Chris Patten

Chris Patten was the last governor of Hong Kong from 1992 to 1997 and is chancellor of the University of Oxford.

How should Britain respond to the takeover of Hong Kong?

The veteran British diplomat the late Sir Percy Cradock said that Chinese leaders may be ‘thuggish dictators’ but ‘they were men of their word and could be trusted to do what they promised’. Well, the past year has put an end to the latter half of that statement. From coronavirus to the brutal treatment of

Cleverly out of step

In his second, revised edition of a history of Balliol College, John Jones — vice-master, chemist and archivist — shows the same sure touch that distinguished his earlier work as he carries the college’s story beyond the second world war. He writes with easy authority and the book rattles along to its final genuflection to

L’homme qui dit non

The study of history is a subversive calling. All countries make up a story that suits their idea of themselves. Authoritarians stamp out independent historical scholarship; extreme nationalists simply vilify those who try to tell the tale of what really happened. Charles de Gaulle stands at the heart of what France likes to think about

Westminster politics has nothing on Oxford’s battles

In the last month, another respected international survey placed Oxford and Cambridge joint second to Harvard in the league table of world-class universities. This confirms what others have suggested in recent years. Moreover, other British universities — most notably London’s Imperial College and University College — came out high on the list. There are, alas,

I am a Tory to my toes

It is modestly flattering to find one’s views the subject of occasional comment by contributors to The Spectator. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is the latest to have a run at it (‘A question of loyalty’, 31 May). Perhaps I could assist future exegesis by setting out what my views actually are. First, I agree with Arthur Balfour