Politicians who find themselves out of office for a long time or in voluntary retirement are in need of employment. Some go quiet, finding solace in watercolours and golf-clubs. For others, the House of Lords is a consolation. One or two in each generation however, take to writing history. Lord Rosebery dabbled and so did Roy Jenkins. More recently William Hague has had a shot at it, and now Douglas Hurd has entered the game. In this respect, he treads where others have gone before.