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Edward Pearce, 26 July 1990

A Sparrow’s Flight: Memoirs 
by Lord Hailsham.
Collins, 463 pp., £17.50, July 1990, 0 00 215545 1
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... of Quintin Hogg suggest themselves. Perched upon the horsehair seat known as the Woolsack is the Lord Chancellor, hands clasped at the top of his walking-stick, tricorn hat sitting on his full-bottomed wig. On such a formal occasion he looked totally a man of the 18th century, so much did the face and manner fit the rigout. Most modern men in fancy dress ...

Smart Alec

Peter Clarke, 17 October 1996

Alec Douglas-Home 
by D.R. Thorpe.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 540 pp., £25, October 1996, 1 85619 277 6
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... of a leadership contest which turned the coroneted head of another contender, the once and future Lord Hailsham, by unmasking him as nothing more than a professional politician out of the chorus line in Iolanthe. D.R. Thorpe’s reference at one point in this engaging new biography to ‘the insouciant calm under pressure that eight hundred years of ...

Diary

Clive James: Lord's Day, 7 February 1985

... but be dire. Somehow the idea had got about that it was a lively moment in the House of Lords when Lord Hailsham bounced up and down on the Woolsack, and that in the normal course of business there was nothing to be heard from the buttoned red leather benches – pictures of these had been seen in the colour-supplements – except the death rattle of ...

Professional Misconduct

Stephen Sedley, 17 December 2015

... to the newly set up Office of Judicial Complaints resulted in a public reprimand from the lord chancellor and the lord chief justice, who stated that a firm line had now been drawn under the issue and that the judge enjoyed his full confidence. Whether Mr Justice Peter Smith continues to enjoy the full confidence of ...

Holding all the strings

Ian Gilmour, 27 July 1989

Macmillan. Vol. II: 1957-1986 
by Alistair Horne.
Macmillan, 741 pp., £18.95, June 1989, 0 333 49621 3
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... not writing for himself alone but for future historians. In the summer of 1963 Macmillan had sent Lord Hailsham to Moscow to negotiate the final stage of the treaty to ban nuclear tests. As Minister for Science, Hailsham had not been the obvious choice for such an assignment. But that same summer, when he expected to ...

High Priest of Mumbo-Jumbo

R.W. Johnson, 13 November 1997

Lord HailshamA Life 
by Geoffrey Lewis.
Cape, 403 pp., £25, October 1997, 0 224 04252 1
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... Oxford by-election of 1938, is Under-Secretary for Air in Churchill’s Government by 1945, First Lord of the Admiralty at the time of Suez, the head of various other ministries, Tory Party Chairman and, for a record 12 years, Lord Chancellor, formally the country’s highest office. (The ...

Balfour’s Ghost

Peter Clarke, 20 March 1997

Why Vote Conservative? 
by David Willetts.
Penguin, 108 pp., £3.99, February 1997, 0 14 026304 7
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Why Vote Liberal Democrat? 
by William Wallace.
Penguin, 120 pp., £3.99, February 1997, 0 14 026303 9
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Why Vote Labour? 
by Tony Wright.
Penguin, 111 pp., £3.99, February 1997, 0 14 026397 7
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... 1947, when they commissioned the Labour MP John Parker and the Conservative MP Quintin Hogg, now Lord Hailsham, to produce books of a couple of hundred pages each. ‘When the manuscripts were received,’ the publishers were forced to reveal, ‘it was found that while Mr Parker had kept closely to the length suggested, Mr Hogg’s exposition had run ...
Whatever Happened to the Tories: The Conservatives since 1945 
by Ian Gilmour and Mark Garnett.
Fourth Estate, 448 pp., £25, October 1997, 1 85702 475 3
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... hears. He is very ambivalent about Macmillan, whom he obviously cannot forgive for conjuring Lord Home out of a hat in 1963. Also striking is his dislike of Harold Wilson, who is, broadly speaking, depicted as having debauched British politics by an almost singular lack of principle. Indeed, in his account, not the least benign consequence of a Tory ...

Diary

Michael Stewart: Staggeringly Complacent, 6 June 1985

... Meanwhile we are stuck with a government whose behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre. There is Lord Hailsham – such a venerable member of the Cabinet that even Mrs Thatcher can apparently not bring herself to pension him off – engaging in a rearguard action to preserve the privileges of part of his own legal profession that would have got him ...

From Old Adam to New Eve

Peter Pulzer, 6 June 1985

The Conservative Party from Peel to Thatcher 
by Robert Blake.
Methuen/Fontana, 401 pp., £19.95, May 1985, 0 413 58140 3
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Westminster Blues 
by Julian Critchley.
Hamish Hamilton, 134 pp., £7.95, May 1985, 0 241 11387 3
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... Younger Pitt and Charles James Fox, or with the battle over Parliamentary Reform in the 1830s – Lord Blake prefers the second of these – it is evident that the two parties arose simultaneously. They have not shown equal powers of survival. Whiggery has long disappeared, though 20th-century Conservatives have included a few Whiggish eccentrics. The Liberal ...

When should a judge not be a judge?

Stephen Sedley: Recuse yourself!, 6 January 2011

... person’s prosperity, plainly. The case which set the tone in Britain, in 1848, involved the then lord chancellor, Lord Cottenham. Cottenham turned out to hold shares in the canal company in whose favour he had decided a case brought by a litigious solicitor named Dimes, who had bought a piece of land in order to hold the ...

Subduing the jury

E.P. Thompson, 4 December 1986

... seven. In the Criminal Law Act of 1977 they were further reduced to three. Meanwhile, in 1973, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Hailsham, by an Order in the law vacation, had struck out the ancient practice of listing the occupations of jurors summoned onto the panel. Two further measures were taken in the compendious 1977 ...

The Stansgate Tapes

John Turner, 8 December 1994

Years of Hope: Diaries, Papers and Letters, 1940-62 
by Tony Benn, edited by Ruth Winstone.
Hutchinson, 442 pp., £25, September 1994, 0 09 178534 0
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... a potentially successful political career ahead of him. His concern was shared by others, notably Lord Hailsham, and some of the most interesting entries reveal Benn’s relationships with sundry Tory leaders who were interested in the House of Lords question. R.A. Butler was particularly forthcoming, his personal sympathy and obvious liking for Benn ...

Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens, 28 June 1990

Not Many Dead: Journal of a Year in Fleet Street 
by Nicholas Garland.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £16.95, April 1990, 0 09 174449 0
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A Slight Case of Libel: Meacher v. Trelford and Others 
by Alan Watkins.
Duckworth, 241 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7156 2334 6
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... said Bernard. ‘I heard that at the board meeting where Max’s appointment was being discussed Lord H. strongly opposed the choice. After a while someone handed him a bit of paper which he read and fell silent. I think I know what was written on that paper.’ He scrawled something on a pad, tore off the page and handed it to me. On it he’d written ‘80 ...

Diary

Clive James, 19 August 1982

... away To show the thick foundation wanly glowing, Cracked by his smile of disbelief at meeting Lord Hailsham dressed for the official greeting. If Reagan’s jet-black hair seems slightly strange, What about Hailsham’s wig, sword, socks and cape? The President when dressed to ride the range Looks weird, but not ...

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