2 Sep 2010

Hague story not about sexuality

It’s been known for a few weeks. The former chairman of the US Republican Party has come out as gay. In the September edition of Atlantic, the man who ran George Bush’s presidential election campaign, Ken Mehlman, confirmed officially that he was out.

These days he’s an executive vice president of the huge KKR private equity corporation in New York. The revelation has had no consequence…it has caused not a stir. Mr Mehlman says he wishes he’d done it years ago, and has done it now to advance the cause of gay marriage.

Contrast with William Hague’s agonising statement yesterday and the “up the sleeve” sniggering and innuendo on the web. Should anyone give a damn about anyone’s sexuality? One normally views life across the Atlantic, particularly in matters of private morals, as more puritanical than our own. Not so when it comes to homosexuality.

10 per cent of the US electorate is thought to be gay. Gays are now an accepted and influential element of civic society in the US – their votes are courted. The outstanding issue today in America is no longer sexuality, but the marital rights of gay people.

If anything, in the UK, the internet, far from liberating the gay community, has joined the tabloid press in the trough of prejudice.

It matters not a damn whether William Hague or anyone else in public or private life is or is not gay. No one would have to share such information with anyone. Indeed, find me the journalist who hasn’t shared a room with someone whether sexually or otherwise in their reporting careers. I have done so with the fattest man I have ever seen in the nude. Lovely man, he was my producer in the 1992 General Election. We had to do an “overnight” in Central London and got the last hotel room in Bloomsbury.

The issue in the Hague matter should have nothing to do with his sexuality. The only question is whether the aide he was “accused” of sharing a hotel room with was hired and employed according to whatever rules govern these matters. That would be true were the aide a man or a woman, fat or thin.

Thanks Ken Mehlman for having the courage to do what you have done. You won’t remember me. I was the lanky Brit asking awkward questions about George Bush from the back of the room in that downtown Washington hotel in 2004. I wasn’t interested in your sexuality then, and I shall not be if there’s ever a next time.

Tweets by @jonsnowC4

79 reader comments

  1. Jose says:
    1. Bob Hale says:

      Who cares if William Hague is gay or not? More importantly in this evening’s report on Stephen Hawking you used as a backdrop the equation for Einstein’s theory of relativity.

      However it was displayed as E=MC2. I think you will find that’s wrong as it should read E=mc2. I seem to remember in Physics that upper and lower case letters mean different things.

      That puts things into perspective!

    2. margaret brandreth- jones says:

      Too much fencing. Touche

  2. margaret brandreth- jones says:

    The accusation was I believe of an innapropriate relationship.I pondered on the reporting of such and wasn’t exactly sure what was innapropriate. Was it sharing a room with a man..or was there a presupposition that there indeed was a sexual relationship with another out of wedlock. Should Mrs Hague be worried? That is her business.

    If Mr Hague was having an extra marital relationship , which out of respect for persons is only speculation for the sake of the argument, then the married couple may think that is appropriate. That being the case , no other, especially watchdog photographers should impose their own morality on others.

    I believe there are cases which should be made public though . These are as examples; the behaviour of paedophiles and those suffering from AIDS who try to pass HIV on indiscriminately.

    I have shared a room with both males and females, tents with mixed sexes, caravans with many and believe me the only thing I wanted to do was sleep.

    There are so many issues surrounding sexuality though it is difficult to say what should be made private and what should not. Take African rape ! Take youngsters who are bribed into patronage for sexual reward

  3. adrian clarke says:

    Jon its post like this that continue the saga.Outrageous inuendo with the reference to the American,but typical Left wing.
    To me its totally irrelevant .The question is , is the man up to the job , and i believe he is one of the most competent of the coalition.
    He can sleep in a room with whoever he wants and employ who is best to help him with his job .End of story a non issue on which i will not blog again unless i see some outlandish rubbish

    1. margaret brandreth-jones says:

      I think there is more than a little subtexting from Jon here. He has his own issue going on and the suggestion that the relationship although overtly seen as a sexual one which being mismanged by the media as one representing sexuality may be covering other issues.

      Adrian what shall we put to rest ?

      Blackmail.?.deliberatley misleading for other purposes ???

    2. trevors den says:

      Correct Mr Clarke. I comment further below – assuming its passed.

  4. GS says:

    Gay marriage is a bit of a hobby horse for middle class activists and takes up time that could be better spent on issues that actually affect many more Lesbian, Gay, Bi or Trans (LGBT) people.

