I bet that you are at best dimly aware of the Progress Trust, and that is what the members of this now-defunct fixture would have wanted. It was a misleadingly named group of comfortably off, often landed backbench Tory MPs, and its weekly discussions very rarely leaked. An unnamed member once explained why. ‘We have no shits,’ he said.
The Trust, which would number Alec Douglas-Home and David Cameron, briefly, among its members, was secretive from the outset. It was established in 1943 to resume a more partisan style of politics, at a time when both main parties were still in theory committed to a ceasefire that the Conservatives felt Labour was breaking. It gathered together Tories who felt that ‘Rule by regulation and bureaucratic control and interference, however necessary in wartime, should NOT continue in peace,’ but feared that it might.