Lobbying works best when the people doing it are ‘out of the spotlight’, working ‘quietly and in private’, Tamasin Cave and Andy Rowell point out. It brings to mind the old joke about poisoners – that there are famous poisoners, and there are successful poisoners, but there are no famous successful poisoners. There are some famous people in the lobbying industry, such as Sir Tim Bell, but they have not made their names lobbying. Sir Tim won renown because of his connection with Margaret Thatcher. Others have recognition because they used to be eminent political advisers or journalists.
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'Only in Britain, perhaps, could spy chiefs – conventionally viewed as masters of subterfuge – be so highly regarded as ethical guides.'
In this month's Bookends, @AdamCSDouglas looks at the curious life of Henry Labouchere: a friend of Bram Stoker, 'loose cannon', and architect of the law that outlawed homosexual activity in Britain.
'We have all twenty-nine of her Barsetshire novels, and whenever a certain longing reaches critical mass we read all twenty-nine again, straight through.'
Patricia T O'Conner on her love for Angela Thirkell. (£)