So sums up Tim Montgomerie on Conservative Home in which he asks where is the Hague Mk1. Arguing that the Hague of 2010 is very different to the Hague of 2010, he writes:
"Hague Mk II has not become an enthusiast for European integration but the fire has been extinguished from his belly."
It is not only the fire against European integration that has been extinguished from his belly. Contrast the Hague of 2010 to the Hague of 1999 in his conference speech that year. This was, in my opinion, a good speech in which he promised to give us back our country. Some extracts:
"Vast regional bureaucracies and European political superstructures are not the solution. They are the problem.........The people of this country want and deserve straight talk..........And when the Government of Britain is the most two-faced, interfering, over-regulating, bossy, intolerant, arrogant and crony-run in our history, there is no doubt Britain needs a Common Sense Revolution........."
So if vast regional bureaucracies and European political supstructures are the problem Mr. Hague, why are we still a member of the European Union? If only the people of this country did receive straight talk from our politicians! Oh, and with the birth of the Coalition we still seem to have a two-faced, interfering, over-regulating, bossy, intolerant, arrogant and crony-run government!
Talking about the United Kingdom as a nation, Hague continued:
"There is the foolish idea that the nation cannot survive in the modern world.........And there is the foolish idea that a single European state is inevitable and that we will miss out on great opportunities if we don't go along with it.Above all else Conservatives will resist this miserable defeatist creed.For if we can resist it then Britain will be ideally placed to seize the opportunities of the modern world.We are the lucky inheritors of a country with unique advantages in the world - a unique relationship with Europe, unique relationships too with America and with the Commonwealth. We have the huge advantages of our language, of our open and democratic traditions, of our political stability and our history of trade and diplomacy across the globe."
Hague concluded his address with these words:
"And so I say to the people of Britain:if you believe that our country is unique in the world but is in danger of losing its identity; if you believe that Britain is a place where you should be rewarded for doing the right thing, but now you are penalised for it; if you believe in Britain as a healthy democracy, but that the standards of democracy are now being tarnished and diminished;if you believe in Britain as a country where the law is enforced and respected, but that now it is not respected enough;if you believe in Britain as a country that will work with its neighbours but never submit to being governed by anyone else;if you believe in an independent Britain.Then come with me, and I will give you back your country."So Hague now accepts and submits to being governed by someone else and that Britain is no longer an independent country.
William Hague, contrary to what Tim Montgomerie writes, would appear to have most definitely become an advocate for European integration - why else would he be acting and speaking as he does today? Of course, there is an alternative view for Hague's change of stance and that is political expediency. When a new leader of your party is elected, one with views at variance with yours, there are only two choices available. Either one sticks to one's principles, in which case you are considered a maverick (Carswell, Redwood - although questions remain on those two) or you 'knuckle under' on the understanding that when elected to government a Ministerial position of importance is yours, with its 'aura', travel and other perks.
Why else would Hague have changed his stance? A cynical question I admit, but hey we are talking about a politician here.