Myers quits but Hague warrants intense scrutiny over appointment

Everyone has a right to a private life, as William Hague said in his media statement a short while ago.  But that does not preclude scrutiny over the questionable appointment by Hague of his close friend Christopher Myers as a special adviser on the government – therefore taxpayers’ – payroll.  Therefore this story isn’t going to go away in a hurry.

Despite Hague’s trademark eloquence and masterful use of language in his statement the fact remains he has not provided the public with an explanation about how Christopher Myers came to be hired as a special adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  There is no evidence Myers was in any way a foreign relations specialist, or even an expert in business and trade, which is what the FCO is being tasked with promoting.  His experience was in constituency matters and acting as Hague’s driver and bodyman during the general election campaign.

So just how did this 25-year-old friend of William Hague warrant the position of special adviser at the FCO?  What special knowledge or in depth expertise did he offer to justify his appointment to a role that should only be open to the brightest and the best?

A smokescreen is being thrown up around this issue by Hague and his media advisers in a desperate attempt to focus attention on the innuendos about a possible physical relationship between the two men.  People should not focus on this strawman being constructed by the spin doctors.  It is nothing more than a sleight of hand.  They want people to focus on the left hand, a very narrow, implied and unfounded allegation that can be easily denied, in the hope people do not focus on the right hand, in which we could find the real wrongdoing that matters to us.

That wrongdoing is the conferring of political patronage – where someone is put on the government payroll for no other reason than they are a friend of a person in a position to hire them.

It is the sort of thing one expects to find in undemocratic fiefdoms run by tinpot dictators.  But such is the power of our political elite these days, it can easily happen here too and we are powerless to do anything about it.  This matter remains one of public interest because until today Myers’ wages were paid from our tax pounds and the matter raises questions over Hague’s judgement and probity.  The fact remains that Hague has questions to answer and his lengthy statement has doggedly avoided going any close to addressing them.

4 Responses to “Myers quits but Hague warrants intense scrutiny over appointment”

  1. 1 WitteringsfromWitney 01/09/2010 at 6:05 pm

    I can but agree with your sentiments AM. Hague’s sexuality is neither here nor there really – if he was that way inclined, he would just be one more…….. As you say what is important is how a nonentity with no special qualifications for the job he was appointed to came to be appointed and why.

  2. 2 The King of Wrong 01/09/2010 at 9:21 pm

    I always thought the job of a SpAd was to provide political nous and generally spin their master out of trouble – that’s why they were so popular with Blair’s mob, and why they’re so popular with this lot.

    Those skills aren’t something you can learn in a classroom any more than you can learn how to negotiate or how to sell or how to lead a team. They are valuable, at least to politicians, though.

    ‘Course that doesn’t mean Myers has any of those skills, he could just be really good at blow-jobs… and, yes, Hague should explain his hiring decisions, just like managers in every other organisation have to do to get HR off of their backs. Transparency is key, particularly when there’s so much potential for abuse.

  3. 3 Barry 02/09/2010 at 2:30 am

    There are times when politicians need to stop sounding like politicians and start sounding like normal people. William Hague has *never* been able to do that.

    2 men sharing a hotel room is nothing to get het up about. The tittle tattle about sexuality could have been squashed from day one. He’s a Yorkshireman and it would likely have been cheaper than two rooms so makes perfect sense to me. Do we go through life assuming that all men who use communal changing rooms in gyms, swimming pools and the like are gay? No, it’s preposterous. This didn’t need such a pantomime though I expect the story grew longer legs with Crispin Blunt coming out.

    Hague’s statement mentions that with hindsight he should have given the hotel room situation more consideration. I disagree. He is conceding ground when he shouldn’t and it is the mealy mouthed words of a politician creeping in. I don’t think it is an intentional attempt to distract from Myers’ appointment but actually betrays the values the top tier of politicians hold and how they view the public – even the potential for the slightest suggestion of anything less than 100% monogamous heterosexuality is to be avoided and apologised for but nepotism is not.

    Wheeling out the wife is to stoop very low indeed.

    His promenade along the Thames was ill advised though. Very ‘mid life crisis’. Hope it wasn’t at Myers’ suggestion!

  4. 4 Autonomous Mind 02/09/2010 at 10:15 am

    Great comment. Thanks!

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