    As you say, up to 10% (6 million) of the UK population may be LGBT (though personally I think there are far more bisexuals that that).

    But how many want a gay marriage and how many have had one? It may surprise people to hear that in 2009 there were only 6,281 civil partnerships.

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1685

    How many gay marriages will there be if it gets the go-ahead? Fewer still I reckon as the religious connotations are a turn off for many. I don’t know anyone who wants a same sex marriage.

    Sure its an equality issue but, as you say above, there is still lots of prejudice to tackle and in my opinion it is getting worse not better.

    I was at the Manchester Pride parade on Saturday where two men behind me shouted racist and homophobic abuse at people on the floats. They also abused me. In my experience this didn’t happen in Manchester in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. It’s all the time now and tackling this is far more of a priority.

  5. margaret brandreth-jones says:

    one more word following my last comment which is really an expansion of my last comment. Why do men never consider the female point of view.

    If a relationship was in full fling , where is mrs Hague in this.

    Why is the assumption that the gay thing is all more important than infidelity.

    Jon your chauvenising with the rest.

  6. Maggie Lavan says:

    If 25 year old Spads can’t afford 4/5-Star hotel rooms they should be kicked out to sleep on the street. The fact that the young man works in Hague’s constituency office and they’ve known each other for years shouldn’t have any bearing on the matter. Hague should have known that people who don’t understand, and have never made, a generous gesture would put a malicious interpretation on it.

  7. Moonbeach says:

    I totally agree with your line on this. In much the same way that nobody knows about my sexuality or preferences, I couldn’t care less about those of others.

    So why did Mr Hague feel it necessary to issue such a personal statement?

    Perhaps some homosexuals just love the publicity? Instead of getting on with their lives like the rest of us, they feel it necessary to ‘challenge’ the heterosexual orthodoxy; religion, marriage, adoption and so on; each challenge creating its own opposition.

    Homosexual Partnerships can be as legally binding as heterosexual marriages with the same benefits and penalties. Ceremonies can be as dignified or OTT as any marriage.

    I also feel that gay comedians don’t help the cause because audiences laugh at them as well as with them.

    So what is to be gained by courting controversy? Not much! It maintains a prejudice against a minority that demands that any ‘outing’ or foundationless rumour must be reported, sniggered at, and defended or refuted.

    Most people don’t seem to care about sexuality until it affects them. Crusading gays should leave well alone and not antagonise a sympathetic majority!

  8. John Smith says:

    Just seems to me that if WH and the other guy shared a room, so what? It could have been the last room at the inn. It could also be that WH was saving (the Conservative party?)some money. If so he was setting an example.
    Maybe there’s an issue of “looking” responsible and leader like but why crucify the bloke over it?

  9. Saltaire Sam says:

    The only people whose sexuality intersts me is that of the women I fancy and I find the Hague ‘expose’ rather nauseating.

    Just as I have little interest in foxes but find the fact that people want to hunt them to a gory death distasteful, so I don’t give a damn about people’s sexuality but find the prurient interest of so many of our fellow humans (how else do you explain media interest?) depressing.

    I’ve never been a fan of Hague, while acknowledging his talents as an orator and wit, and I think his biggest misjuedgement in all this was the statement. Like Margaret, I feel for his wife, and can see no reason to have included details of the tragic miscarriages she has suffered. They seem irrelevant to the whole matter and should have been kept private.

  10. matt says:

    Jon, I’m not so sure.
    The only accusation worth making would be _if_ his aide was employed by him as a result of being in a relationship with him.
    So it is all about his sexuality for that reason.
    Of course, one only needs to look at the blogs to see that most people are not at all concerned with the employment half of the question.

  11. It doesn't add up... says:

    “The only question is whether the aide he was “accused” of sharing a hotel room with was hired and employed according to whatever rules govern these matters”

    Hardly how it has been treated in the press – who haven’t bothered asking that question about any SPAD since Jo Moore resigned, let alone whether the minister or SPAD was competent. Still, it did knock “A Journey” off the front pages and evidently has restored the wilting traffic at Guido’s site for the time being. Of course, it’s been an excellent day to bury bad news…

  12. jon clarey says:

    Well his sexuality would have been irrelevant had the Tories not chosen to prioritise marriage in their tax policies . As we all know the vast majority of gay people are not in a marriage and therefore will be affected by the Tory tax poicies that Little Willie Hague is supporting. Also, as one of your earlier posters has pointed out, the Tories over the years were never slow to pitch in with their sly digs at the gay antics that blighted the Lib Dems which were equally irrelevant.For the record, I believe his sexuality is not important and that its up to him whether he choses to share a room with a young colleague or wrestle every morning with Sebastian Coe to keep fit

  13. Sarf of the River says:

    Hear hear!

