Former Tory Government Minister
Contents 1 Ammanford upbringing 2 Enter the Man in White - Martin Bell 3 "Cash for Questions" Scandal 4 The Two Parliamentary Select Committee Reports 5 The Hamiltons and bankruptcy 6 Cleared of false rape charge 7 Objects of Media Curiosity
If most communities have produced people who found some fame in the world then it's a fair bet there'll be one or two who chose infamy instead. Black sheep are rare in nature, which is why they stand out so prominently in a flock of white individuals. Ammanford is no different, and its best known black sheep so far is former MP and Tory government minister Neil Hamilton, forced to resign as Minister for Corporate Affairs in 1994 after a high-profile financial scandal.
Amman Valley Grammar School (built 1928)
1. Ammanford upbringing
Although educated at Amman Valley Grammar School, Mostyn Neil Hamilton was born on 9th March 1949 in Fleur-de-Lis, a Monmouthshire pit-village near Blackwood. In South Wales your family tree is never more than a couple of generations away from a mining connection and both Hamilton's grandfathers were coal miners. His father, however, was a senior mining engineer who moved to Ammanford with the National Coal Board in the nineteen fifties and the family lived in an impressive Coal Board-owned house in Florence Road, Tirydail.
When the post-war Labour government nationalised the coal industry in 1947 the newly-created National Coal Board (NCB) became the sole owner of all the country's collieries and coal reserves. But the NCB also acquired the vast housing stock, numbering tens of thousands of homes, that was part of the assets of the old mine owners. All the major coal owners had built housing for their workforces, enabling at least some of the pittance wages they grudgingly paid their employees to be clawed back in rents for these wretched slums. The vast majority of these notoriously squalid dwellings were occupied by the ordinary coal miners, but some superior properties, usually fully-detached houses in more salubrious locations, were also set aside for management staff. These houses were allocated according to a strict pecking order, the best reserved for the more senior grades. Perched at the top of the management tree were the mine owners' agents who oversaw the running of several collieries in an area, and they were usually given quite sumptuous mansions, complete with stables, extensive grounds, and servants. After nationalisation the NCB preserved this system of housing allocation and its senior managers and engineers were given the pick of the housing stock.
Throughout the sixties and seventies, however, the NCB gradually sold off this housing to their tenants or on the open market. This was not as generous as it seems, because this way they were able to pass the costs of renovating sub-standard pre-war housing onto the miners themselves: even as late as the 1960s many NCB-owned homes had no inside plumbing, toilets or any of the amenities people by now had come to expect. By the 1980s all housing had been disposed of, including the more up-market managers' homes, but at the time of the Hamiltons' occupancy, the Florence Road dwelling was still owned by the Coal Board.
Neil Hamilton in the 1966 Amman Valley Grammar School photograph
Neil Hamilton was brought up in Ammanford and educated at Amman Valley Grammar School. His interest in politics took hold at an unusually young age and he started debating at twelve in Amman Valley Grammar School. He stood as a Conservative in a school mock election in 1966 and came last with just four votes, the Welsh Nationalist Party Plaid Cymru running out easy winners, and the Communist candidate coming second. Curiously this setback seems not to have put him off elections, at least in a safer constituency than the solidly Welsh-speaking and socialist Amman Valley Grammar School. Hamilton wasn't any more successful at elections when he went to university either. In 1973 he stood as chairman of the Federation of Conservative Students against David Davis, who would become a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2005:
In 1973, he [David Davis] stood for the chairmanship of the Federation of Conservative Students against Neil Hamilton, later to become notorious for his involvement in the al-Fayed bribery scandal, and Tony Baldry, the current MP for Banbury. On the eve of the election, Baldry, the favourite, was encouraged to drink excessively some say at Davis's expense. In the event, Baldry was urged by Davis's supporters to make an impromptu speech in the bar. "We've got Thatcher by the short and curlies," the Heathite slurred, reeling across the floor. By daybreak, his vote had evaporated. Hamilton's speech the following day was brilliant, hilarious and so rightwing that he attracted no support. Davis's leftish speech won the vote even though it was atrociously delivered. [Guardian, G2, July 11th 2005]
The past can be a wonderful place to visit and as a source of comedy for the present it's often hard to beat. By 2005 David Davis was still unable to improve on his atrocious speechmaking capabilities, even with over thirty years to practice his oratorical skills. At the Tory Party Conference in September 2005 his 'unassailable' lead in the Tory leadership campaign of that year evaporated in the brief time it took to deliver his disastrous leadership address to the party faithful. This time the other leadership contenders were all sober. The 56 year old Davis then lost the leadership election to a 38 year old unknown, David Cameron, who'd spent much of the election campaign dodging questions about his alleged cocaine use. Despite never actually denying the allegations, Cameron iinflicted an overwhelming defeat on Davis.
