Carry on Gardiner

May 31, 1996

Alumnus to be proud of no. 51 is Sir George Gardiner, Conservative (of a very distinctive sort) MP for Reigate. A former confidant and hagiographer of Margaret Thatcher, his threat to resign in the face of deselection threats by his exasperated constituency association has made him the political equivalent of a man surrounded by enemies who points the gun at his own head and shouts, "Come any closer and he gets it", relying on the possibility that a stray bullet might just take the Government with him. Sir George's highly original negotiating style may have been polished while an undergraduate at Balliol College, Oxford.

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