    Hague has demonstrated, again, that he is a coward. He uses his wife’s issues to deflect completely separate criticism of him, his inappropriate relationship with his SpAd and the qualifications for the job of said SpAd.

    Rather like using the fact he is now a member of the governing coalition so needn’t follow through his pre-election promises on reassessing and maybe redrawing our links with Europe so that they are less close.

    I used to respect him but now see him for the fraud he is.

    1. adrian clarke says:
  14. Noel says:

    Hague’s denial was timed to divert the media away from the New York Times article on Andy Coulson and the News of the World phone hacking. As Malcom Tucker would tell you the spin doctor cannot become the story, if he does then he can no longer do his job. So Hague was told last night to go out and create the story, hence his inclusion of the miscarrages, the smoke screen is up hopefully Jon Snow can see through it.

  15. Elaine Morris says:

    SAME OLD TORIES

    1. adrian clarke says:

      An interesting comment, but the initial blogging on this the re raising of a three year old story on Coulson.(Jowell was hacked 20 odd times . so were Prescott and Mandelson), all have overtones of old Labour and the Prince of Darkness having his grubby hands in the press once more.

  16. Martin Craig says:

    I was once at a hostel along with a group of fellow art students. I dropped something under my bunk and knelt down to retrieve it. Someone shouted, “Oh, look at him saying his prayers like a good boy!” Someone else argued that I had every right to say my prayers. I protested that I wasn’t saying any prayers & was then accused of not having the courage of my convictions! An all-night debate raged around me. This debate over William Hague’s sexuality sounds rather similar…

    This debate

  17. anniexf says:

    Naturally, two of the nastiest specimens of Tory manhood, Tebbit & Redwood, have gone as far as they dare (for now) by criticising Hague’s “judgement” in the room-sharing saga. Circling like a pair of sharks, they’re every bit as repellent as the tabloids.

  18. Anonymous says:

    In fact, the gay community and others in the US are very very angry with Ken Mehlman. Though his sexuality was an open secret for years, the anti-gay agenda that the Bush team championed had an evangelical fervor. By hiding his true self and working against gay rights, he did endless damage. Why this has not been written about more speaks not to the tolerance of the US, but of the press’s disinterest in this shocking hypocrisy. If Mehlman truly had courage, he would have stood up for himself, and equality, many years earlier.

  19. Stuart says:

    All we need to know is how many other applicants were interviewed for the publicly funded £30k role the driver was awarded. Was the job advertised in an appropriate manner to attract the best applicants and how long was the shortlist of people for interview. etc., etc.

    If the driver was given the job by Hague as “payback” for his help then Hague should have already been sacked as we taxpayers are providing the funds for the aide and we should not be expected to pay for Hague’s rewards to his helpers.

    Hague (or Civil Service) should very quickly be able to answer the questions about the recruitment process for this job.

  20. Mr Burbot says:

    What’s wrong with sharing a twin-bed hotel room? Perhaps they enjoy each other’s friendship and perhaps they had important business to discuss as well. I’ve shared hotel rooms with male friends and spent most of the night talking about women! How ‘gay’ is that!

  21. Mudplugger says:

    The problem for Hague is the accumulation of circumstantial evidence. Starting with his relatively late marriage to a PR girl (sound familiar, Gordon ?) conveniently around the time he took the party leadership and ‘needed’ a wife for the Shires. Then add in all that Seb Coe wrestling nonsense, the almost invisibility of Ffion and the inklings were already there.

    When he then, (a multi-millionaire remember)for reasons as yet unexplained, shares a hotel room with a lowly 25-year-old driver/advisor (one later awarded a Special Advisor post on complex foreign matters), is it any wonder the web-wires are glowing ?

    Whether it was a gay thing or not is unimportant, the arrogant stupidity of doing that displays a lack of awareness which should be career-fatal in one at such a high-profile position.

    My sympathies go to Ffion on a number of levels.

    With many others, I have long admired Hague’s oratory and public performance but the foolhardy nature of this behaviour must cast serious doubts on his fitness for such a sensitive office of state, if any.