One of Hamilton's electoral successes during his student days at University College Wales (UCW) Aberystwyth was to be become editor of the university's student magazine. However, in the process he seems to have fallen into a time warp and slipped back to the days of Hitler's Third Reich, at least according to this letter published in Private Eye magazine in April 2007:
I read with interest the letter from Glyn Morris in Eye 1181 on the Federation of Conservative Students behaviour in UCW Aberystwyth in the late 1980s. I was also a student at UCW Aberystwyth but in the early 1970s (1970 to 73 to be precise). The majority of students then were moderate and relatively well behaved apart from a small number who supported the editor of the Student Magazine in 1972. A certain Neil Hamilton (for it was he!). In those days of student grants and democracy the editor of the Students Union magazine was elected and the hustings for this election were fascinating. Mr. Hamilton paraded forth supported by henchmen in brown shirts and jackboots in a theatrical pastiche of a Nazi rally. Amazingly Neil was elected and renovated the tired left wing student magazine into a "splendid" right wing organ with masthead styled on the eagle emblem of the Third Reich (great stuff!). So it seems that the right moron tendency in UCW Aberystwyth had its roots further back in history (as did the previous Tory government). [Private Eye, Letters, Edition 1182, April 13-26, 2007, page 15.]
Former BBC war correspondent Martin Bell, 'The Man in the White Suit', and electoral Nemesis of Neil Hamilton in 1997
2. Enter the Man in White
After Amman Valley Grammar School, Hamilton went to Aberystwyth University where he studied Economics and next obtained a law degree at Trinity College, Cambridge. He became a barrister in 1979. His first, unsuccessful, attempts at getting elected to Parliament were in safe Labour seats, the usual apprenticeship young Tory hopefuls have to serve before a winnable constituency is thrown their way. In the February 1974 election he was unsuccessful in the Labour stronghold of Abertillery, East Wales, failing again at Bradford North in 1979, where "an election flyer espoused 'coloured' repatriation, as did a speech to the Tory selection committee at the same time". [The Guardian, December 22nd 1999]
The next point on the upward curve of Hamilton's career was to be finally elected MP for Tatton, a safe Tory seat in Cheshire, in 1983. He didn't know it at the time but his career was to exhibit a much more rapid and steeper downward trajectory fourteen years later when he lost to Martin Bell (Independent) in the 1997 general election in an anti-sleaze campaign. Both the Labour and Liberal parties withdrew their candidates at this election to allow Martin Bell a free run at Hamilton an almost unheard of arrangement.
Conference Ban: So devastating to Tory fortunes was this scandal that in 1998 party leader William Hague named him as one of the MPs who had brought the party into disrepute and asked him not to attend that year's Conservative Conference.
The high point of his career was from 1992 to 1994 when he achieved his highest position in the Tory government as Minister for Corporate Affairs at the Department of Trade and Industry, with Swansea-born Michael Heseltine as his Secretary of State.
In the 1997 Who's Who he lists 'silence' amongst his pursuits. Perhaps his alleged involvement in extreme right-wing organisations in the 1970s, which he refuted, might have stimulated his interest in silence.
3. "Cash for Questions" Scandal
The fall of Neil Hamilton back in 1994 is somewhat convoluted but basically he was initially found guilty of accepting money from Harrod's owner, Mohammed al Fayed, to ask questions on his behalf in Parliament, an activity officially frowned on, though not quite as much as getting caught, it seems. As the BBC website summarises the affair:
1985-90: The Guardian and Mohamed al-Fayed claim that Neil Hamilton acted on behalf of Mr. al-Fayed, the owner of Harrods, in return for cash famously stuffed into brown envelopes and payments in kind (including two free trips to the Paris Ritz, gifts from the store Peter Jones, Harrod's vouchers). 
