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OPINIONS DIVIDED

No matter who we are, be it saint or sinner, philanthropist or misanthropist, democrat or despot, opinions about us will range over almost the whole spectrum of human feeling. Set out below are some of the positive things said about Peter Hain and also some of the less positive things said or written about him. The diversity of opinion is interesting and sometimes startling but probably not much different from what you would find if you conducted a similar exercise on any well known public figure, especially an MP. Readers of this website have probably formed their opinions on Peter Hain long before reading what this site has printed about the Neath MP. Whether anything that has appeared on here will change that opinion - who knows?


The Positive Views

 "an exceptional colleague and trusted friend both in government and in opposition. He will be a great loss to the Shadow Cabinet but we know his service to Wales and to the Labour Party will continue for many years to come.” -  Ed Miliband on Hain's resignation from the Shadow Cabinet, May 2012
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"he will be a tremendous asset to whatever and whoever he works with in the future."  - Carwyn Jones on Hain's announcement he will stand down as an MP in 2015
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"YOU were the man who did it, Peter. You came as an outsider and brought a whole new strategy. You had the balls to front them all up and the courage to keep going. Without you it wouldn't have happened"  -  Irish TV political editor Tommie Gorman following Northern Ireland devolution, March 2007 (quote reproduced from Peter Hain's book "Outside In")
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"You were quite the best thing that happened to us - "   Sir John Kerr, Foreign Office "brilliant" Permanent Secretary, on Hain leaving the FO as Foreign Office Minister (quote reproduced from Peter Hain's book "Outside In")
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" I have one of the highest profiles of any politician"
“There are too many pygmies in politics and public administration"
- Peter Hain about himself. Comments in interview June 2013 re Severn Barrage
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The Not so Positive Views

"While his more senior colleagues in Whitehall and Washington understandably fall silent on the mounting deaths in Iraq, the Foreign Office minister Peter Hain has become a strangely aggressive voice in promoting the failed and lethal embargo" - Journalist John Pilger in an article about the effect of sanctions on the people of Iraq, January 2001.
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"Peter has tiptoed deftly from left to right in politics, then back again. Without hesitation or blush he took the Welsh Office job that should have gone to Rhodri Morgan. He choreographed the stitch-up and denounced Rhodri Morgan supporters as ‘crypto-nationalist.’ Now Peter Hain’s job at the Welsh Office is coming to an end. In May Peter was on the Right. Blink ! Now he’s on the Left.

The logic of his statement is that Ken Livingstone should be backed as London’s Labour nomination for mayor. He dodged this question on BBC Wales this morning. 'That’s for Londoners to decide' he said.

In Star Trek there is a Shape-shifter, named ODO.

He liquefies at the end of each day and sleeps in a bucket to emerge in another chosen shape the following morning. The Shape-shifter is the only one of his kind.

Or is he ?"
- Paul Flynn MP on his colleague
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"If there's anyone who upsets colleagues more than I do, it's Peter". - David Blunkett on his colleague

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"There's nothing about Hain that suggests he knows how little he really knows about Northern Ireland. Still, the most important thing about Hain is that he is a classic New Labour apparatchik.

Although the startling perma-tan and love of publicity remain, the principled young man who earned fame as a noisy anti-apartheid campaigner in the Seventies is no more.

At 55, Hain has turned into Blair's canary, frequently sent to try out in the media ideas that the Dear Leader is mulling over. The only non-Blairite part of his body is his left eye, permanently looking over his shoulder to see if he should jump ship to Gordon Brown.

"I will take a very direct, leading role in this alongside the Prime Minister," said Hain in May, "and we will work together in partnership". What this means in practice is that - depending on what Blair wants - just as he locked up Sean Kelly and then let him out, Hain will lock up the republican leadership or sell out the unionists."
  - Ruth Dudley Edwards, Irish historian and journalist
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"A man of many opinions ... usually opposing views on the same subject ... just depends who he's talking to at any particular moment in time! I wonder what happened to that highly principled young man who fought against South African apartheid... perhaps just too long on the gravy train and enjoying the journey". - Opinion from YouGov UK
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"A bloodsucking tick on the body politic. A permatanned, self-aggrandising chancer who , having failed to rise, like the scum he is, to the very top of the seething brew of parliamentary corruption, has now taken the greasy shilling of the energy generating lobby and is spinning against our native wildlife. His native South Africa is now a shiny, rainbow nation, You would think this erstwhile anti-apartheid hero would want to go home, wouldn't you?" - Opinion from YouGov UK
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