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William Hague

Born: March 26, 1961

Occupation: Politician

Challenges overcome: Spinal Curvature

Successes, Achievements & Awards:

William Jefferson Hague was born in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, on 26 March 1961. His parents ran a soft drinks manufacturing business for which he used to work during school holidays. William Hague attended a comprehensive school, before going to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he gained a first-class degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. Whilst at Oxford, William Hague was president of the Union and the Conservative association. He attended a business school in France and worked for five years as a management consultant. William Hague first came to wider attention aged just 16, when he gave the 1977 Conservative Party conference a barnstorming speech on the perils of a too-powerful state. The blond-haired boy with the Yorkshire accent wowed with his anti-Labour rhetoric, joking to his middle-aged and elderly audience: “It’s all right for you. You won’t be here in 30 or 40 years’ time.”

At a by-election in 1989, William Hague became MP for the ultra-safe Conservative seat of Richmond, in North Yorkshire. He rose quickly, becoming an aide to Chancellor Norman Lamont and then a Social Security Minister. In 1995, when John Major’s Conservative Party was tearing itself apart over Europe, William Hague reached the cabinet, as Welsh Secretary. He stayed in the job until the massive defeat to Labour at the 1997 general election. As soon as John Major quit, William Hague was mentioned as a likely successor. William Hague’s 2001 election campaign, with the slogan “Save the Pound”, which came to be regarded by his successors at the top of the Tory party as too right-wing and old-fashioned to compete with New Labour’s slick push for the centre ground. And so it proved. The Tories only managed to cut Labour’s majority to 167, from 179 in 1997. William Hague went immediately and returned to the backbenches to enjoy a lucrative career as a speaker, also writing a popular biography of William Pitt, the UK’s youngest prime minister – possibly with a few thoughts about what might have been. William Hague stayed quietly away from frontline politics for the next four years, seemingly content. An exponent of the almost lost art of Parliamentary wit, William Hague is an accomplished public speaker, who earned a very good living on the after-dinner circuit after he stood down as leader of the party after its hefty defeat at the 2001 General Election. However, when David Cameron took over as Tory leader in 2005, with a determination to make the party electable after three defeats in a row, he offered a return. William Hague was persuaded to come back as Shadow Foreign Secretary. He grew close to David Cameron and was effectively regarded as the Conservatives’ Deputy Leader. In this role he came back to the Commons spotlight, sparring with Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman when the party leaders could not make it to prime minister’s questions.

William Hague, having recovered from his 2001 disappointment, seemed to be in love with politics once more. Conservative grassroots activists seemed equally in love with him, with his conference speeches receiving a rapturous reception. After the election in 2010 which delivered a hung parliament, he led negotiations with the Liberal Democrats, which resulted in the first UK coalition government since the 1940s. When David Cameron announced his team, it was no surprise that William Hague was made Foreign Secretary. He was also given the title of First Secretary, previously held by Labour’s Lord Mandelson – a sign that he was right back at the top. Setting out his vision for foreign policy in a speech in July 2010 he said the UK must have more “global reach and influence” or face decline in a fast-changing world.

Challenges Overcome

William Hague was born with Spinal Curvature and wrote an essay about disability which was popular for a while and it has been rediscovered recently. Those who cared for Hague as an infant rather than arm him with the fortitude to carry on despite the insults was instead taught to be ashamed of his disability and this caused uneasiness in his youth and it required many years for him to conquer his weakness. Today William Hague says he is healthy, in fact healthier than most despite his disability.

Disability Definitions

There are three main types of spine curvature disorders, including:

  • Lordosis. Also called swayback, the spine of a person with lordosis curves significantly inward at the lower back.
  • Kyphosis. Kyphosis is characterized by an abnormally rounded upper back (more than 50 degrees of curvature).
  • Scoliosis. A person with scoliosis has a sideways curve to their spine. The curve is often S-shaped or C-shape

Source:  http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/types-of-spine-curvature-disorders

 

 

 

 

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Information sources:

Please click on the information links below to find out more.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11158667 BBC Radio 4 Broadcast – History of Disability hosted by Peter White – Finding a Voice William Hague. (2015, April 16).

In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:00, April 22, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Hague&oldid=656785911

Image source: Wikicommons

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