William Hague told the Spectator’s Parliamentarian of the Year awards last week that he was standing down from the Commons ‘to do some other things I’ve always wanted to do’. So far that seems to consist of expensive after dinner speeches.
Accepting his lifetime achievement award at the Savoy, the one time Tory leader finally revealed the secret to how he used to get the better of Tony Blair every week at PMQs. Hague recalled how Tony had two big folders ‘that went from Aardvark at top of the first folder, to Zoology at the bottom of the second, so he could find anything to show how terrible 18 years of Tory government were.’ But Blair’s plan was flawed: ‘Then we realised the one weakness of this all: it was in alphabetical order. So therefore if you asked a series of questions thematically related – but not in alphabetically – this would cause immense confusion!’
Hague liked the story so much that he told it twice, word for word, to two different audiences that same day. The very same anecdote got an evening outing at the Institute of Directors annual dinner where, unsurprisingly, the guest speaker didn’t need any notes.