  22. Peter Cossey says:

    You’re a sniggering hypocrite Mr Snow; you’re giving this story legs because it’s about sex, the constant fascination for the brainless tabloids, and the pathetic little geeks who sit in front of a computer all day deaming up conspiracies and scandals; when you report it you legitimise it, and you join their sad ranks. It’s not journalism Mr Snow, and you’re no journalist. Be ashamed.

    1. adrian clarke says:
  23. John77 says:

    Having been awarded jobs in the past because someone in the team had worked with me previously* and knew that I was bloody good at my job regardless of how well I interviewed, I see no reason to suppose that Hague hired Myers for any other reason than that he trusted him to do a good job. A 25-year-old qualified lawyer is no dead-beat (not all qualify that young) and volunteer drivers in election campaigns can range from the dumbest of my schoolfriends to directors of £multi-million companies employing tens of thousands (the latter were more numerous than the former in my personal experience). No, Hague does not need government money to financially support his friends or proteges.
    So your question is whether WH followed the rules when hiring a SpAd that he thought could help his work – what rules? The ones by which Charlie Whelan, Jo Moore and Damian McBride were hired? If so, easily. If not, what rules?
    *On reflection, if I include subsequent jobs from the same firm, that accounts for well over 90% of my earnings in the last 20 years. I really am not good at interviews – but I am good at my job!

  24. Trevors Den says:

    No it is not Mr Snow. Your leftyness is showing through again.

    Tony Blair appointed a former girlfriend from his university days to be his assistant as PM. Did you protest? Did you?

    If you did I did not here it. Until Blair took the big step of defending world peace he was your darling – no worries about Angie Hunter.

    Sodding hypocrite Mr Snow – almost as big a one as Guido.

    Whats really funny is that to prop up his own shabby position Guido has to link to you a man he hates who fronts news programme he hates.

    Rather appropriately you make strange bedfellows.

  25. adrian clarke says:

    A disgusting left wing assasination attempt,as was the program tonight with its insinuation and inuendo without a shred of evidence .A bit like Mandelson and the c**p we have just got rid of .You should be ashamed Jon to be associated with it

    1. Saltaire Sam says:

      Adrian, calm yourself

      Your left wing conspiracy came to light via a tory blog!

      Are you suggesting that, given that the story does raise questions about the hiring of someone on the public purse, C4News should have ignored it?

      By making draconian cuts a priority, the coalition must expect every bit of their own expenditure to be questioned. For example, why does Eric Pickles insist on having a £90,000 ministerial car? Surely he could do his job just as well in one a quarter of that price?

      Jon never comes back and answers the libels against him but I think if you looked back through the archives, similar stories about the labour government were given similar treatment. Why do you think Mr Blair refused an interview?

      The media’s job is to hold the people in power to scrutiny. Sometimes, as with Hague, elements of the story are prurient but better that than a press that doesn’t question. You only have to look at the expenses scandal to know what politicians will do if they think they can get away with it.

      And on prurience, don’t shoot the messenger. Tabloid papers sell more because they give the public what they want.

    2. Jon Clarey says:

      The Tories cant bear it when they get a taste of their own medicine.For years they were digging at Mandleson and a whole host of Lib Dems who were known to be gay but failed to come out(ably supported by the media, 80% of which is Tory-leaning). If you think this will go away and that there is not a shred of evidence, dream on.Lets wait to see what the Sunday papers oome up with.For my part, I dont care about his sexuality one iota so long as he doesnt vote to discriminate against minorities such as unmarried couples.

    3. adrian clarke says:

      Saltaire , i am perfectly calm.Just disgusted with the media.The same media that for years didnt dare suggest Mandelson was gay, knowing he was.
      As for your comments “The only people whose sexuality intersts me is that of the women I fancy and I find the Hague ‘expose’ rather nauseating.” this latest one against me is rather hipocritical.Read the forward to this blog,a complete suggestion that Hague is gay,by introducing the American who has come out and at the end a minor suggestion of financial irregularity to hang the blog on.As i stated , not a shred of evidence or investigation into that.
      I am sorry you think that the media by giving the public sex ,sleaze and rubbish sell more and by inference are doing a good job.(dont shoot the messenger!!!!)
      That is why this country is going down hill , with an ill educated,badly taught younger class filled with hatred and encouraged by a media without morals,and for the last 13 years led by a government that showed cheating and lying pays

    4. jon clarey says:

      Its no good moaning about the media when virtually all of it is Tory – The Times, The Telegraph, The Mail, The Sun, The Star, The Standard, The Express are all Tory supporting papers. The only non-Tory papers are the Guardian and Independant. As for the failure to `out’ Mandleson, this is not comparable. Hague was exposed by online bloggers and not the mainstream media at all. He chose to make an unprecedented statement repudiating online rumours so is the victim of his own stupidity.I just cant see what Jon wrote that was wrong.

