This obscure but vital body enables Tory MPs to wield decisive power.
Thirty-four years ago, on 3rd April 1989, Edward Drewett Martell, a key figure in the post-war revival of the fortunes of both the Liberal and Conservative parties, died.
Mark Vickers writes in a sober, unsensational style, yet produces something surprising or even bizarre on almost every page.
Pundits are scornful, and see “blue on blue” violence, when actually the Conservative Party is holding the necessary national argument.
The Blackpool conference saw various candidates make their case, and an unlikely new leader emerge.
While Blair, Brown and Cameron scuttled off indecorously after leaving Number 10, she remains in the Commons and tries to hold Johnson to account.
All three PMs did about as well as anyone could in the circumstances, and all three, so far as one can see, are doomed.
It is hard to find any precedent for the path that he has chosen. What furies drive him? Why this frantic activity?
His archivist writes that this agreement has succeeded…in recovering powers which some thought had been lost permanently”.
This account of three and a half years as a special adviser confirms how trivial and transitory the role can be.
Plus: In my view, there is no case at all to merit a decision to do anything other than keeping the lockdown, maybe with a few tweaks.
The party is pinned down where it feels at home – in its new heartlands of central London, the middle of major cities and the University towns.
“Winston Churchill is a bastard” – criticism, scrutiny and vulgar abuse are part of living in a free country.
The present election will turn on whether MPs and activists put national popularity before ideological soundness.