Mrs May and history

It is Alistair Lexden’s view as a historian that Mrs May has done worse than any of her Tory predecessors. He has repeated his view on a number of occasions, and did so again in a letter in The Daily Telegraph on 24 May, the day she finally announced her resignation.

The Man who was Saturday

The Man who was Saturday: The Extraordinary Life of Airey Neave, Soldier, Escaper, Spymaster, Politician
Patrick Bishop, William Collins, £20 (hardback)

Politicians and projectiles

A light-hearted article in The Times on May 21 discussed the new fashion for dousing election candidates with milkshakes. In a letter published in the paper on May 23, Alistair Lexden recalled how candidates in the 19th century tended to deal with projectiles aimed at them.

A great man who was not a Tory

William Wilberforce will always be revered for the leading part he played in the long campaign to secure the abolition of the slave trade which was finally achieved in 1807. The well-known claim that he was a Tory was repeated in an article in The Daily Telegraph on 1 May.

The first woman Prime Minister and her defamed predecessor

Each week, Parliament’s House Magazine includes a diary piece by a member of the Lords. Having written it from time to time in the past, Alistair Lexden was asked to contribute again for the issue of the magazine published on 6 May.

A famous death by drowning

In June 1916, a national hero, Lord Kitchener, was drowned off the Orkneys.  Official documents, recording what happened, remained classified for far too long. Now the full story has been told in a fine book by David Laws, the former Lib Dem minister in David Cameron’s coalition government.

The Conservative Party's greatest crisis ever?

In Alistair Lexden’s judgement, the Conservative Party is now facing the greatest crisis in its long history. Sadly, this government has failed to meet the huge challenge that Brexit created; the consequences have been disastrous.

Prejudice against British India

Alistair Lexden’s letter about the Amritsar massacre a hundred years ago this month, published in The Daily Telegraph on 3 April (see below), drew comments from a reader, Chris Devine.

Sir Robert Peel and Theresa May

As the Brexit crisis deepened still further at the start of April , an earlier Tory crisis was recalled in the media—that caused by Peel’s repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. Alistair Lexden compared the two crises in a letter published in The Times on April 4.

Centenary of the Amritsar massacre

On 13 April 1919 British Indian Army troops under the command of Col. Reginald Dyer fired into a crowd that had gathered in a public garden at Amritsar in the Punjab. All  meetings had been banned. The ban had not , however, been well publicised.