    5. Saltaire Sam says:

      You may have been calm when you started, Adrian, but not by the time you wound up :-)

      I too would love to live in a country that read good books, valued the arts and drank in moderation. But we don’t, and it is not the media’s fault. True, they pander to it, but that is the old capitalist market forces at work.

      Would you have us go back to the days when the reporter asked: ‘Do you have anything you want to tell us, minister?’ When foreign minister George Brown climbed off planes ‘as tired as a newt’ and it never got reported?

      Realistically, the bulk of the national press (and much in the regions too) is right wing, much of it owned by Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch, who has just donated $1m to the Republican.

      I doubt if Gordon Brown, Tony Blair or any of their ministers would support the notion that the media had gone easy on them.

      And while I regret the number of lies told by the left, they do not have a monopoly on it e.g Osborne’s claim (wtih ‘proving’ graphs) that the wealthy would bit harder than the poor by his budget.

      They are nearly all power-lusting knaves which is why we need the Jon Snows of this world to keep poking around in their dirty laundry.

    6. adrian clarke says:

      Saltaire and Jon.It is interesting to see you quote the media as being right wing , and i suppose most of the newspaper media could be described as such , but in the main is supportive of Hague .I was more referring to the TV media (i dont have sky) The BBC and Channel 4 which are so left wing ,they would be acceptable in Russia.
      I certainly believe the media with the exception of the Mail and Express went very easy on Blair and only turned on Brown because he was c**p and had ousted Blair.
      As for Osbornes claim , again the left wing only show it to be incorrect when they take the proposed changes to benefits and use those distorted figures .That is OK if you believe those on benefits should be better off than those working.
      I would have no problem with an attack on Hague if it was found that he had employed someone not qualified , but that is not the attack .
      The attack as by Jon was on his sexuality.If it wasn’t why raise it as an issue??

  26. Gram64 says:

    The most alarming thing connected with J.S’s blog is the very poor standard of literacy shown by the blog’s commentators.

    No less alarming is the distinct possibility that most of these commentators have little awareness that their English is of such an appallingly low standard.

    One sees the same depressingly low standard throughout newspaper comment sections, and, indeed, spelling mistakes and poor grammar are becoming rife within the body of newspaper reports and articles. The Independent, the Mail, The Telegraph (mostly the only ones I read) are all guilty.

    These are all signs of the illiteracy which for several decades has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    1. Moonbeach says:

      U is rite! sory if u carnt understand dis but i is igorant.

    2. Jon Clarey says:

      Your comment is of such an appallingly low standard, its hard to know what you are getting at. If you mean the posters on this site, then you are out of order.People should be free to express a view irrespective of whether they were educated to a high level and write perfect English.They are not journalists.

    3. Paul Begley says:

      Can’t say I agree. Comments on this blog
      1/ Usually address the topic
      2/ Seldom abuse other commentators
      3/ Can almost always be understood

      Try the Newsnight blog for frequent examples of barely comprehensible comments.

      It does bother me, however, that so many commentators (here, as elsewhere) prefer to use pseudonyms rather than their names. The only reason I can think of for this is fear of the consequences, and if we really do live in a democracy, no one should fear stating their opinions.

    4. adrian clarke says:

      I find it appalling that someone who does not use his/her own name dares to criticise the comments of bloggers whose English may not be the best , but whose comments are pertinent to the blog.
      Such disgraceful bad manners was outlawed in my day and schooling.It belongs to the bullying underclass that has always permeated society.

    5. Saltaire Sam says:

      Hang on, Sir bloomin’ Adrian. Where does this bullying underclass come into this. In my experience of growing up as an oik in a grammar school it was the posh kids – and a couple of the masters – who were doing the bullying because I was not ‘really one of us’

      Later there were plenty of upper middle class people happy to make the lower orders feel uncomfortable because of the way they spoke or dressed and because they didn’t know their way round a wine list or which knife and fork to use.

      Fortunately there were other teachers with a more worldly view whose encouragement allowed me to flourish. and then came the late 60s and we started to take over.

      The sad thing is that those who made money became greedy tories and their children are now the ruling class in the three main parties, having completely lost touch with ordinary people once again.

