Wider access to independent schools - lessons from history

In the aftermath of today’s crisis, there may well be a disposition to re-examine the place of independent schools in British society. Any such re-examination should take into account what has happened in the past. The historical background is surveyed in the following article published on 22 May in an issue of the ISC’s Bulletin, which is circulated to its 1,300 member schools.

A peculiar parson

The Rev. David Johnson (1953-2020) was a flamboyant High Church Anglican priest, misogynist and wit (often mocking his own Bishops) who took to the bottle. In the mid-1970s, before ordination, he was a star performer in debates at the Cambridge Union.

Intolerable rudeness about Dizzy

In the April issue of a new magazine The Critic, Simon Heffer, a well-known journalist who also writes history books, published an extraordinary, almost hysterical, attack on Disraeli, attempting, among other things, to reawaken the tired old condemnation of him as a complete charlatan.

Urgent work on Europe

The Lords Committees which scrutinise European policies in detail have been reconstituted this month.

Churchill and the welfare state

It is not uncommon for Churchill to be accused of opposing the welfare state created after the Second World War. The charge resurfaced in The Times on May 7.

Dizzy's great biographer

In an article in The Spectator of 9 May, Simon Heffer, a prolific journalist who also writes history books, picked out a number of political biographies, published in the 20th century, that have stood the test of time. As a writer on historical subjects, Heffer has a grievous fault: prejudice.

Tory babies at No 10

The child born to Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds on 29 April prompted this letter from Alistair Lexden which was published in The Daily Telegraph on 2 May.


Why do we need change?

“Change? Why do we need change? Aren’t things bad enough as they are?”

Queen Victoria's "Greatest gift to her people"

In her superb biography of Queen Victoria, published in 1964, Elizabeth Longford wrote: “It might well be claimed that Queen Victoria’s greatest gift to her people was a refusal to accept pain in childbirth as woman’s divinely appointed destiny.”