Many thanks, Iain, for that post about William Hague, about whom your paragraph more or less quintupled my knowledge. If I may, a couple of follow-on questions: Does the string of Tory leaders, from Hague, to Ian Duncan-Smith, to Howard, and now to Cameron, represent anything like progress? Or something more like a steady decline? And what is Hague’s present role in British politics? Has he retained a seat in Commons? Does he possess any influence with Cameron? Can he stage a comeback?
On the subject of Blair and the United States, by the way, a reader sent along an email that made an arresting point: Whatever Blair may have done to Anglo-American relations from the British point of view, from the American point of view he has only strengthened them:
“The Tory crackup seems complete. And it seems outrageous to claim that Tony Blair made the alliance with America less strong. It would seem more accurate to say that Tory anti-Americanism has contributed to that — and put the Tories in the wilderness. When Tony Blair gives a speech on Iraq, I cheer, and I am encouraged….Whatever Blair may or may not have done to address rift in Britain in Anglo-American relations, he has built support on the American side for it by his good cheer and obvious steadfastness.”