Readers of this blog are reasonably aware of the fact that I am not one of William Hague's admirers. (See here, here and here.) There are earlier postings on EUReferendum. Mr Hague has shown himself to be out of his depth from the moment he became Shadow Foreign Secretary: he has no understanding of the European Union, its structure or Britain's position in it; his one mantra seems to be the need to move away from the American alliance and to line up with all the anti-Israeli forces; he has no understanding of China or India or, for that matter, any other important player in the world; he is, therefore, as was clear from that speech of his, going to dance to the FCO's tune. How else is one to understand the need, as the first initiative, for "a joint taskforce with the United Arab Emirates as part of our efforts to elevate links with the countries of the Gulf". I sense the fine italianate hand of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office behind that as well as Mr Hague's ignorant though billed as tough pronouncements about Gaza.
No question about it, the man needs a Special Adviser (known affectionately as SpAd). He also needs a researcher, a good atlas and globe and time to read various papers produced by people who understand international affairs. The question is, does he need three SpAds? And is a twenty-five year old ex-driver with a second class degree from the University of Durham and no experience whatsoever a person who should be a SpAd in receipt of a handsome salary from the public purse?
According to the Guardian, the FCO thought it was a wonderful idea. Well they would, wouldn't they? After all, little Chris Myers was not going to interfere with their agenda.
A Foreign Office spokesperson also jumped to Myers's defence over suggestions that his second-class degree from Durham and relatively little experience in foreign affairs did not qualify him for the job. "Mr Myers has experience of parliamentary matters in the north, where William has done a lot of work in recent times. He is a qualified lawyer and is very close to the new Conservative MPs," she said.And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what this whole messy story is about: the doubtful use of public money and hypocrisy from Mr Hague and his office. The proliferation of SpAds was one of the big sticks with which the Opposition used to bash, quite rightly, the Labour Government. A twenty-five year old young lady who had worked hard in the Foreign Secretary's constituency, had she been appointed to that position, would also have aroused a certain amount of interest.
"He is advising … on the UK's overseas territories, such as the Falklands, human rights, Africa, embassies, the UK Border Agency, and parliamentary relations."
That claim raised new questions as the suggestion that Myers was working on international affairs was at odds with an earlier justification Foreign Office sources gave for appointing a third adviser – that as first secretary of state Hague has additional responsibilities and needed additional support.
The story is now over: Christopher Myers has gone and William Hague has made a