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The late and unlamented Edward Heath

Given there seems to be some interest in the old bore, here is a piece of rare wit from The Independent on him:

"Take the late Ted Heath, for example. He was not the sort of man to teach the world to sing or to scatter it with rose petals. If a man in black was seen abseiling down your house, the least likely solution to that conundrum was: "It's just Ted Heath dropping off a box of Milk Tray." What will survive of him is obduracy, self-regard, a paragraph in the history of the EEC, and the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation at his old home Arundells in Salisbury. It takes a rare breed of man to ponder a £5m fortune in a world of starving orphans, three-legged donkeys and imminent eco- disaster and decide, on balance, that the best use of those funds after your demise is to establish a museum dedicated to yourself - especially when you're not Winston Churchill, Picasso or Charles Dickens. Can you really imagine saying brightly to the kids, "I know what, let's go to the Ted Heath museum today!"?

Further digging shows that one of his beneficiaries, his housekeeper Ms Lopez actually received nada, as the bequest was dependent on her still being in his employ at his death. What a nice man.

As to the tales of his sexual proclivities or otherwise, I can't find any 'name' writers prepared to put any allegations in print. Beyond vague amusement at the idea of The Grocer having any form of intimacy other than in front of a mirror, I can't say I really care so as long as it was with consenting adults and in private.

Meanwhile, for your amusement I present the website of the National Association of Ted Heath Burners
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Anonymous verity said... 4:01 pm

O/T - I posted on Iain's place as well, that I think we have just witnessed a very low profile military coup in Britain by Sir Richard Dannart (and maybe HM).

Blair has, in a mind-boggling statement, said he agrees with Sir Richard. Wha'??? I think he has ceded his power to Sir Richard. He was afraid to criticise him. He was afraid to disagree with him. Sir Richard said, "Sit!" and blair sat. I think his "retirement" is now imminent. HM may even decide that his retirement from office should be accompanied by a general election.

People say Sir Richard had no right to speak out, but if he was doing so at the behest of his C-in-C, he was behaving properly.

It wasn't just the criticism of our presence in Iraq that struck me, but his comments on the downgrading of Christianity and the kowtowing to muslims and this whole batty lefty multiculti destructive ethos.

I think Sir Richard didn't just suddenly decide to let off some steam. I think this was all planned. He is the top Army man. I think we can assume that his self-discipline is beyond reproach. I don't believe he suddenly decided to become chatty with the media. There is much more to this than meets the eye.

What do others think?  

Blogger dearieme said... 4:04 pm

I used to think that the Heath/Wison years were the nadir of British political life, until I witnessed Toni and thought about the fate he's prepared for us.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:08 pm

A thoroughly worthy and intriguing O/T.

His Grace has considered the Islamic dimension, and new man on the scene Istanbul Tory the political dimension.

I will have a mull.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 4:10 pm

well wiliam censored what i really think ,let us just say that I think he was blackmailed/bribed.
I have a boyhood memory of reading about his new yacht morning cloud and how it cost £100,000 when £100,000 was a seriously lump of money and wondering where the hell he had got his hands on that kind of cash for a boat.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 4:14 pm

I have the shotgun oiled,water put by , gas cylinders to cook with ,and tea , Bovril and biscuits ready for our excellent troops when(if)they retake our country.  

Anonymous Suttonoyan said... 4:14 pm

You may not believe this, but wednesday's Garjan said something nice about Mrs. T. Seems that she was the lst(?) wolrld leader to lecture the UN Gen. assy. on climate change. In 1988.

PS Have I got this right, "Fat Kim" is to become Gen Sec of the Divided Nations?? (If only.)  

Anonymous verity said... 4:23 pm

Right on, peter h! If the British retook Britain, I may come back.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:31 pm

Peter, I haven't deleted anything, honest. I do find the wealth Heath amassed before he left No 10 curious to say the least, but then I suppose he didn't have a family to support, inter alia.

Re your second post, maybe I ought to do some shopping sooner rather than later.

S - Well x3. What a thing. Looks like the splendidly named Ban Ki-Moon is the new UN SG. Odd that a figure from a First World Western government didn't get vetoed immediately, all things considered.  

