The 1922 committee

Every Wednesday afternoon when the House of Commons is in session, backbench Conservative MPs meet in the well-known 1922 Committee. When important political events are taking place or when MPs are restive (often the two go together), meetings are crowded and discussion is lively.

How should Tory Party leaders be elected?

On 26 August Matthew Parris devoted his weekly column in The Times to the procedures for electing the leader of the Conservative Party. The final decision, which is now made by the party membership should, he argued, be restored to MPs.

Same-sex wedding of fake peers

Writing in The Spectator on 29 July, Charles Moore drew attention to an unusual marriage announced in The Times—between Lord Blackmore and Lord Hiscutt in the Palace of Westminster. Why had the first ever same-sex marriage of two peers not made a news story?

The partition of India seventy years ago

In August 1947, the Indian sub-continent was divided into two independent states, India and Pakistan, following the end of British rule. The provinces of Punjab and Bengal were split; areas with a Hindu majority were included in India, those with majority of Muslims in Pakistan.

Politicians and History

Nearly a hundred of our current MPs studied history at university. That means that more of them than ever before have written and thought about the past during their higher education.

Courts and quads

The well-known satirical novel, Porterhouse Blue, published in 1974, is set in a fictional Cambridge college. It was referred to in an article by Iain Martin published in The Times on August 3. A light-hearted letter from Alistair Lexden followed on August 5.

Easier voting for servicemen and women overseas

Many servicemen and women posted abroad are effectively disenfranchised because of the cumbersome requirements that have to be met in order to register to vote and cast a ballot.

Gay arrival

An article in The Daily Telegraph on July 31 mentioned that a number of well-known people—including Benjamin Britten, John Gielgud and Kenneth Williams-- “who contributed so much to our national life in the last century were homosexual. Not gay, note.

Queen Victoria and her Indian attendant

Abdul Karim (1863-1909), a clerk from Agra, joined Queen Victoria’s household in 1887, and rapidly won her affection. She made him her secretary responsible for Indian correspondence, and over the years learned a good deal of Hindustani from him. He came to be known as her ‘munshi’ (or teacher).