Michael Howard

Michael Howard: why it’s time to leave the EU

Michael Howard has said he believes Britain should leave the EU. The former Conservative leader said David Cameron’s attempts to renegotiate had ‘met with failure’. Here, in an extract from his article published in the Daily Telegraph, he says Britain is better off out of Europe: Europe’s leaders may spurn the possibility of a new

‘The British Dream’, by David Goodhart – review

David Goodhart’s new book, The British Dream, is an important study of postwar immigration into the UK, its successes and failures. He explores the tension between growing diversity and national solidarity and examines the meaning and significance of national identity. In his introduction he quotes a conversation he had over dinner at an Oxford college

Whitehall’s murky recesses

Peter Hennessy is one of the most engaging and perceptive commentators of our time, so it was with a feeling of pleasurable anticipation that I approached his latest book. This was increased when I discovered, to my considerable surprise, that he had stood as the Conservative candidate in his school’s 1964 mock general election. My

A law unto itself

One could meet any day in Society Harold Acton, Tom Driberg or Rowse: May there always, to add their variety, Be some rather Odd Fish at The House. Thus W. H. Auden (something of an odd fish himself) reminiscing at a Christ Church gaudy half a century ago. There have certainly been quite a lot

The power of the evasive word

The Economist Book of Obituaries, by Keith Colquhoun and Ann Wroe De mortuis nil nisi bonum, or so it used to be said. That was then. Now, since the late Hugh Montgomery- Massingbird became obituaries editor of the Telegraph, James Fergusson of the Independent, and Keith Colquhoun and Ann Wroe of the Economist, all has

His finest hour

Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: The Dire Warning by John Lukacs Nine years ago the American historian, John Lukacs, published an excellent little book, Five Days in London: May 1940. In this he analysed in detail that critical moment in the history of the Second World War — perhaps indeed in the history of Western

Lessons of the tsunami the world forgot

At 7.40 a.m. on 2 April the Solomon Islands were struck by a major earthquake and a large tsunami. At least 52 people were killed, more than 900 homes were destroyed, and thousands of people were left homeless. Little attention was paid to this at the time and not much more since. After all, they

In tune but out of time

George Kennan: A Study in Character by John Lukacs George Kennan died on 17 March 2005, aged 100 plus one year, one month and one day. The last half of his life he had spent in semi-retirement at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies, but for a few years, between 1946 and 1952, he had

The old Prussian firm

One consequence of the continuing and unhealthy fascination in this country with the Third Reich has been an ignoring of the Second, whose Faustian story had yet more terrible consequences. At the beginning of the last century Germany could claim to lead the world; not only in industry, science and technology, but in what she

Both lion and donkey

Richard Holmes wrote this book 20 years ago when he was a humble lecturer at Sandhurst, long before his splendid television performances had made him a national figure. He has not had to do much to update it. In a useful foreword he describes the progress made since he wrote it in the historiography of

Diary – 27 December 2003

Last Wednesday I went straight from Prime Minister’s Questions to RAF Brize Norton to catch a VC10 to Iraq. I wanted to thank some of the British troops facing Christmas far from home and also meet as many people as I could in Baghdad to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing the Coalition