Thursday, 17 July 2014
Hague Has Gone, Why Is Everyone So Upset?
On Tuesday evening seemingly half of Conservative Future changed their profile picture to one of William Hague and were lamenting his resignation as Foreign Secretary. Why? What was there so great about William Hague that some people seemed to go into national mourning?
I'm not anti Hague. He is certainly to be lauded over the way the Foreign Office opened up a huge amount of new embassies and took a new stance in promoting business across the world. The way he has pushed issues such as stopping rape as a weapon of war must be praised also. He certainly became much more statesman like, in stark contrast to his image as leader of the Party.
But what great things did he do? A Foreign Secretary's most important job is to handle an international crisis. The biggest one under his time in Government was our near intervention in Syria. No one can say that this was a good thing. The Foreign Office made a poor decision to push for war and the vast majority of people realised this. Even if you backed intervention I doubt you believed Hague handled the issue well.
And then there is Europe. The man who saved the pound went native. The Foreign Office told David Cameron: not to have an EU referendum, not to veto a new treaty, and not to cut the EU budget. All these positions at the time were backed by William Hague and were hopelessly far from the public's opinion.
When it came to the big decisions Hague has not performed very well. When everything is calm William Hague was a good captain of the Foreign Office ship. When the pressure was on you could say he was all at sea.
Elliott has his own blog #ThingsElliottSays
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