Shoulder-Shrugging

Julian Critchley

  • Dear Bill: Bill Deedes Reports by W.F. Deedes
    Macmillan, 396 pp, £20.00, October 1997, ISBN 0 333 71386 9

Has anyone ever been unkind in public about Bill Deedes? I rather doubt it. I was in the House of Commons with him from 1959 until 1964, and also had the occasional dealing with him when he presided over Hartwell’s Telegraph. In the House, he struck a newcomer as the ideal backbencher. He was intelligent (for a Tory, that is), enjoyed an excess of charm, and was a moderate in a party that was beginning to lose patience with Harold Macmillan. I thought him the most influential of Tory backbenchers, more so than Major Morrison, the bucolic chairman of the 1922 Committee, or buffoons like Gerald Nabarro.

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