Is Hague the Real Kingmaker?

Hague is talked of wistfully by Tory MPs, party activists and press commentators as someone who became leader at the wrong time. Wrong for him and wrong for the party. He bested Blair in the Commons, he was cool under fire, alas for him, New Labour were just too strong and his party too divided, nevertheless the merits of the man are said by many to be manifestly apparent. (Guido has his doubts about political baldies in television democracies, but that is another matter). Hague is heavily rumoured to be angling for a return to the frontbench, so today’s story in the Sunday Telegraph makes sense.

Hague is not fond of Basher Davis, and his endorsement of another candidate will carry some weight, if he endorses Doc Fox in return for a promise of the shadow chancellorship – which the over-promoted Gideon Osborne* is unlikely to hold on to under the new management – or the shadow foreign secretary position, don’t be surprised.

If Hague were to endorse another candidate, such as his friend and former leadership campaign manager, Alan Duncan, or even Lansley, it would considerably improve their chances. But he is not likely to support a left-wing candidate and Hague is probably calculating that Doc Fox has more chance of defeating Basher. He is also unlikely to support Cameron, who is younger than himself, given his own experience.

*Yes it really is Gideon, he changed it to the more populist George so he wouldn’t sound like a privileged heir to a baronetcy in these democratic times. Guido prefers to use the more posh, original name his mother gave him – it suits him.




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