Disraeli's Abyssinian triumph

On 4 April, a report in The Daily Telegraph referred to a scheme being considered by the Victoria and Albert Museum under which Ethiopia would be allowed to loan some of the historic items brought from that country (then known as Abyssinia) 150 years ago after its defeat by British forces.

A chilly Easter in Lexden

The Easter Act 1928 provides that Easter Day would always occur between 9 and 15 April, putting an end to the wide fluctuations in the date between late March and late April. There would be no more “early Easters”, of which this year provides an example.

Parliament's duty to Northern Ireland

On 27 March, the Lords debated and passed three Northern Ireland Bills which would have been dealt with by the devolved Northern Ireland Assembly if it had been sitting.  Fifteen months have now passed since it last met and transacted business.

The MPs who died in the First World War

Nearly a third of MPs served in the First World War; 22 died. A new book, Led by Lions, summarises the careers of those who gave their lives. A review of this significant book by Alistair Lexden is attached.

Human Rights in the Commonwealth

On March 22, the Lords debated the government’s plans for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in London in April.

Free school meals

Controversy has arisen over the impact of the new streamlined welfare payment, universal credit, on the provision of free school meals. Critics say that the number of children in poor families getting a good free meal at school will drop sharply.

Chamberlain and Churchill - a perfect partnership

Patrick Donner, a Second World War RAF pilot and Tory MP, wrote in his memoirs: “must not the final verdict be that Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill between them saved this country?  Neither statesman would have achieved our salvation without the other”.

Bringing state and independent schools together

Contrary to widespread belief, independent schools have never disdained contact with their counterparts in the state sector. There has never been a “Berlin Wall” between them, as some politicians have alleged.

Attempted political theft

On March 7, The Times reported that Henry Bolton, recently ousted as UKIP’s leader, has launched his own political party called One Nation.

Did Churchill drink too much?

Many people have said that he did. In a recent interview, reported in The Daily Telegraph on 2 March, his 97-year-old niece, Lady Avon (widow of Anthony Eden), denied that his consumption was out of the ordinary.