The Balfour Declaration

On 2 November 1917, Lord Balfour, then Foreign Secretary, signed a short 67-word letter to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British-Jewish community, containing a statement which instantly became famous as the Balfour Declaration when it was released to the press seven days later.

250th letter in The Times - and a record

Alistair Lexden’s letter in The Times on October 30 (see below) was his 250th in what is generally regarded as the most famous letters page in the world.

Too many Privy Councillors

There is widespread agreement that Britain has too many MPs and too many peers with seats in the Lords. The excessive number of Privy Councillors— people who style themselves Right Honourable—has passed almost unnoticed.

Books and indexes

Books need proper indexes if the reader is to be able to find his or her way around them. A letter published in The Spectator magazine on 21 October stated: ‘Someone once argued that publishing a non-fiction book without an index should be against the law’.

Ten days in the Upper House

The editors of Parliament’s House Magazine, published weekly when Parliament is in session, ask a member of each House to write a diary column about their recent work. Alistair Lexden has contributed to the magazine in this way from time to time, and did so again in the issue published on 20 Octo

Great letters from The Times

A book entitled The Times Great Letters has just been published by Times Books. It contains a wide range of letters drawn from the newspaper’s famous daily letters page over the last century.

Who invented One Nation Conservatism?

Disraeli is widely believed to have originated it. Several years ago, however, Alistair Lexden established that he had never used the famous phrase which first appeared much later.

Capitalism and conservatism

Successful Conservative economic policies have always been based on the principles of capitalism. Those principles have not been given much prominence recently. Will they now be vigorously reasserted?

Chris Patten's Ulster errors

Chris Patten’s first job in government was a junior post at the Northern Ireland Office which he held from 1983 to 1985.

Our future King

A leading article in The Times on September 16 expressed concern that the Prince of Wales might seek to bring undue influence to bear on ministers when he becomes King. Alistair Lexden responded with a defence of the Prince in a letter published in the paper on September 18.