Neil & Christine Hamilton
Hamilton was forced to resign in 1994 from his post as a junior minister in the department of Trade and Industry. In 1997 an official inquiry by Parliament's watchdog, the Select Committee on Standards and Privileges, led by Sir Gordon Downey, concluded that he had been guilty. (Sir Gordon Downey had been appointed the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards on 15th November 1995, serving the newly-created Committee for Standards and Privileges.)
The evidence that Hamilton took cash from Mr. al-Fayed for asking questions was said by the Downey Inquiry to be "compelling". The amounts involved were said to be in the region of £25,000. It must have been a shock to Neil Hamilton when this inquiry found against him, for he had initially been very happy with the choice of Sir Gordon Downey to look into the matter. Hamilton had initially brought a libel action against the Guardian newspaper who published these allegations, but then:
Hamilton dropped that action and announced that he would take his case to Sir Gordon Downey. In doing so he expressed every confidence in him, saying: "He used to be the Comptroller and Auditor General [and] is perfectly capable of assessing this evidence." 
According to the BBC website, quoted above:
The libel case was dropped following exposure that Mr. Hamilton, as a junior Trade Minister, told his boss, Michael Heseltine, that he did not have a financial relationship with Mr. Greer [a Parliamentary lobbyist], although he had received two £5,000 commission payments for the introduction of new business.
The final Parliamentary report on this affair took Hamilton to task over his 'omission' to Michael Heseltine:
The Commissioner's finding that Mr. Heseltine was "deliberately misled" appears to us to be justified. [The Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Eighth Report, paragraph 6 (ii)]
(There's something distinctly odd about the language used in Parliament and its official publications. One notable curiosity is that a Member of Parliament cannot be called a liar. Roundabout some might say evasive ways have to be found instead to accuse someone of this offence. A Member of Parliament can be accused of 'terminological inexactitude', or of being 'economical with the truth', but not of telling porkie-pies; and while a Member can 'deliberately mislead' someone, they can never actually lie. 'Curiouser and curiouser', murmured Alice, stumbling through a Wonderland that was sanity itself compared to Parliament.)
Neil Hamilton has contacted this website and wishes it pointed out that:
The House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee explicitly refused to endorse Sir Gordon Downey's conclusion re the 'compelling' evidence that I had taken Fayed's money. Downey's Inquiry was widely criticised on grounds of glaring breaches of natural justice. [E-mail dated 2nd June 2005.]
It's interesting how quickly Sir Gordon Downey, a man whom Hamilton judged was 'perfectly capable of assessing this evidence', could suddenly become incapable of "natural justice". The editor of the Guardian newspaper, in a letter to the House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee over this matter, outlined his objections to a second inquiry:
We were impressed by the care, fairness and seriousness with which Sir Gordon and Mr. Pleming approached their task. This was a case of great complexity, and we think your committee was well-served by the Commissioner. He, in turn, was generous enough to acknowledge the role this newspaper played in bringing serious abuses to the attention of parliament. At paragraph 33 he wrote: "I also wish to acknowledge that, but for the Guardian's persistence in pursuing its original investigations, many of these serious allegations would never have been brought into the open."
....So that was the situation at the beginning of July. Mr. Hamilton had chosen this tribunal. The tribunal had ruled. That, we imagined, would be that.
....It was with some astonishment, then, that we learned that Mr. Hamilton was to be allowed the opportunity to present his case all over again for the best part of two and a half hours entirely unchallenged and on live television.
....Mr. Hamilton, who had waived parliamentary privilege when it suited him, was granted the shield of parliamentary privilege to make the gravest possible accusations against virtually everyone else connected with the affair. In particular, he was allowed to make the accusation that two senior reporters on this paper had entered into a conspiracy with its former editor and myself to lie and to doctor evidence to the inquiry ...
....It is, of course, entirely right that a complaint about an MP should be subjected to rigorous examination. We have never objected to that. We believe that Sir Gordon and Mr. Pleming tested our evidence as sternly as anyone could reasonably expect. But it is difficult to imagine a greater deterrent to anyone contemplating making a complaint against an MP in future than that the MP should be given carte blanche to destroy their reputations on live television, with complete immunity and free from any form of challenge. [ ]
4. The Two Parliamentary Select Committee Reports
As can be seen, the whole business still refuses to lie down and be forgotten, and the complexities of the matter are compounded even further in that Parliament published eight reports on the whole affair. Two of these reports, however, contain judgements most relevant to Neil Hamilton the First and the Eighth reports. The parliamentary body responsible for ensuring MPs behave themselves is called the Select Committee on Standards and Privileges. (This committee consists of Members of Parliament, so effectively MPs police themselves.) The First Select Committee on Standards and Privileges report (also known as the Downey Report) was the one that denounced Hamilton with these words:
'The evidence that Mr. Hamilton received cash payments directly from Mr. Al Fayed in return for lobbying services is compelling; and I so conclude.'
