Friend of parents tipped them off about likely vacancy in Plymouth constituency. He had already been shortlisted for Falmouth —deterred by the extra distance and so withdrew. Tells story about the selection conferences for the two constituencies and how his decision was misinterpreted by Labour party organiser [ Harold Wilson came down to Plymouth to show support in campaign [ Shocked to be told he was likely to win.
Fighting Plymouth Sutton; had full-time agent, Alf Sweetland —family still friends. Found Labour party people a decent lot. Refers to earlier sexual scandal where party had stood by the agent -an example of enlightenment [ Better organized in constituency. Door to door canvassing, introduction to working class Toryism [ Started an identification with the Plymouth Dockyard, believed in Defence. Talks about Wilson subsequently asking him to be Minister for the Navy —despite being a plotter against Wilson —a political calculation Ability to plot —just like in Medicine.
To this day still a Doctor [ Talks about the subsequent defeat of Labour in —his wife was more aware of Labour loss of popularity than he was [ Held onto seat —just. Found himself speaking on a lorry with Iain Macleod —surprised to find himself mixing with Tories [1. Tells story of saving a young child [1.
You grow up v fast. Still doing medical research working with a more brilliant man than he-David Marsden —might have influenced him to go into politics. Drove down to the constituency every week; still a bachelor. Fortnightly surgeries always full [1. Harold Wilson would sit and talk to people over lunch. Changed after The day they started guillotining every bill caused massive change [1.
Had no room —a golf locker; shared a secretary paid for out of salary probably —not paid more than as a junior house doctor. Nobody else would give mortgage on decrepit house; had lived on house boat before. Renovated house himself. Roots deep in Plymouth —has represented every part of city over time.
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Talks about slim majorities and impact of Boundary changes [1. Challenged Michael Foot to fight him in Plymouth. Role of ideology in politics —not enough these days [1. Politics is a serious trade —you need to learn as an apprentice —as he did under Healey, Castle, Crosland [1. Mentions Kenneth Robinson who asked him to be a Governor of Charing Cross Hospital —involved for 2 years —important investment of time. Supported Thatcher throughout the war. Politics an unpredictable career — sometimes luck rather than merit.
He left because he thought he could only go backwards [1. Lot of respect for Parliament and its system. Sensible to have a Revising Chamber. Not an expert on detail e. Maintains interest in Foreign Policy. More impact from writing an article than from making a speech in the Lords [1. Wonderful library. Interested in relationship between illness and heads of Government. Long standing Culture of not paying proper salaries and compensating with allowances. Disgracefully poor MP pay for years.
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