Christopher Hitchens

Mother of Unions

The Oxford Union: Playground of Power

By David Walter

Macdonald 240pp £9.95 order from our bookshop

A goodish test in the case of a book like this is – how accurate is its account of my own life and times? On page 184 appears the following:

One of the leaders of the revolutionary students, Christopher Hitchens, made up for his participation in a bourgeois activity like Union debates by being as rude as possible to Establishment guests. In 1969, when Denis Healey was in the Chamber, he accused him of being on the end of a very elegant piece of string pulled by the State Department. He welcomed him to the debate on the grounds that Healey would learn something from what he, as undergraduate proposer of the motion was going to say. Healey replied that Hitchens was clearly a very nice chap and nice chaps did not make competent revolutionaries.

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