[The Select Committee on Standards and Privileges First Report; Mr. Hamilton, paragraph (i)]
Another and mercifully final publication, the Eighth Report (but confusingly sub-titled the 'Second Further Report: Mr. Neil Hamilton'), revised some of the conclusions of the First Report, and this is the one that Neil Hamilton refers to in his e-mail quoted above. But it also contains the following conclusion to prove that matters aren't quite so clear-cut as all that:
Mr. Hamilton's conduct fell seriously and persistently below the standards which the House is entitled to expect of its Members. Had Mr. Hamilton still been a Member we would have recommended a substantial period of suspension from the service of the House. These conclusions are justified by paragraph 6 alone.
[The Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Eighth Report, paragraph 7]
The paragraph 6 referred to is a list of conclusions about Hamilton's role. The list consists of 5 sub-paragraphs and 7 sub-sub-paragraphs, all of them critical of Hamilton, and concludes with:
Cumulatively this list of omissions adds up to a casualness bordering on indifference or contempt towards the rules of the House [of Commons] on disclosure of interests.
[The Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Eighth Report, paragraph 6]
There's a 'pick and mix', something-for-everyone element to interpreting these various reports that allows for an awful lot of leeway, so in order that readers can judge for themselves, here are three websites to help them come to some conclusions of their own:
1 A brief chronology of events can be found on the BBC website : 2 The conclusions of the Select Committee on Standards and Privileges 3 The Select Committee on Standards and Privileges
5. The Hamiltons and bankruptcy
The Old Rectory in the Cheshire hamlet of Nether Alderley has been through a turbulent few years. For a while, at least, it was home to Neil Hamilton, the former MP for Tatton who in May 2001 was declared bankrupt and put the house up for sale.
The bankruptcy order came at the end of a series of protracted libel actions Hamilton took against the Guardian newspaper and Mohammed Al Fayed. The legal proceedings date back to Hamilton's involvement in the 'cash for questions' affair in 1994, when he was accused of taking backhanders from Harrods' owner Mohammed Al Fayed in exchange for asking specific questions in the House. He lost all his libel actions and faced legal bills of £3 million as a result. He had resigned his junior post in the Government in 1994 when the allegations were first made and later lost his parliamentary seat in the 1997 General Election to Independent candidate and former BBC journalist Martin Bell.
After the bankruptcy hearing, instigated by Mohammed Al Fayed in order to pay the legal bills, he said that he would be taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights. Throughout his career Hamilton was known for implacable Euroscepticism.
The Old Rectory went on the market for £1.25 million, appearing on the www. assertahome.com database with the following description:
The Old Rectory The Hamilton's former Cheshire home, sold for £1.25 million in 2003.
"Formerly the Rectory to Nether Alderley church, this magnificent 6 bedroom 4 bathroom Georgian Mansion nestles in the heart of the hamlet of Nether Alderley and is steeped in history past and present. Offering splendid entertaining rooms with high ceilings, open fireplaces and deep skirting boards to the ground floor and 6 large bedrooms, 3 with en suite bathrooms and separate family bathroom upstairs. Approximately 0.75 acres of mature gardens with open views to the rear."
Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine had bought the house from the Church of England several years before this. It was too big, too spacious, for practical use as clergy accommodation, even in an area as ruthlessly upmarket as Alderley Edge. Despite being declared bankrupt in May 2000 with debts estimated at £3 million they somehow managed to hold onto this Cheshire home for three years after being declared bankrupt, at the same time as living in a flat worth about £500,000 in a select London area. We should all be so bankrupt. The sale of their Cheshire house was reported in the website for the borough of Wandsworth, where the couple live in London:
Hamiltons sell home 26/06/03
Battersea residents Neil and Christine Hamilton have sold their Cheshire mansion for £1 .25 million. The couple are moving out of The Old Rectory in Nether Alderley after Mr. Hamilton was declared bankrupt. They have been forced to sell after Neil, the former MP for Tatton, failed in a libel action and subsequent appeal against Harrods boss Mohammed Al Fayed leaving them debts to be rumoured around £3 million.
