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Friday, 18 August, 2000, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Should politicians own up?

Tory leader William Hague has confessed to regularly putting away a staggering 14 pints of beer as a teenager.

Do you think this revelation shows that Mr Hague is one of the people, or could it be considered irresponsible for respected public figures to admit to drinking dangerous amounts of alcohol?

UK Cabinet Office Minister Mo Mowlam hit the headlines earlier this year when she owned up to experimenting with cannabis as a student.

Do such confessions make politicians seem more human, or should they keep their closet doors firmly shut and set an example for us all? Tell us what you think. HAVE YOUR SAY

I'm shocked - not too much about Mr Hague's laughable attempt at populism, that's not new, but at the fact that he seems to think this absurd and mad one could work. When will common culture stop worshipping alcohol? (I'm not specifically referring to the UK, my country still prides itself of having the about highest per head beer consumption in the world).
Sebastian Lisken, Germany

Confessions such as this make a political figure more human only if the public can empathise with them on other levels. Even if William Hague chased his daily 14 pints with a bottle of tequila I still don't think I'd feel anything in common with him.
Steve Gaw, USA

In all honesty do we actually believe William Hague drunk so much? No more than we believe he regularly frequents Notting Hill dressed in jeans and a baseball cap.
Merx England, London, UK


This evidence that teenage drinking stunts the growth, inflates the ego and makes your hair fall out will surely discourage many young men

Bryan, UK
I think William Hague should be congratulated. This evidence that teenage drinking stunts the growth, inflates the ego and makes your hair fall out will surely discourage many young men from ordering the thirteenth or fourteenth pint.
Bryan, UK

Yes, let's have more honesty from politicians. Perhaps on matters relating to politics would be better, though. Perhaps we can expect Hague to confess to not having a clue how to run the Tory party, and Blair admitting that he is only interested in staying in power, whatever it takes.
Andrew Dowle, UK

How pathetic! This country has enough problems of underage drinking, alcoholism and drunk driving, without the leader of the opposition boasting about his capacity for ale.
Rebecca, London

Its obvious to everyone except politicians that they are totally removed from everyday life in this country. Shallow efforts to appear like the common man leave them looking ridiculous and this is just another example.
Philip Morgan, UK


It's bad enough that we're governed by these half-wits let alone having to listen to their yawn-inducing life-stories

David
It's bad enough that we're governed by these half-wits let alone having to listen to their yawn-inducing life-stories. These politicians should leave us to enjoy our summer holidays in peace and quiet.
David

Admitting antics of youthfulness is okay, unless one was trying to be a credible politician.
Colin, Netherlands

Hague just wanted to try to improve his image - in today's political arena that's no bad thing - but it again highlighted his lack of judgement. His comments were at least misguided, at worst utterly foolish. Once again he has proved he is lacking. Britain needs a credible opposition, whoever is in power. Unfortunately we are still waiting.
Garry White, UK

So Mr Hague used to drink lots of beer as a teenager, and he lived in the UK. Is that really newsworthy since most UK teenagers drink a lot of beer and then grow up? He didn't break the law, or take drugs - I can't see what all the fuss is about. He might as well come out with the shocking revelation that his mother used to cook him fishfingers.
James Blair, UK


Face it Will, you're a politician - its OK to be a boring politician.

Stuart Winchester, UK
Its obvious that William Hague is trying to construct an image of himself that the entire population would like. By making himself out to be something he isn't is very foolish and somewhat childish. Face it Will, you're a politician - its OK to be a boring politician.
Stuart Winchester, UK

Am I the only one who thinks that drinking 14 pints a day is remarkably stupid? I used to do so myself. But then I was an alcoholic. It nearly cost me my life.
Stuart Pattullo, UK


All he was doing was dispelling the myth that he's a posh southern toff

Mark, UK
Has anyone read the interview? He never said he did drink 14 pints. What's more, he has never criticised people drinking, only people drinking and being violent, which he never did. All he was doing was dispelling the myth that he's a posh southern toff. Unlike Blair he went to a comprehensive school and was prepared to work hard even when young.
Mark, UK

I suppose the fact that he may have been out of his box might excuse him for making that nauseating speech when he was sixteen, but perhaps not!
G Lord, England


