Speaker’s Lecture

I delivered my lecture on Enoch Powell last night as one of the lectures organised by the Speaker, John Bercow, to mark the centenary of the passage of the 1911 Parliament Act.  I focused on Enoch Powell as parliamentarian and what it is that makes a great parliamentarian.

The meeting was surprisingly well attended, possibly because the lecture covered a parliamentarian that many in the audience had known personally, whereas previous lectures covered people, such as Lloyd George, where there was no such contact.   Most of those who asked questions recalled their meetings with him.  The member of the audience who could speak with most authority was Pamela Powell, Enoch Powell’s widow. 

For anyone wishing to watch the lecture, it will be on BBC Parliament.  It is scheduled to be broadcast on Saturday at 9.00 p.m.   It will then be repeated at 1.00 a.m. and 4.00 a.m. – presumably for foreign viewers and insomniacs.  Once the series of lectures is completed, the Speaker plans to publish them.

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About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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14 Responses to Speaker’s Lecture

  1. Frank W. Summers III says:

    It will be intereesting to see if the online feed is tagged with “not available in your area” like the recent HoL deliberations on the EU or the fairly frequent “Unknown error” but it is possible I wll see it and it seems I would enjoy it …. I will post here if I catch it.

  2. Lord Norton,

    Just been informed you’re on the Committee to review the draft Lords Reform Bill. This is comforting news. Is it a simple task to profile the other members as pros and antis, or would this be bad form?

    • Lord Norton says:

      Malden Capell: Thanks for that. I may do a separate post given the article in ‘The Times’ this morning which attempts, not too well, to assess the balance in respect of the peers who are to be nominated.

  3. Len says:

    My congratulations on your appointment to the joint committee, Lord Norton! It seems a very high-powered affair, with two professors, and a former leader of the House on board. I await with interest the naming of the Commons members, the Liberal Democrats and the other Crossbencher.

  4. Happy to say that the BBC Parliament channel appears to be available in Nova Scotia … looking forward to seeing Lord Norton speaking about Enoch Powell soon. (p.s. Is Simon Heffer’s biography the standard text on Powell’s life?)

    • Lord Norton says:

      Stephen MacLean: There have been several works on Enoch Powell. The most extensive biographies are those by Robert Shepherd and Simon Heffer. Heffer’s is the most substantial and authoritative, in that he had access to the Powell papers. Shortly after Enoch Powell’s death, Mrs Powell showed me all the papers he had kept. It constituted a substantial archive.

  5. ladytizzy says:

    The new Portuguese Prime Minister, Mr Passos Coelho, has not only cut the number of ministers from 16 to 11 (a 31% cut), four of his Cabinet are appointments (36%).

    As I write. I’m working on the film script Four Goats and An Easter Bunny.

  6. David Rostron says:

    I recorded lecture and have just watched it (Sunday 1.00 pm) I found it both informative and very interesting. Thank you.

  7. Jonathan says:

    I enjoyed the lecture too – it’s now on iPlayer if anyone else is interested.

    There was just one thing I thought was missing. What is Powell’s single entry in the Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations?

    • Lord Norton says:

      Jonathan: I thought I may be asked that in the questions following the lecture, but I wasn’t. It was his observation that a politician writing his memoirs was like a dog returning to its own vomit.

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