Blogger istanbultory said... 5:32 pm

Verity said "If the British retook Britain, I may come back". I too might be prepared to break my self-imposed exile from Bliarite tyranny.
On the subject of Ted, the Conservative History Journal devoted nearly an entire issue to the career of "the great sulk" in 2005. Not that they could find anything much positive to say about him.
The issue can be found in PDF format here and is well worth a perusal:

Blogger istanbultory said... 5:36 pm

Bugger. I've posted twice. Apologies to one and all.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 5:56 pm

Not a problem - duplicates duly deleted. Blogger has been acting up today for some reason.

Meanwhile, thanks for the link - a very worthwhile read. 'Entirely wasted the last 30 years of his life' - couldn't be much more damning, could it?  

Anonymous verity said... 6:02 pm

He's an enigma, though. What drove him?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:09 pm

Striving to be a little more olympian, I think the War had a major impact on Heath, and his Eurofanaticism stemmed from that.

Given that he bottled out of following the Selsdon Park programme (cooked up in my own beloved borough), and saw something similar followed to good effect by his sucessor in '79, all he could fall back on as a legacy was the entry of the UK into what was then the Common Market, and thus he would have been prepared to die in the last ditch to defend that policy, and thus his achievement.  

Anonymous verity said... 6:33 pm

I don't believe for one minute that he was doing what he thought was best for Britain. I just don't believe it.

And looking at your headline,Croydonian, it suddenly struct me - has anyone ever said anything nice about Edward Heath?  

Anonymous Croydonian (who is on another machine and can't remember his password) said... 6:45 pm

V - Yasmin Alibhi-Brown liked him.... Or at least so she said on 18DS the other night.

I will grant that doing the decent thing by the Ugandan Asians was A - honourable, B - politically brave and C - very much to this nation's benefit. Not many skivers and welfare junkies among that group of people.  

Anonymous verity said... 6:54 pm

I will grant that doing the decent thing by the Ugandan Asians was A - honourable, B - politically brave and C - very much to this nation's benefit. Not many skivers and welfare junkies among that group of people.

D'accord. And other than the monstrous Yasmin Show-offy-Last-Name, they seem to have succeeded hugely, creating huge amounts of wealth. And contributing to the professions. But most of them weren't muslims. Most of them were Hindus and Sikhs who had worked for the British administration before independence. But by and large, they are fine people and most welcome in our midst. (Not you, Yasmin.)  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:00 pm

YA-B adds to the gaiety of the nation in her own way, I believe.

I think she thinks that people dislike her because of what she looks like, rather than for what she says. The Dalemeister was kind enough to ask a couple of my questions on 18DS the other day, one of which "how does she feel about being trumped by Toynbee as the most loathed journalist among Right thinking people? Does she fancy a shot at the title?".

Her answer was less than briliantly coherent and degenerated into her accusing her critics of being 'stupid'. Roll over Plato and tell Aristotle the news....  

Anonymous verity said... 7:36 pm

A well constructed response, to be sure. Her columns are similarly incoherent with rage. Not that I've ever read one all the way through.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:55 pm

I've read a few of her items but draw the line at ponying up to pay for them....  

Anonymous Andrew Kennedy said... 11:21 pm

Jacques Arnold, the former MP for Gravesham, told a wonderful after-dinner story a few weeks ago involving Ted Heath, Teresa Gorman, David Evans and Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman.

Tempers were high during the Maastricht debate when Heath rose to intervene on a point, starting his speech with, "Those of us who understand these things....."

David Evans, always the gentleman, said from the row behind "sit down and shut up you fat slug".

At this point, Heath turned around and fixed his stare on Jacques Arnold, sitting innocently at the end of the row behind. "I demand the Hon Member withdraws his scurrilous remarks"

This misdirected accusation stirred Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman, "it wasn't him ... it wasn't him"...prompting Heath to turn to the Chair, "Mr Speaker, I have endured this harridan shrieking in my ear for 20 years long years..."

Then, always one to pour petrol on dying embers, the wonderful Theresa Gorman added, "then why don't you piss off and sit somewhere else."

OK - nothing whatsoever to do with Heath's £5 million or the bequest of Arundells to a grateful nation, but worth telling for it's Orten-esque dialogue.