      So, as the working chap used to say, stick tht in your pipe and smoke it :-)

    6. Saltaire Sam says:

      Gram, I would love everyone to write in beautifully honed prose – or I suspect in Margaret’s case, blank verse – and having sat through hours of English grammar lessons, I hate the ‘new language’ spawned by the internet and text {DM4leader is the latest atrocity from the David Milliband camp, reason enough not to vote for him).

      But the occasional grammatical lapses and mis-spellings on Jon’s blog only reinforces my view that intelligence and reasoning are not the exclusive properties of those who enjoyed and flourished in our education system.

      The current government contains a number of highly educated fools, who no doubt spell immaculately while the blog has many valuable contributions that, while I would love to sub-edit them before they appear, strike me as being from people with more substance and common sense.

    7. adrian clarke says:

      Saltaire, although in my raised and exalted position i should look down on you poor down trodden Socialists i have to confess that when i went to grammar school it was from a lowly position of serfdom.I unwillingly have to accept your rebuke,but when i get in the car i will mutter “damn annoying socialists”
      It is only with advancing years and memory loss that i have decided to become a right wing political agitator.By the way , i enjoyed your comment and if i had a digit next to my fingers i would have stuck it up.:)

  27. sohocentral says:

    Why is the sexuality important on this occasion? I think there are at least two issues of concern here:

    1. Have the foreign secretary gave favours to the young man because of their relationship?

    2. If Mr Hague have been involved in a gay relationship, his credibility would have to be questioned as he had in the past been voting against gay related issues

    1. jon clarey says:

      Exactly – got it in one. Not only has he voted against gay reforms, but the Tories continue to implement policies in favour of the nuclear,married family to the detriment of unmarried couples.

  28. Paul Begley says:

    I don’t think this story was about attitudes to sexuality – certainly none of the callers to phone-ins gave a damn about William Hague’s sexuality. In comparing this story with a “similar” case in the USA, the big difference is in the concept of professional journalism. In the US, stories based on unattributable quotes don’t get run. In the UK, media willing to pass on the opinions of “sources close to the PM” or “a senior official in the Treasury” without naming them has established that irresponsible, unfounded gossip is “news”.

  29. Gerry says:

    Anonymous, above, has made the relevant point about Mehlman. He has not been courageous, he has been a coward. It is easy for him NOW to say he is gay – it doesn’t matter any more. He did not say it when it was difficult – when he should have done – when it was relevant. As is usually the case, politicians make ‘difficult’ decisions only when it is easy for them to do so.

    As for Hague – yes it does matter if he is gay, because if he is, then he has been fundamentally dishonest in his life. Surely that matters!! Politicians should strive, at least, to be honest, and set good examples of human behaviour. If Hague is gay, then he has repeatedly lied – to his wife, to the electorate, and, probably, to himself.

    If he is not gay, then we need to go after those who are trying to bring him down using disgusting tactics.

  30. Colin Kerr says:

    YEs well;
    1 Let’s say that I have sometimes been thought to be heterosexual – is that a smear?
    2 Let’s say I am the boss, about 50, and on business trips I put up with amuch younger empolyee – appropriate or fair to the employee?
    3 Let’s say that I subsequently arrange for the same young person to be placed in an unadvertised job, paid for out of the public purse, that maintains a close relationship with me – must be because I am full of the milk of human kindness.
    4 Lets say that I enjoy carefree walks
    dressed ‘young’as if I was a student.
    5 Lets say I am a major political figure – do I have judgement?
    Have I behaved appropriately?
    Would I have to rush out and get a replacement to sponsor if the first one disappeared?

  31. adz says:

    What is the big deal if a woman intimately loves another woman or likewise between two men?
    Religion has a lot to answer for on this issue.
    I will repeat what I said some months ago. Almost all branches of the Christian faith believe that if homosexuality were accepted and “legalizied” so to speak, then humanity would slowly become extinct because everyone would become gay! What a load of garbage that is!!!
    In some countries you can still get a prison sentence or even the death penalty for being openly gay. How absurd is that?
    Humanity needs to be concentrating its very inteligent cranial forces on far more important issues.
    adzmundo The Venus Project

    1. Jim Flavin says:

      The idea that humanity has intelligent ” cranial forces ” is a laugh .

    2. adz says:

      We are extremely inteligent Jim.
      Did I express myself the wrong way?
      You and everyone else will have to excuse me, it took me three atempts to get a C grade in GCSE english.
      adz TVP

    3. margaret brandreth- jones says:

      ADZ . I took an A level in English , passed but not well, then in reverse took an O level and passed well, got an English degree and averaged.

