would Blair's, and he's had 10 years in office. We live in strange and depressing times.

It's no wonder the Party is languishing in the Polls. We should have elected Ken Clark when we had the chance. He is seen as more in touch with the 'ordinary' man and woman on the street.

DC is seen as too posh and out of touch. Not my views but the views of many people I talk to on a daily basis.

But Ken Clarke is/was a europhile. No use being led by the right man with the wrong policies.

If the British people think Cameron is "too posh" then anyone left here with sense should emigrate to Canada or Australia, and leave the stupid majority with the worthless government they deserve.

"Hague wishes he entered Parliament 200 years ago" At last - a politician doing what the people want!

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