Politicians are regular people. Let 'em live a little

Jonathan Bensley, Australia
I think it's a little strange. People hate politicians that are snow white. However, they hate people who "don't inhale" and knock back 15 glasses of booze. Politicians are regular people. Let 'em live a little. However, I did worse than Hague! I drank orange juice from the bottle.
Jonathan Bensley, Australia

Why do politicians have to "confess"? These "confessions" don't make them more human and if they want to bring out their past, then let them do so. It doesn't really matter what they did in their youth, what's important is that they are doing their job properly and not getting into trouble.
Pierre Stapley, Argentina (Ex-pat from the UK)

This was either an innocent comment which has been seized on by the media, or a deliberate and rather pathetic attempt to appear to be a 'man of the people'. In this age of unaccountable media power, spin is necessary for political survival (however much we loathe it). If this wasn't deliberate, he should have been more careful in what he said. If it was, it's obviously backfired. Either way, it demonstrates exceedingly poor judgement.
USA, Tom

I don't know about Mr Hague drinking 14 pints. I can only think that anyone within earshot of that monotonous, sanctimonious voice as the beer went down would be the ones needing the 14 pints!
Simon Riley, UK


Politicians are not elected because of their normality, but their competence

James Looseley, England
Mr Hague's 'confession' of beer-filled nights is completely incongruous with the image we all have of the floppy-haired nerd who once gave a speech at the Conservative Party conference. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make himself more popular. Don't bother William - politicians are not elected because of their normality, but their competence.
James Looseley, England

Why do people keep claiming that drinking a lot is the same as being a lout? I used to drink 10 pints and walk home without smashing anything, urinating in gardens, making excessive noise or any of the other antisocial "habits" of those that are trying to impress their mates by showing off how "hard" they are.
Mike Smith, UK


In our society this is found more interesting by the media (especially when bored and not inciting riots or mob rule) than anything which could possibly make a difference.

Benj'min Mossop, Britain
Politicians can 'own up' to whatever they like, be it excessive drinking, drug use or being a bit more of a rebel when they were young. Unfortunately, in our society this is found more interesting by the media (especially when bored and not inciting riots or mob rule) than anything which could possibly make a difference. The politicians should also note that the press is equally effective at seeing through lies and even some of the more cunning and calculated attempts to boost their public image.
Benj'min Mossop, Britain

Do we want to hear politician's confessions? Of course we do, we're a voyeuristic nation! Look at the success of Big Brother, and the massive sales of magazines like Heat, the National Enquirer, Hello and OK. Politicians are in the public eye, so we want to know all the dirt. I admit that using confessions of past indiscretions to score cheap political points is a trifle pathetic but, although we may not like to admit it, most of us love a bit of salacious gossip.
David F, London, UK

Take heart, it is a lot easier to swallow his "14 pints" than his policies.
Michael, UK

William, just a little note; you're supposed to compete with Tony - not his son...
Doug, The Netherlands


It is all a storm in a beer mug

Richard Marriott, England
It is all a storm in a beer mug. This is the "silly season" and this is a silly season story. I don't give a monkey's about Hague's past drinking habits, real or imagined. I do want the Conservatives to win the next election though since there are policy issues at stake which are crucial to the future of this country, not least the euro!
Richard Marriott, England

Excuse me the pontificators amongst you but if he did criticise drunken behaviour it is the kind that causes offence, damage or injury - and Mr Hague was not arrested for any offence so I think those of you calling him a hypocrite have missed the point entirely. Better to have Mr Hague making idle boasts than Mr Blair making endless empty promises.
James Denning, UK

This attempt to seem more like "Joe Ordinary" has clearly backfired. Unfortunately for Mr Hague, the impression he has created is of an anorak trying desperately to be cool - and then failing miserably. Also, I'm not sure people vote for politicians who have dubious claims to drinking 14 pints a day - it's the politics that matter.
Riad Mannan, UK

Nice one William! Blair can do what he likes with an alternative like this.
Gareth Tweedle, UK

Obviously this was a minor aside made in an otherwise pretty mundane and routine interview. The fact that it was picked up by the main stream media and blown up out of all proportion to its real news worthiness, should have been predictable... While I neither condemn nor praise Hague for his youthful drinking prowess, it shows an appalling lack of political judgement in even bringing it up. And that tells me more about the man than all the policies he espouses.
Mark M. Newdick, USA/UK