      Then I looked at work done by A’s and star A’s and Ists in English… spelling mistakes, bad sentence structure , grammar: hugh!

      AFTER THIS I WAS HUMILIATED INTO TAKING AN ENGLISH EXAM FOR A JOB.. The standard of English was terrible. The comprehension was full of slang ,phrases of the poorest standard,so poor I couldn’t understand. At least we know what you are talking about.

      I think it is reasoning skills people lack.

    4. John77 says:

      Dear Margaret,
      I sympathise (my son who at 21 has an M Math degree has just been asked to take a Maths test he rates at/below GCSE level for a job application and years ago, because I was a science side student, I had to take a “Use of English” exam on top of my two good English ‘O’ levels while “Arts” students did not, even if they had only scraped through one English ‘O’ level). However I do not think it is that people lack reasoning skills – it is more that the current environment/fashion encourags them to be lazy.

    5. adz says:

      Thankyou Margaret…I will also take this oportunity to say that Billy Hague should have stayed leader of the Tories…better than this current kid for sure!
      adz TVP

  32. Hannah Rose says:

    Surely, the story should be about whether Christopher Myers was qualified for the job he was given. Why was he employed by Hague if as reported he already had two aides? I thought at one point he was described as an advisor. What was he advising on? Does William Hague need the advice of a 25 year old?
    Why did he tell us about his wife’s miscarriages? That has nothing to do with anything. He could have just said his marriage was strong.

    1. Meg Howarth says:

      Agree, Hannah – but I’d go further: publicly funded party-political special advisors should be abolished immediately. A scandalous misuse of taxpayers’ money which, I suspect, most voters aren’t aware of. Highly paid civil servants are already there to advise governments.

      Here in Islington, it’s reported today that a special advisor to the new local council has had a £10k salary increase (from approx £35k to £45 doubtless to bring him in line with his party cronies). Without a hint of irony, the same overpaid politicos have set up a ‘Fairness Commission’ to investigate ways of reducing the borough’s unquestionable levels of poverty. It’s doubtful if the question of the numbers of second homeowners will be addressed by the commission, as vested interests are at stake!

      Please, Jon and C4: an in-depth investigation in to special advisors without delay: when, how, who, where – as far as possible, with no aspect of same omitted.

      NB though I proudly consider myself a leftie, agree with the blogger about folk such as Angie Hunter. Must end pronto. I feel the need to scratch a humungous itch.

    2. Abel Magwitch says:

      Why has this comment got my name attached to it? It bears no resemblance to the one I submitted.

  33. jonathome says:

    Jon, how refreshing that you got to the crux of the story: was Myers …..hired and employed according to whatever rules govern these matters?

  34. Abel Magwitch says:

    “10 per cent of the US electorate is thought to be gay.”

    By whom, exactly? The homosexual lobby has been inflating the percetnage of the population they claim to be gay for decades to inflate their political influence. In the 1970s the figure claimed was as high as one in seven – and widely published unchallenged – yet no source was ever given.

    Why do experienced journalists like Snow not question these figures? Are they that cowed by the accusations of ‘homophobia’ that inevitably follow when the gay lobby’s gloss on society is not swallowed whole?

    1. Abel Magwitch says:

      This was my comment . . .

    2. margaret brandreth- jones says:

      If we post comments on different websites or computers the page set up is different Abel , so comments and the corresponding authors don’t always fit correctly.

  35. Clem the Gem says:

    Guido Fawkes has done a disservice to politics in making silly innuendo the basis of a witchhunt. Please, when posting on this sorry tale, remember that the gossip started on the Right, not from the Left.
    There is a deeper issue about Special Advisors, and how they are appointed to Government sinecures.

  36. the-Richard-of-Nottingham says:

    “It matters not a damn whether William Hague or anyone else in public or private life is or is not gay.”

    So Jonny, even though it matters not a damn you still think it worthy news to report and comment on.

    0/10.

  37. margaret brandreth- jones says:

    I think it matters to Mrs Hague whether her husband is having an extra marital affair…gay isn’t the issue , although those persons would like to feel as though they are far more important than a mere loving wife.Gayness is honed on as though that were the issue. It is not.

    1. It is the intrusion into others lives.
    2. It is the care shown to the gays rather than a wife.
    3. It is the clumsy reportage of a wife suffering miscarriages.
    4. It is the ‘chinese whispers’ involved when a photograph is textualised and others put their cruel interpretation on it.
    5. It is the damn right impertenence of those who think they are in a position to judge.

