Enoch Powell and conservatism

The recent 50th anniversary of Enoch Powell’s ‘rivers of blood’ speech brought out his critics in force.

Poor quality special advisors

Nearly 90 temporary civil servants, known as Special Advisers, work directly for government ministers, assisting them with the party political aspects of their work.

The Fawcetts - a unique tribute

On 24 April, Dame Millicent Fawcett, leader of the highly successful, law-abiding women’s suffragist campaign, became the first woman to be commemorated by a statue in Parliament Square.

60th anniversary of life peerages

On 30 April 1958, Harold Macmillan’s Bill to create peers for life became law. Alistair Lexden marked the 60th anniversary of this major constitutional reform by publishing an account of the Bill, and what was said about it at the time, in Parliament’s House Magazine.


Neville Chamberlain - the unappreciated merits

This article stems from a lecture which I gave at the Carlton Club in March. I have for long been deeply interested in the career of Neville Chamberlain, the man who founded the Conservative Research Department where I spent much of my career.

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.

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.

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”.

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.