The Hamiltons claimed that they planned to sell the house, pay off the bill and "downshift" to smaller accommodation in the south of England. The pair now earn most of their income from speaking engagements, television appearances and "celebrity appearances" and they are said to have tired of endless commuting up and down the M6. To find out what their after dinner speeches are like will entail a fee of a few thousand pounds. Most readers of this website will know of better uses for such sums of money.
Bradfield Manor, Wiltshire, current country home of the Hamiltons.
Neil Hamilton was formally discharged from bankruptcy in 2004 and before the year was out the Hamiltons had purchased a new country residence in Wiltshire to go with their Battersea town flat:
"The disgraced former Tory MP and his wife began moving into Bradfield Manor, a seven-bedroom Cotswold home set in 13 acres close to the village of Norton ... Mr. Hamilton said buying the £1 million manor was the couple's Christmas present ... Bradfield Manor is a Grade I-listed building with four reception rooms, seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, a self-contained flat on top of a tennis court and paddocks." [First published in the Malmesbury Gazette and Herald on Thursday 23 December 2004. See www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk for the full story.]
Bradfield Manor, which was restored in 1930, dates from Doomsday times and the current building is pre-Tudor in construction. One of its previous owners was King Edward IV (reigned 14611483), a rather more illustrious figure than these two low-grade celebrities. All this from being 'objects of media curiosity' (see below), which must make millions of hardworking people who can't afford to buy even a basic home wonder what they've been doing wrong all these years. For a brief history of Bradfield Manor see: http://www.britannia.com/history/wilts/mm-wilts1.html.
6. Cleared of false rape charge
Disgraced first in the 'cash for questions' scandal in 1994, Hamilton received a rather nasty shock in 2001 when he and his wife Christine were jointly accused of being involved in a rape incident in August that year. In a twist to the story worthy of the best thriller writers, their accuser herself was later found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Accuser sentenced 13/06/03
Nadine Milroy-Sloan, who falsely accused Wandsworth residents Christine and Neil Hamilton of rape has been jailed for three years ... The Hamiltons ordeal began when they were arrested and held for five hours at a police station in August 2001. Nadine Milroy-Sloan had made a statement saying she had been assaulted by the couple in a flat in Ilford However, the Hamiltons had never met the woman, and proved that they were nowhere near Ilford at the time of the alleged attack. The 29-year-old mother of four was convicted as the Judge said 'It's becoming too easy for people to sell fake allegations about well-known people to the Press, and the courts have to deal with it firmly' (From www.mywandsworth.co.uk then click on 'celebs & gossip' )
7. Objects of Media Curiosity
And to find out what the Hamiltons have been up to since Neil was booted out of the corridors of power, here are some examples from the 'celebs & gossip' section of the www.mywandsworth.co.uk website. On this evidence dignity is not a concept the Hamiltons fully grasp. As Neil Hamilton himself admits below: "Christine and I now make a living having become objects of media curiosity". Got it in one.
But surely the lowest Neil Hamilton has sunk since becoming an 'object of media curiosity' was his appearance on a British TV programme 'Johnny Vegas 18 Stone of Idiot', broadcast by Channel 4 on May 27th 2005. His role in this grotesque programme? Disco dancing in a cage while being bombarded with mackerel! Proof, if needed, that there's definitely something fishy about Neil Hamilton, while the inane grin on this former government minister's face, as a bucketful of mackerel was poured over his head, should dispel any lingering doubts that Parliament is a better place for his absence.
How erotic! March 2004
How much of a turn on was it for Christine Hamilton and sidekick husband Neil to open the world's largest erotic festival, Erotica 2004? The Hamiltons were on hand to open the show at the G-Mex Centre in Manchester for the start of the three day festival. Neil wore a beige suit and a bow tie, and was led on the stage by two scantily clad women. He said 'I used to be a Government whip. I used to provide the instruments of torture to my colleagues." Christine meanwhile was wearing a red jacket and white trousers, and was accompanied on stage by two men in leather thong underwear. She said: "You may wonder why we are here. I'm a liberated lady. I may be middle-aged, but I'm not boring. We have left the fantasy world of politics for the real world of showbiz and erotica." The two then posed for photographs, with Neil lifting a girl in pink undies onto his back and the two men lifting up Christine.
