An intermittently Liberal anthology compiled by Jonathan Calder

Wednesday, January 28, 2004  

The siege of Sidney Street
The "Sidney Street incident" had taken place while we were abroad, and the Home Secretary, Mr. Churchill, had incurred a certain amount of criticism for calling out the troops and for being there himself. As Mr Balfour observed later, "I understand what the photographer was doing but why the Home Secretary?"

The story was told in heightened terms in the foreign press, with illustrations in red and blue; every English person we encountered demanded what was happening, with vocal complaints that they did not expect this sort of action by a British Government. I will not deny that by the time he reached home Masterman's official loyalty was beginning to show signs of wear and tear.

He burst into Mr. Churchill's room at the Home Office with the query "What the hell have you been doing now, Winston?" The reply, in Winston's characteristic lisp, was unanswerable. "Now Charlie. Don't be croth. It was such fun."

Lucy Masterman C. F. G. Masterman (1939)

posted by Jonathan Calder | 7:57 pm

Sunday, January 18, 2004  

There's enough material here for an entire conference
To middle-class eyes, to those people who founded the National Association for Freedom in 1975 and were convinced that Harold Wilson was a Communist, Fawlty Towers was the Britain of the 1970s: riven by conflict, indifferent to the needs of customers, held back by shoddy workmanship.

interestingly, the only person who could make the hotel work was Basil's gorgon of a wife, Sybil. Like another woman coming to prominence in the mid-1970s, she was middle-aged, blonde, shrill, philistine and utterly ruthless.

Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson The age of insecurity (1998)

posted by Jonathan Calder | 1:12 am

Saturday, January 03, 2004  

Clement Davies and the fall of Neville Chamberlain
On the afternoon of 10 May, Beaverbrook was talking on the telephone to Alan Wood (then one of his employees, and later his biographer), when the conversation was interrupted by another call, from Winston Churchill at the Admiralty.

When Beaverbrook was reconnected, he told Wood: "We've got a new Prime Minister". Alan Wood replied "Thank God!", to which Beaverbrook retorted: "Don't thank God, thank Clem Davies."

Alan Wyburn-Powell Clement Davies: Liberal leader (2003)

posted by Jonathan Calder | 10:52 pm