Politicians; we'd just be better off without them in my opinion

Marcus, UK
Personally I'd like to be able to vote for someone who cared about this country and it's people. Someone who cared about sorting out the health service, the education system, the defence problems, the transport infrastructure. Someone who cares about getting British industry off its knees or who cares about putting a stop to the general decline in the country. Instead I get the choice between Mr. "Control Freak" Blair and Mr. "I'm an idiot who thinks that making up stories about my drinking ability will make me popular with the voters" Hague. Politicians; we'd just be better off without them in my opinion.
Marcus, UK

It's good that MPs can confess their 'ales', it shows some kind of human nature, with a sense of humour. I doubt very much that Hague would even begin to dream of his confessions in "The Economist", but in a lad's mag, he has counterbalances the boredom of politics with an added few jars. Mowlem as a "sixties hippie chick" and then putting a suggestion forward to decriminalise cannabis seems more down to earth and in touch with the people.
Mark Banham, UK

I really have two queries re Hague's expose. 1. Did the drinking of so much ale cause him to have a total lack of personality? 2. If it didn't, then perhaps he should go back to drinking? Is this a last ditch attempt by the Tory spin-doctors to make Hague 'appealing' and 'one of the boys'? It's pathetic.
Nick Farmer, UK

We do not want to hear about these confessions. They are irrelevant. They will backfire. Loutish behaviour is on the increase and to admit to it proudly makes it acceptable. How can measures against it then be justified? Show you are good at your job, not "one of the people". Please.
S Miller, England


WH want's to stick to what he does best - trying to destroy the opposition by discrediting their personalities.

Steven Douglas, Scotland
WH want's to stick to what he does best - trying to destroy the opposition by discrediting their personalities. That's the only hope they have, because they've no policies to impress people with. Here they are accusing the labour party of spin - what are they up to then? Oh Hague what a man!
Steven Douglas, Scotland

We can all come up with a tale from the past to help us integrate or be seen as 'one of the gang' when the occasion requires it. William Hague is unfortunately trying desperately to appeal to a sector of the community that has traditionally been Labour rather than Conservative. However the tactic is unlikely to have the desired effect as labour people see it for what it is, and conservative people writhe in disgust at his antics. Why doesn't he establish his personal and party values and then stick to them, and let us make up our minds about him and his party, compared to the other parties. The amorphous soup of political parties is causing apathy among the young and disappointment in the system among the older voters.
Graham Owen, UK

14 pints during an entire day is nothing much. I used to down 10 pints of snakebyte in the space of about 6 hours and that was without doing any hard physical work in between. Bitter as opposed to lager is less likely to make the drinker drunk and aggressive, and is generally not fizzy like lager. I find it entirely believable that he could drink this amount, but so what? Does anybody really care what he did back then, any more than you readers care that I used to drink snakebyte?
Willy Davidson, UK

What ARE you doing, Mr.Hague? You should only ever play the spin game if you're good at it - which you are not. Stop trying to compete with Blair's machine and start working on honest, down-to-earth policies that have relevance to the voters that you REALLY need to win back - those of Middle England. The 14-pint-a-day brigade probably always vote Labour, anyway (if they can make it to the polling booth!).
Allen, UK


You can tell the silly season is in full swing when The Sun uses this to run the headline "Billy Liar"

Chris Green, UK
The whole thing has been grossly exaggerated. The papers have reported the story as though Hague were a regular 14 pint a day man. What Hague actually said was that he would SOMETIMES have a pint per delivery while working, that there could be UP TO 10 deliveries per shift, and that there were OCCASIONS where he would go to the pub afterwards. This to me indicates that he was saying there were ODD OCCASIONS where he MAY have drunk UP TO 14 pints. You can tell the silly season is in full swing when The Sun uses this to run the headline "Billy Liar".
Chris Green, UK

I believe this sort of 'confession' from politicians trying to appear 'one of the lads' is completely irresponsible. It merely goes to prove that the standards of people taking up roles in public life are falling far short of that which is required. Instead of trying to maintain good standards of ethics and support for the very fabric of our society, they are more interested in 'playing to the crowd'. I for one have grave doubts as to the suitability of these people to run the country. I, and I am sure, many of my countrymen are sick and tired of hearing about the 'free loading', junkets at tax payers expense, and idiotic statements-totally distanced from the majority of right minded people thinking.
Roy Attenborough, England

Its bad enough having to listen to politicians drone on about their politics, save us from having to listen to their boring personal lives.
DEM, UK

Finally: A politician who remembers he was human once...
Ben, Netherlands


14 pints of ale? Here in Texas that's nothing.

