George Walden

George Walden a former diplomat, was Principal Private Secretary to David Owen and Lord Carrington when they were at the Foreign Office. He was elected Conservative MP for Buckingham in June.

When I hear talk, as I have done recently, of another review of the Diplomatic Service, nothing occurs to me. This paralysis is induced by a premonition of intolerable tedium. Such a review, I suspect, would be a replay of what happened a decade ago in the Think Tank review: an exercise in evasion designed to conceal more than to illuminate Britain’s real problems. These problems were and remain almost entirely domestic in origin. When you are not prepared to face up to the underlying questions, you invent bogus ones and appoint someone to examine them. That was the way of the last Labour government. It is not supposed to be this government’s style.

Capability Bevin

George Walden, 2 February 1984

One of the more dismal scenes in English literature comes in Gissing’s Henry Rycroft (itself a pretty depressing book), where a labourer on a spree is driven out of a restaurant because he is intimidated by the formalities which go with the food. He ends by wrapping the lot in a newspaper and bolting.

When my book, We Should Know Better, came out, I warned the great Vicky Barnsley of Fourth Estate that she had a real bummer. The Right would like my criticism of state schools, but reject my view that our unique system of educational segregation was largely responsible. The Left would applaud my analysis of private schools while claiming, with careless logic, that state schools were doing fine. I...

Huff and Puff

John Sutherland, 3 October 1996

Every summer, with the absence of Parliamentary news and the arrival of GCSE, A-level and degree results, the great education debate starts up again. This year’s is accompanied by two...

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