With regards to Heath's £5 million - didn't much of this come from the Chinese Government in recognition of his "unflinching" support during the Hong Kong sovereignty negotiations ?  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 11:34 pm



Towards the end of February this year, Brentford Nylons, after months of growing mismanagement, finally went into liquidation and called in the Official Receiver. Last December the firm had made 600 workers redundant at its factory in Cramlington, Northumberland.

On the first of March the 1,400 workers in the Cramlington plant announced that they wanted to take over the firm and run it as a workers' cooperative

In this they were supported by the Receiver, Mr. Kenneth Cork. However, he was pessimistic about the chances of getting the necessary state aid for the venture.

Now the workers' Joint Union Committee has drawn up a report showing how not only can they keep the present firm united and a going concern but also how they intend to open up retail outlets which the management had closed.

Since the liquidation announcement the workers of Cramlington have in fact been running the factory and in their first weeks, according to the Receiver, sales rose to almost a million pounds.

In an interview with the T&GWU paper, 'Record', two of the union officials said:—

Customers are crying out for the products—there is nothing wrong with our market. It was just eighteen months of mismanagement that caused the crash.

Frank Barber, the ACTS secretary, added—

The situation is unbelievable. We're working very hard, production has been better since the old management gave up, and shops are crying out for our products.

Tentative proposals have come from the Government for a scheme to give a 60% share to the state, with 40% of the capital coming from the workforce. This means about £2m, an almost impossible task.

Brentford Nylons, a modern and, by all accounts, profitable firm is a clear case for the state subsidising a firm and handing it over to the best possible management—the men and women who work there.

If it can dole out £160m to Chrysler's American gangster bosses, it can surely spare £10m for a firm with some guarantee of success.

What the country needs most is growing, vigorous modern industry. Brentford Nylons is modern. Its workforce has show vigorous leadership. It is now up to the state to ensure the means for growth.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:45 pm

AK - a GREAT anecdote. Thank you.

PH - Er, why? Those of us of a certain vintage will recall their horrendous ads back in the 70s. Do you?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:46 pm

And while I'm at it, the sell out of Honkers in '84 ahead of '97 was shameful.  

Anonymous verity said... 1:15 am

Not only did I find the sell-out of Hongkers shameful - God, all those Hongkies who deserved British passports denied them! - one cringes! - but the manner of our leaving was "Carry On Up the Yangtse".

Why did HRH fly out to take part in this national humiliation? There was ABSOLUTELY NO POINT! It wasn't a friendly handover of sovereignty, "We've given you our legal system, the English language (which they don't speak - they're Cantonese), goodwill all round, jolly hockey sticks, chaps" relinquishment. Goodwill and handshakes all round.

The Chinese had simply said, "Your lease is up. No squatting. Bugger off."

I watched it on TV in Singapore and cringed. All this artificial, face-saving pomp and circumstance with HMS Britannia all lit up with fairy lights, which the Chinese, and quite rightly given the circumstances, ignored. They had their own huge party and formal ceremonies onshore and didn't bother with the royal yacht, Chris Patten, his two weeping daughters (whatever happened to them, BTW?), Prince Charles (who advised this poor man on this? Hazard a guess? Sly slug self-seeking Patten, for example?).

It wasn't a charming hand-over of sovereignty. It was an eviction.

And we betrayed all those 5m Chinese who were entitled to British passports. It makes me sick to think about it. Someone in Britain - I can't remember who, but someone who was obviously also cringing - tried for a compromise. 'Let the Hongkies in and give them a couple of Scottish islands and make it a duty-free zone, as in Hong Kong. They will make us a bloody fortune.'

Those Hongkies would have brought so much enterprise, commercial daring and savvy to Scotland (and the UK, before Blair excerised his divine right to destroy our United Kingdom) - and their rights were refused. It makes me sick.

Instead, the flight capital went to Vancouver and Sydney, who are wallowing in gravy.

And Hong Kong is doing, as a special zone, just fine without us. It's run by Chinese, after all.

And we hung the wonderful, articulate, witty and passionate barrister Martin Li, who fought so hard, out to dry.

This was our worst failure to keep our word ever.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:07 am

AMEN sister. Can I get a witness?