Neil Aquino, Texas, USA
14 pints of ale? Here in Texas that's nothing. How big was Hague's truck? How fast did he drive after these alleged 14 pints? How many pistols was he packing? You call sissies like Bill Hague "Right Honourable?" No wonder you folks lost that empire!
Neil Aquino, Texas, USA

Poor William Hague and his spin-doctors must think that by talking about his youthful drinking habits of downing 14 pints per working day he is somehow lodging himself with the ordinary people. Few people in Britain would believe the GQ story. I would suggest that the Australian expression of a two-pot steamer would be a more accurate description of Willie's drinking capacity.
Gerard Curran, Australia

What politicians did in the past is completely irrelevant and even possibly harmful to the running of a country as powerful as ours. Apart from anything else, it very often sets a bad example for our youth.
Peter Bolton, UK in US

If he is trying to impress us with his honesty, the obvious exaggeration of 14 pints a day does him no credit.
James Feenstra, Canada

Oh please! William Hague wouldn't know what to do with a pint of beer even if it came up and bit him. Who is he trying to impress anyway?
Joanne, The Netherlands (ex UK)


The only consolation is that as long as he remains leader the Tories are going nowhere

Tony Donaldson, UK
I think the comments made by William Hague about his drinking are consistent with the shameless opportunism that have marked his leadership of the Tory party. The only consolation is that as long as he remains leader the Tories are going nowhere.
Tony Donaldson, UK

So William Hague has a past just like the rest of us "normal" people. Last night I was with several people who downed about 10 pints in a few hours. It is easy to see how someone could get through 14 pints over a whole (long) day's work without too much effort or getting "drunk and incapable". At least Hague has the ability to admit his past, unlike Blair who has changed almost every principle he ever professed!
Richard Willis, UK

Have most of your respondents actually read the interview? WH explained his 14 pints simply as necessary refreshment when delivering beer to working men's clubs in Yorkshire. There wasn't anything about being a lager lout or drinking to get drunk. WH comes over as a relatively honest guy, trying to give an answer which wouldn't leave him open to snide comments - he seems to have failed, however! How sad that these critics have such a jaundiced view.
Miles, England

I'm absolutely amazed that anyone actually believes him. To me this epitomises the way in which Billy Fizz has lost touch with reality, or else he realises that he can spout whatever fantasy he wants because nobody believes a word he says anyway.
Jon Buck, England


People would have more respect for him if he just admitted he was a spotty little teachers pet who spent all his spare time in the young conservative club

Andrew Baker, England
What a load of rubbish, most people can't drink 14 pints a day let alone a 15 year old boy. Most 15 year olds I come into contact with are blown away on a litre of cheap cider. Once again this geek is trying to appeal to the masses and once again he is failing. People would have more respect for him if he just admitted he was a spotty little teachers pet who spent all his spare time in the young conservative club.
Andrew Baker, England

It all depends whether it was lager or bitter! If he drank a good honest Northern bitter that's fine. But if he drank some namby-pamby lager then he should hide his head in shame!
Martin, England

He just sounds like any other teenager to me, nothing to be ashamed of here.
Dave, UK


He's successfully managed to alienate the exact group of future voters he was trying to "attract"

Thomas Webb (16), Belgium
As a teenager who can (legally in Belgium) go to a pub and drink with friends, even we find his speaking out in this manner irresponsible. He's successfully managed to alienate the exact group of future voters he was trying to "attract". Maybe him and Euan Blair could have a contest. Whoever wins, secures my vote for their respective side.
Thomas Webb (16), Belgium

Watch the footage of Hague's "Young Conservative" Debut. Then Look at the claims he has made. "The rough boys won't like you any more for saying it Willy!"
Chris, United Kingdom

Must be a dry news day in the UK when anybody cares what Wet Willie did 30+ years ago, let alone writes about it...
M. Little, Canada

The best way to woo voters is for Hague to re-think the far right policies he is touting, bring himself back in line with mainstream thinking and convince the electorate that he is worthy of election. Whoever advised him to take part in this stunt should be treated with caution. Central Office seems to be slow on the uptake, badly co-ordinated, following faulty thinking and not at all in touch with realityż
Peter Pritchett, England.