  38. Mark T says:

    Listing the papers that are “right wing” should not ignore the overwhelming left wing bias of the broadcast media, not just the BBC who continuallyfailed to call New Lab to account. The issue is not about sexuality, but about whether “special friends” are employed on the public payroll. Guido is being balanced here, he is not Tory per se, rather anti establishment. He was one of the few voices on the hypocrisy of New Lab, from Prescott to cash for Lordships to the pernicious influence of Mandelson as well as Wheelan, Mcbride and their cabal. The culture of never apologise, never explain that grew up under Blair, Brown and Mandelson should not be allowed to continue under David Cameron. In an age when most media take whatever the spin doctors prescribe he provides an invaluable service, one that the broadcast media singularly fail to do.

    1. jon clarey says:

      The broadcast media are left wing – nonsense. Have you watched Sky News or ITN news recently? If you havent, try to get hold of a tape of the election moment when the media learnt that the Tory/Lib Dem coalition talks had broken down in favour of talks between the Lib Dems and Labour. The ITV reporter was furious and positively frothing at the mouth at the idea as were the Sky News team.

  39. Dr. Kevin Law says:

    Jon Snow’s halo must weigh him down sometimes – such moral perfection and philosophical superiority marks him out – like many on the left, as beyond perfect and role models whom we mere imperfect proles can only hope to emulate.

    On the other hand he could just a self righteous twerp.

    I favour the latter

    1. margaret brandreth- jones says:

      Thats not fair Kevin. Jon is introspective and tries to tell the truth as he sees it , but changes like the wind. A bit twerpish sometimes , but aren’t we all?

    2. jon clarey says:

      Typical right-wing Tory – resorts to abuse to win an argument.We don’t need you to preach to us my friend – you concentrate your anger on the right- wing blogger who ran the story and Hague for coming out with the most ludicrous personal statement.

  40. Jim P says:

    WH made the very personal statement to slam the whole affair back in the faces of those who started the rumour mill. It was designed to touch the hearts of the people and turn the tables on those who started a fairly cruel rumor. I think it worked nicely.

    His being gay or not is hardly the issue. His infidelity is a pretty hefty accusation to make about anyone and the fact that two men slept in the same room is hardly conclusive proof of anything.

    Wasn’t it all of us that hammered MP’s over expenses over the last 18 months. The guy tries to save campaign cash and gets slaughtered for it.

    Two things strike me as being important here..

    1: the fact that the accusation of being specifically gay is still reacted to as a wholly negative thing in UK politics unless you are fully out.

    2: that any blogger can start a nasty vicious rumor based on virtually no evidence and get away with it.

    What happend to our draconian libel laws?

  41. margaret brandreth- jones says:

    A question to all the bloggers.

    Why do we engage in discussion on Jons blog more than any other?

    I read and admire Lindsys’ fine article writing , the content, the moral questioning as I do Alexs'( when he blogs) Jonathan Rugmans, Sarah Smith , Nick Paton Walsh , Gary Gibbons and all the rest.. but always come back to Jon for that feeling of connection .

    It is noticable that others do a similar thing.

    Why do we do it?

    Jon is the most popular presenter and influential blogger and any hint at a reply from him lets us enter into that world Of quasi -stardom?

    Jon is more provocative than the others?

    He blogs on topics which more of us can discuss without the need to research?

    He likes to challenge , therefore makes himself a target to be challenged?

    or simply that he is attractive and uses that to connect?

    1. Saltaire Sam says:

      Margaret
      You forgot: to save Adrian from his benighted life on the right :-)

  42. adrian clarke says:

    Saltaire , now i am Knighted ,you could say Sir Adrian .By the way they will not let me say thumbs up/or down after someones comments , as in their words it is a duplicate comment , but i will find some way until we get our thumbs back

    1. margaret brandreth- jones says:

      It seems as though we will have to use language to elucidate our argument/ polemic and that to me is far superior to blatantly putting thumbs up or down . One single strike of I don’t agree with you or its opposite is too emotional for reason , with the exception that the argument is based on pure emotion.

      Good evening to you Sir Adrian. (Adrian Boult comes to mind)

  43. adrian clarke says:

    Margaret , your ladyship.My partner says i have too much time on my hands , but no thumbs

  44. Playpelep says:

    Hi Iam Prabhu from chennai,joined today in this forum… :)

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