Iain Dale is very admiring of William Hague – and it is fair to say that the bald one did a brilliant rabble rouser yesterday.
But one issue troubled me. Hague is the Shadow Foreign Secretary. And, as per usual, there has been a lot of “foreign stuff” going on over the past few months, not least of all everything that has been happening in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, did he actually mention any of this in his speech? At all? No, instead he just did a crowd pleaser, bashing Prescott and Brown ad nauseum.
It isn’t as if he was the only person available to speak on the subject of his speech either – indeed, it was exactly the same subject as that of his Party leader’s an hour or so later.
It is true to say that there will be a debate on foreign affairs later in the week, but that didn’t stop David Davis from
sending everyone to sleep speaking about crime in his speech before.
One can’t help but get the feeling that the reason Hague didn’t refer to his brief in his speech is that he doesn’t really have that much to say on the matter. For all his attacks on Labour, the truth of the matter is that you would struggle to get a fag paper between him and Blair on foreign affairs matters. And of course there was Hague’s personal elephant in the room: his handling of Cameron’s pledge to pull out of the EPP. Will anyone actually address this issue at all this week?
The Tories’ strategy for the past year has been to shout a lot about “change” as an excuse for not having an policies. From the media coverage I’ve seen, that’s already starting to wear thin. They’re boost in the polls, while in the right direction, hasn’t been enough to make them start looking like a party of government and now it looks like the honeymoon period is wearing off. And as for all this sleaze stuff…
If I were a Tory I’d be starting to get a little twitchy. If the wheels haven’t come off the wagon yet, they’re certainly starting to look wobbly.