Personally I'd be quite happy to know that politicians are not just the stuffy suits they would like us to believe. I think Tony Blair should bring a keg into Prime Ministers Question Time and challenge him!
Russell, UK

No amount of drunken "spin" can hide little Billy's nauseating desire to please the jingoistic blue-rinse brigade with mantra that remains in the 19th century!
Gareth Knowles, England


One minute he's condemning drunken louts and in the next breath, he's boasting about how much he can (allegedly) drink

A Wood, UK
One minute he's condemning drunken louts and in the next breath, he's boasting about how much he can (allegedly) drink. I don't know about drinking like a fish but he's certainly got the political memory of a goldfish.
A Wood, UK

We are all human and have all in some way or other at some time in our past done things that seem a little silly in hindsight. Why should we expect our politicians to be more than human? As long as Mr Hague's drinking past or Mo Mowlan's experiments with cannabis do not affect their ability to perform their public duties and responsibilities then I see no conflict of interest. Of course, the question of whether such confessions justify front-page news is another matter entirely...
Phil McKenzie, England

I suppose a combination of the political "silly season", a slowish domestic news day and William Hague's desperation to get into the headlines have all coincided to give us this daft "when I were a lad" story. Monty Python did it first - and better! Stop that - that's silly.
Richard P, England


Does anyone else see this as a cheap publicity stunt by Hague?

Doug, UK
Does anyone else see this as a cheap publicity stunt by Hague? He is trying to attract young people to the Tories by admitting that he used to act in a way that they will see as 'cool'. Nice try William but stick to baseball caps in the future.
Doug, UK

Actually, who really cares about the drinking feats of Mr Hague? The entire story reeks of the same old political spin - just like wearing a dodgy baseball cap would make him a man of the people.
Mark Kobayashi-Hillary, London, UK

The politicians can't win either way. If they try and correct flaws they themselves once had they are branded hypocrites. If they confess to prior shortcomings they are blasted for promoting whatever it was they once did. At least Hague and Mowlam have shown they are human like the rest of us.
John B, UK


Events like this simply draw attention to their aloofness and give the public a good laugh

Paul R, UK
It is because today's politicians are so out of touch with ordinary people that they go to such great lengths to prove any tenuous link with the rest of mankind. Events like this simply draw attention to their aloofness and give the public a good laugh. Nowadays the initials 'MP' after your name seem to be a licence to throw away all shred of common sense. To 'hard drinking Hague', 'dope smoking Mowlam', 'Two Jags' and the PM who thinks he is royalty I say this: you earn respect by what you do, not what you say. Treat the public with care and not contempt.
Paul R, UK

Quite frankly, who really cares what he did during his summer vacations when he was young. Surely the current political issues and policies should be more important?
James M, UK

I don't think it matters what they have done when they are young, as long as they are doing a good job now. This makes Hague seem normal and it shows he is the same as all of us. What are we supposed to do, tell all teenagers to be careful just in case they become leader of the Tory party?
Jamie, UK

Great. So Hague with a credibility gap the size of the English Channel tries to gain some "lad" votes by admitting to being a bit of a boozer when he was younger. What a superb example he is setting to the youngsters of today. Once again, and probably not for the last time, he's having difficult breathing because of the sheer number of feet in his mouth.
Paul Harper, London, UK

I think it just makes him sound more human, unlike Tony Blair. The way Tony Blair goes on you would think he was never young and never made mistakes. Well Blair's made a lot of mistakes since he became PM, which have been brought to light by the good opposition which we have. To the person who said that they have never seen a 15-year-old that could drink 14 pints, I take it you don't get out much. If you believe that a 15-year-old can't drink very much then you must also believe that Tony Blair is good for the UK!
William Dryden, UK


