Blog

Brexit is proving to be a brutal experience for all our institutions including the Church of England

  • 11 Oct 2019

Like a great scythe Brexit slices its way through our national life, from Parliament to the courts, the civil service to civil society, no institution or organisation, public or private, is left untouched – including the nation’s Church, the Church of England. Brexit is, and w...

Thatcher: A Very British Revolution

  • 28 Sep 2019

BBC Two, 20 May–17 June 2019 First published in the Conservative History Group's journal To mark the fortieth anniversary of the Conservative Party’s 1979 general election victory and Margaret Thatcher’s arrival in Downing Street as Prime Minister,the BBC produced a five...

The 1960s - what a time

  • 13 Sep 2019

“You must go and study under Hennessy,” said Ben Pimlott on the day I graduated from his Masters course in politics and public administration at Birkbeck. “You’ve a lot in common – he’s a journalist, likes tweed jackets, loves the Queen, and he’s conservative in the best sense...

The Battle of the Atlantic has much to teach us today

  • 3 Sep 2019

September 3rd 2019 marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Atlantic. It was the single biggest and longest battle of the Second World War, lasting five years eight months and five days. It involved the Royal and Merchant Navies and eight other allied p...

Boris Johnson proroguing parliament proves he has a plan – unlike everyone else

  • 28 Aug 2019

The announcement this morning that Boris Johnson is to deliver a Queen’s Speech and that this requires the prorogation of Parliament should come as no surprise to anyone. It is a perfectly obvious and constitutionally respectable move by the Prime Minister. Mr Johnson is actin...

Archbishop has role to play in Brexit saga

  • 27 Aug 2019

Brexit continues to consume the national debate. It is the latest chapter in the long and (probably) never to be resolved story of our islands’ relationship with the European continent. From Viking raiders, through to Roman occupation,  Duke William of Normandy’s conquering th...

A Citizen Assembly: a bold initiative or a political cop-out?

  • 20 Jun 2019

Whilst most eyes at Westminster are resolutely fixed on the knock-out rounds of the Conservative leadership contest and Labour’s ongoing swithering on its position on a second Brexit referendum an influential coalition of MPs announced plans for a Citizen’s Assembly. Six of th...

The Civil Service: 165 years on from Northcote-Trevelyan

  • 20 Jun 2019

On a sunny day in late June 2019 the great and the good gathered at Westminster Abbey to remember and celebrate the life of Jeremy Heywood, Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service. It was a remarkable gathering of leading politicians, civil servants, business fi...

Why Boris Johnson wants to be the prime minister

  • 18 Jun 2019

In 2005 I was a Parliamentary candidate in a key marginal seat and Boris had agreed to come and speak in support of my candidacy. I collected him from the station and he slumped into the seat beside me. A shadowy figure slipped into the back of the car. He pulled out a file an...

In Trafalgar Square Justin Welby achieved something remarkable

  • 10 Jun 2019

Yesterday the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, did an extraordinary thing – he brought prayer to the heart of London. You would not know it if you rely on the mainstream media – newspapers, TV or radio – for your information because none of them covered the event in Tra...