Yucky couple 11/02/03 (Courtesy of Heat Magazine)
Adverts for VH1's Valentine's Love-In programme featured Christine and Neil Hamilton getting frisky in the back row of a cinema. Viewers saw the couple snogging and sharing a chocolate bar. And did we mention the crotch-groping?
Christine gets cosmetic surgery live on TV 23/04/02
Battersea's Christine Hamilton is to receive cosmetic surgery live on Gloria Hunniford's Channel 5 show 'Open House' on Wednesday 24 April. The 52-year-old wife of former Tory MP Neil will have anti-wrinkle injections in her face to see if the treatment really works. "Many of my friends think I'm potty and don't need the injections. They think I look pretty good for my age. "But sometimes when you look in the mirror, the reflection that you see doesn't always suit the way a person feels inside," Mrs. Hamilton said. "The most I've ever had before is two facials but you know me, I'm game for a laugh and willing to try anything once."
Neil Hamilton to pose nude for Cosmo 22/02/02
Following the esteemed company of Burt Reynolds and Eminem, Neil Hamilton is to pose nude for the centre pages of Cosmopolitan magazine. Hamilton says he is "frightfully keen" to be a centrefold. Hamilton and his wife Christine recently posed naked as Adam and Eve for GQ magazine. They had just a few fig leaves to protect their modesty. "I've got a good body and work out. Why not?" Hamilton told London's Evening Standard. "One must always look for new ways of reinventing oneself. Christine and I now make a living having become objects of media curiosity."
Neil and Christine's career goes to pot 25/01/02
In another successful attempt to keep themselves in the media torchlight as well as earn some more money to pay for Neil's bankruptcy, the Hamiltons are to take part in a Cheech and Chong tribute evening on the Paramount Comedy Channel on 8 February. Presumably this is the kind of joke that will appeal to stoned viewers. One segment shows Neil holding an oversize (presumably fake) reefer. The evening programme will feature the 1970s pothead comedy duo's two film 'classics', Up in Smoke and Still Smoking.
Even Neil Hamilton's alma mater, Cambridge University, takes a dim view of our gruesome twosome's post-parliamentary 'careers', if the pages of the Cambridge student newspaper, Varsity, is any indication. This publication doesn't believe in pulling punches about one of their old boys and his lady wife:
Neil and Christine Hamilton are media whores. Abused and beaten up by the Press, they can't survive without the media appearance fees. They are stuck in a Catch 22, where they are dependent on the people who have in many respects ruined their life. Worst of all they are outwardly cheerful about the whole thing. On interviewing them in the Union I was struck by how sad the whole affair was; in fact Neil and Christine Hamilton are sad people ...
....Finally the time was up, the Hamiltons had to go to bed early as they had to be ready to present the Big Breakfast at 4am. This typifies their life: they have become C-list celebrities going wherever the next media cheque sends them. Their downfall was admittedly of their own making; however two people with no choice other than to make their money by ridiculing themselves is not an edifying sight. After starting with high aspirations, Hamilton is aware of his place in history: "I will probably be some footnote to a chapter and possibly in twenty years some PhD student from a mid-Western state will do a dissertation on me." Their hopes and their integrity disappeared when they first met with Al Fayed and his cash-filled envelopes. A footnote in history is now the best they can hope for. (Adam Joseph: Sex, Lies and the Hamiltons; Varsity, 23/11/2001).
The Hollow Man?
It's been distasteful having to tell such a tacky story in the company of the other people in this section of our website. People like Watcyn Wyn, Llwyd, Amanwy, Nantlais, Tegfan or Gomer Roberts may have been minor figures writing in a language in decline, but where their stories belong in the bound volumes of history, Hamilton's shoddy tale will be found only in the flimsy pages of the tabloids, probably indexed under "S" for Sleaze. Their hymns are still sung in the Welsh-speaking chapels of Wales, at least for now. They were all honourable people, who struggled against tremendous adversity to reach the positions they did, as the brief telling of their stories in this website can testify. And they struggled only in order to serve their communities and their congregations, not for self interest. Their triumph is therefore all the greater than Neil Hamilton's dubious media fame. T. S. Eliot's 1925 poem "The Hollow Men" gives a pretty accurate description of Neil Hamilton, a "hollow man" in every sense.
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless ...
Date this page last updated: October 1, 2010