Quite simply, it's another way to try and curry favour with the masses

Paul Charters, England
At the moment he's trying to look like a people guy, who is on the level and in touch with the public. Quite simply, it's another way to try and curry favour with the masses. The moment the people vote him into power he will be exactly the same as all the other politicians we've had to live with. Isn't it time for a new political party, perhaps called 'The just wants to fix the country and make life better for our nation' party could be good. The best thing you could do is arrange the law so that a political party HAS to achieve all its promises during their term of office or pay the consequences.
Paul Charters, England

Poor old Bill. Who can blame the guy? Blair starts preaching to the masses about underage drinking louts, then his son turns out to be one of these "devils". But instead of pointing out the stupidity of Blair's generalisations, the public pat him on the back for being a dad. What's an opposition leader to do? One minute the country is baying for the blood of heavy drinkers, the next minute everyone is having a good old laugh about it. I still don't believe him though. Next thing he'll be showing us his tattoo collection (Now that WOULD be cool)!
Matt, Amsterdam, Netherlands (ex. UK)

Does this mean that William Hague endorses underage drinking to excess and the flagrant flouting of the laws which he professes to uphold?
Fiona Dodd, England


Again, he's not doing himself or the Tories any favours

Robin Sayer, England
It's fair enough the way it came out with Mo Mowlam, but Hague is trying desperately to be one of the lads, and it'll backfire on him. Again, he's not doing himself or the Tories any favours.
Robin Sayer, England

The Conservative Party could win the next election by promising us duty-free 'party days', where we could all drink 14 pints in a day. We could then invade a country or two whose football teams are clearly not as good as ours. Of course, we'd lose - but Hey! Who would care? It would probably be the ref.'s fault anyway.
Ian Sharp, UK

Not funny, William, and not clever. Stop trying to gain votes by appealing to the lowest common denominator and start being your own man. While you're at it, have a good look at your recent bigoted statements and ask yourself whether this is the way you want this country to go. As a political leader you have responsibilities not just to the (beer-drinking) majority but also to the many minorities. Your populist antics help foster an environment where hate-crimes prosper.
Chris, UK


Politicians are not to be considered role models; they are policy makers

Guru Shenoy, United States
People should learn to realise that politicians are as much human as the rest of them. Politicians are not to be considered role models; they are policy makers. They are people that have at sometime in their life thrown caution against the wind and set off to reform an existing system. That deserves respect and credibility. They have done what most of us hesitate and despise doing. In the end it is the decisions that they take that effect what we do, how we live and how the future generations will live?
Guru Shenoy, United States

Oh William, just when we were beginning to forget that spotty 16 year old, wowing Mrs Thatcher - you bring it all back again with your 'the naughtiest little boy' story!
Rachel Tyrrell, UK

Hooray! At last! A politician who can "take his ale". Our great new leader has spoken, Britain is saved... Er excuse me, anyone... am I on the right planet here...?
Ed Bayley, USA (English)

George W Bush said it best when asked about allegations of drug use. "When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible."
Rich Johnston, England

Nice one Billy! Now how about pledging to cut taxes on beer - so that the rest of us can afford to drink 14 pints a day.
Keith, England

I haven't read the original interview in GQ but I have read the story on the BBC web site quite carefully, and I think someone should ask Hague what the 14 pints were pints of? Beer, shandy or maybe just lemonade? Politicians should own up, but they should also make it clear what it is that they are owning up to!
Tim, UK

Well to be honest, their honesty is a breath of fresh air... just as long as it does not turn out to be "trendy and hip", like New Labour was trying to be around the Brit awards a few years ago. I've nothing against people doing those kind of things when they are young as long as they don't try to sound "cool" because of it.
Michael, Ireland

So maybe little Billy is saying any old rubbish to try and get into power. At least he isn't promising everything and delivering nothing. Now who does that remind me of?
James, UK


If politicians used mammoth drinking competitions in place of parliamentary debate we would get the type of government that we deserve

Justin, UK
I think it is both big and clever to quaff 14 pints. However I would admire Mr Hague more if he had joined the 20-pint a day elite. Perhaps if politicians used mammoth drinking competitions in place of parliamentary debate we would get the type of government that we deserve.
Justin, UK

18 replies from men, 2 from women. Wee Willie seems to have been successful in reaching out to The Chaps. Perhaps someone should remind him that the majority of the electorate is female.
Rita Gallard, England

