Friday, 18 April 2008

Sir Anthony Eden Way

Sir Anthony Eden looks the complete matinée idol, while Sir Winston seems to be directing his gaze at the young lady's décolletage

When I was out walking the dog recently I noticed the road leading to a new 'luxury flat' development had been named Sir Anthony Eden Way.

Sir Anthony was for some three decades the MP for Warwick and Leamington, otherwise known as the 'Garden of Eden'. When he first contested the seat he faced the Countess of Warwick, former mistress of Edward VIII when he was Prince of Wales, standing in the Socialist interest. The Countess was chauffeured round the constituency in her limousine to meet voters.

Sir Anthony was elected unopposed at some subsequent elections. In the post-war period when he visited the constituency with Lady Clarissa (recent author of a book of reminiscences) he would ride in an open topped car through streets decked with patriotic bunting to acknowledge the cheers of the crowds.

Sir Anthony has a lively claque of local supporters who claim that his reputation has been unjustifiably vilfied. They even staged an exhibition in his support in the local museum. One of them, an Arthur Fretwell [sic}, wrote to the Leamington Spa Courier claiming that Sir Anthony's 'political reputation - so injured by the Suez debacle of 1956 - is slowly being restored.'

Apparently, 'This is because more people of judgement are coming round to the view that Eden was "sold down the river" by President Eisenhower and the US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.' Perhaps they couldn't recognise that Nasser was an Arab nationalist promoting his own interests rather than a Soviet tool who was also the 1950s equivalent of Hitler.

As Sir Winston said on his last day in office, 'I don't think Anthony is up to the job.'

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