At the suggestion of Brit, I have just finished reading 'The Missing Will' - the relatively obscure autobiography of Michael Wharton, who was better known as the very long-standing writer of the Peter Simple column in The Telegraph. I remember reading the column a bit as a youngster and liking it in small doses -
( I actually preferred the Craig Brown version that followed, probably because I had grown old enough to understand it a bit better) The book is an excellent read, he certainly has a very easy way with his words and sentences, and his life was fairly colourful. Apart from his rampant infidelities, I was also interested to note that he describes himself as a 'Tory Anarchist'. He also puts forward a point that I haven't actually read in print before -that the voting in of Atlee and the creation of the welfare state was a bad thing for Great Britain.
Wharton believed strongly in the benefits to society of noblesse oblige, and thought it a grave error to hand over these feudal traditions to the 'trendy' urban left - who, in his eyes, were driven by envy to dismantle things they couldn't obtain. We are told in countless history books that this turning point in 1945 was the start of a long trajectory upwards for the common man, whereas Wharton thought that this was actually the beginning of the end. Interesting to read such an unashamedly right wing view in print.