I can't see the point of this. Bragging that you used to drink 14 pints of beer a day seems to be something that would impress immature youths but is hardly something to be admired by right thinking adults.
Pete, Holland

I can believe William Hague did sink all those pints or he wouldn't have had the audacity to make that speech he did at 16! Perhaps he should have a night of the tiles with Blair's son. They'd get on great!
Jack, UK

Anything is better than Blair's squeaky-clean androids.
Paul, UK


Gosh what a clever man, I will have to vote for him

Simon, UK
Gosh what a clever man, I will have to vote for him. On the subject of confessions, if he wants to gain respect and demonstrate some form honesty and integrity, I suggest he follow Michael Portillo's lead...
Simon, UK

It doesn't sound like Hague was a lager lout. Please do not make the mistake of assuming drunkenness equals violence. So he drank beer, and Mo Mowlam had ONE puff of a spliff. People do. As long as they aren't doing themselves or anyone else any harm, who cares?
Rob

What is he doing saying things like this. If foreign countries think that the UK people consider 14 pints to be a lot we'll be the laughing stock of the world. Come on William, at least boast of an impressive figure for an all day total!
Ian Hopgood, UK


His teenage antics were just that, and should be left back in the 1970's.

Nick Willhoft, UK
William Hague should be sacked as leader of the opposition. Not because he's a reformed lush, but because he has not been able to assemble a credible shadow cabinet with which to fight the next election. His teenage antics were just that, and should be left back in the 1970's.
Nick Willhoft, UK

14 pints of lager a day? Nice one. Clearly I'll take him much more seriously now.
Oskar, UK

No we don't want to hear "confessions" from inadequate politicians who believe that the ability to drink 14 pints of beer somehow defines them as one of us. They clearly do not want to be one of us or they wouldn't have gone into something as trivial as politics in the first place. I'm waiting for one of these social misfits to admit they were once capable of doing a proper job. By the way, did anyone actually believe Hague?
Keith chamberlain, UK

As far as William Hague's revelations are concerned, it just reinforces my belief that most politicians talk pure rubbish at the best of times. This PR fiasco seems on a par with his great "baseball cap" episode.
Steve Wehrle, UK

Gee, I was feeling a bit down then I read the "Billy Fizz" thing on the BBC site and there were tears of laughter streaming down my face. This guy Hague is priceless - you need to cherish him.
Greg, USA


Perhaps Tony Blair could lead us of by regaling us with tales of his times in CND?

Colin Rice, UK
I think its time that more politicians owned up to their past. Perhaps Tony Blair could lead us of by regaling us with tales of his times in CND?
Colin Rice, UK

It seems to me that William Hague will say anything to get into power claiming he's one of the common people. Look at all the other things he's said lately.
Mark, UK

I don't really care what politicians get up to - all I want is proof that they are good at their job, have been voted in democratically and can run the country. Anyway - there's no way he could drink that much I've never seen such a useless man (bar John Redwood) kid themselves that people would actually vote for them - He's got no personality whatsoever!
Fleur Wainwright, UK

I can't believe this man's outrageous lies. It just seems to sum up his whole attitude to politics up. Lie as much as possible to make yourself even vaguely respectable. I don't any 15 year old that could drink 14 pints without curled up in a corner of Leicester Square, particularly if you were doing a tiring job - you'd get drunk quicker.
Jim Smith, UK

ONLY 14 pints ... what a wimp!
Phil, Britain


Mr. Hague should be admired for downing 14 pints. I'd like to see him challenge Blair to a drinking competition

Richard Winter, UK
Mr. Hague should be admired for downing 14 pints. I'd like to see him challenge Blair to a drinking competition! Politicians should be allowed to have social lives, and if Mr Hague enjoyed having a few drinks while working hard for his father's company - well done to him. John Prescott just thinks he knows it all because he used to be a barman.
Richard Winter, UK

What does William Hague think he is playing at? One moment he is complaining that the government is not doing enough to stem the tide of drunken louts and teenage delinquency. The next moment he is boasting about being a 15-year-old lager lout. I thought leaders were meant to be role models. Another symptom of the decay of moral standards in this country perhaps?
James Butler, UK


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08 Aug 00 | UK Politics
Hague: I drank 14 pints a day


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