Sitting comfortably

July 21, 1995

While 16 years of Conservative rule have been blamed by some for Britain's brain drain, there is an argument that it has helped keep some pretty useful talent in our universities.

John Ramsden, about to be a temporary drainee as he exchanges Queen Mary and Westfield College for a year in Fulton, Missouri, recalls sitting around a table with four fellow-historians: "One of them pointed out that had they been a decade older, or younger, they would all have been Labour MPs, but the seats they had fought in the 1980s - all of them former Labour seats or ones that have since been regained - were unwinnable in that period". Being a nice chap, Dr Ramsden sympathised, but possibly not too much. He is a Conservative after all.

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