I was, and still am, more preoccupied by the selling down the river of the good people of Honkers than the rock itself. At the time I had mulled a rather a less sophisticated version of the 'Western Isles' plan you outline, and given quite what those extraordinary 5 m or so folk achieved with their only resources being hard work and dynamism, I have to agree they would have lit up Jura or wherever.

Which bring us back to Edward Heath. Way back lost in the mists of time he addressed the student body of my alma mater one lunchtime and was much preocccupied with the decline of manufacturing, and magisterially dismissed the service economy thus: "We can't all make a living by taking in each other's washing".  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 12:44 pm

I do indeed remember Brentfod Nylons, As A 43 year old I have even worn Nylon (as a child).I last slept on nylon sheets in 1982, this was in a bolougne hotel and bearing in mind that my hair has tendency to go bouffant lead to a spectacularly bad hair day in the morning.
What I found amusing about the article was the typical bollocks from some trade union troglodite saying what great company brentford was and if only the Taxpayer would pony up they had a great future manufacturing nylon Y fronts.
See Rover et al.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:58 pm

Peter - indeed. Which is why one of my mottos is '1970s - Never Again'. While the sartorial hideousnesses of the mid 70s might just be another bit of retro for the fashion racket to raid, the memory of 1978 when almost overnight flares went fromn being OK, cool even, to signifying social death in the afternoon is burnt into my memory. A pair of school strides that I was dubbing flares at one point then had to morph into being termed 'straights' if I was going to retain any credibility. No matter what happens with men's attire, I don't think I could ever sport flared trousers, certain collars, a brown suit etc etc. And as for nylon - well, I'm a fabrics snob.....  

Anonymous verity said... 1:46 pm

The Chinese are survivors and they're workers, and the wealth the Hongkies created in Hong Kong has now permeated Guandong province, and is seeping out into the rest of the country. Guandong is now as rich as Hong Kong. So it worked out, after all. But the intention was disgraceful.

And I still regret that one couldn't go to Scotland and take a ferry to an island where there was 24 hour activity, 85m neon lights, and thousands of people ready to do business with you.

Even landing in Hong Kong was such an electrifying experience, as the approach to Kai Tek (they've got a new airport now) was actually between skyscrapers, and, because the plane had almost reached the airport, it had slowed down and you would sit grasping the arms of your seat, your hair standing on end, as you cruised between 50-story apartment buildings and could see people drying their hair and brushing their teeth and talking on the phone in their flats, and not paying any atttention to the 747 passing their windows. It was surreal.

Even though it has worked out fine, due to the resilience and pragmatism of the Chinese, it was an episode of national shame for Britain.

And Martin Li is still fighting for the vote for the Hongkies. What a hero! How our Parliament would have benefitted from his energy, wit and clear-headedness - and devotion to democracy.  

Anonymous verity said... 2:59 pm

Sorry to bang on about this, but what a commercial opportunity we missed! Can you imagine, an island that was a duty-free port, selling cheap goods and open 24 hours a day with hundreds of food stalls and restaurants selling mind-bogglingly delicious food, exciting, with thousands of flashing neon lights, no city planning, just higgledy piggeley ... the Europeans, who by and large have very unexciting shopping and very expensive merchandise, booking charter flights in their thousands to spend a weekend on that island - and shop, shop, shop, shop, shop. It wouldn't have been long before the airport would have had to be enlarged ... what a revenue generator! And populated by people who actually like working.

Oh, well ...  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:02 pm

V - all so very true - no apologies even remotely necessary. All we can do is sigh thinking about that particular 'might have been'....  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 4:19 pm

Come off it Verity,
Glasgow has 24 hour pubs and you can get deep fried mars bars and battered Pizzas, I dont think Asia has anything better than that to offer.
And dont talk to me about sophistication , Ive been to Leeds!  

Anonymous verity said... 7:58 pm

Yes, peter hitchens, but in Hong Kong you can get chip butties.  

Anonymous verity said... 8:00 pm

By the way, I don't know whether you know this, but in New Orleans, they have drive-thru daquiri stands.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 8:14 pm

in New Orleans, they have drive-thru daquiri stands.
Wouldn't be of any interest to me, I have a small Philippina who lives in the boot of my car and passes me ready mixed cocktails as and when required ("thru" a small hatch).  

Anonymous Verity said... 11:15 pm

Peter Hitchens - Do you drive a small hatch-back, then?  

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