Edward Heath - History

Edward Heath - History

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Edward Heath


British Politician

Edward Heath was born in Broadstairs England on July 9, 1916. Thanks to a scholarship he was able to study in Oxford College. served in World War II as an artillery officer. In 1950, he was elected to Parliament where he served as the Conservative Party whip from 1955 to 1959.

Heath entered the Cabinet in 1963 as Minister for Trade and Industry. In 1965, he became the head of the Conservative Party and in 1970, he became Prime Minster.

His greatest accomplishment was leading Great Britain into membership in the Common Market. A labor crisis in 1974 resulted in the Conservatives losing the elections.

Edward Heath

Edward Heath (9 July 1916 – 17 July 2005) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 19 June 1970 to 4 March 1974, interrupting Harold Wilson's two terms. His most significant act as Prime Minister was to take the UK into the European Economic Community in 1973, as well as the imposition of direct rule in Northern Ireland as the Troubles reached its height.


Edward Heath was from a working class family, the son of a carpenter and a maid. He was the first of two important post-World War II prime ministers to come from the lower ranks of society (the other being Margaret Thatcher). Heath went to a grammar school in Ramsgate, and won a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford. Heath was a talented musician, and won the college's organ scholarship in his first term. This enabled him to stay at the university for a fourth year. He eventually graduated with in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) in 1939.

Heath served in the army in WWII, starting as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery. In 1944 he took part in the Normandy Landings. Heath was eventually demobilised (left the army) as a lieutenant-colonel in 1947.

After a spell in the Civil Service, Heath won a seat as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bexley in the February 1950 general election.

Heath's early appointments were as a whip in the Conservative Party in the House of Commons. He rose to be Chief Whip and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury from 1955 to 1959. Harold Macmillan appointed him Minister of Labour, a Cabinet post, in 1959.

In 1960 Macmillan gave Heath responsibility for negotiating the UK's first attempt to join the European Economic Community (as the European Union was then called). After extensive negotiations, the British entry was vetoed by the French President, Charles de Gaulle.

From 1965 to 1970 Heath was Leader of the Opposition when the Labour Party were in power. Then he was elected Prime Minister in the General Election of 1970.

During his premiership the UK government passed through parliament some quite radical changes.

Currency and metrication Edit

Since Anglo-Saxon times, the currency of England (and so later the UK) was based on the pound sterling, at a rate of 240 pence to £1. On 15 February 1971, known as Decimal Day, the United Kingdom and Ireland decimalised their currencies.

This change had many consequences, but it was eventually accepted by most people. It was an expensive change. Not only was the whole of the currency in circulation changed, but many mechanical gadgets also had to be changed. Every cash register in the country, every commercial machine which took coins, every public notices of monetary charges, and so on.

The other change, which happened at roughly the same time, was metrication of the old imperial system of weights and measures. This idea dated to before Heath, and was continued after him by the next Labour government. It was never fully completed. Speed limits are still in miles per hour, and measurements of length are still in traditional yards, feet and inches, with metric as an alternative. Once again, the changes were hugely expensive. It meant an almost complete retooling in the machine tool industry.

It was mainly done because joining the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973 obliged the United Kingdom to take into its law all EEC directives. These included the use of a prescribed SI-based set of units for many purposes within five years. However, metric measures are not much used in everyday life in the UK. [6]

Heath took the United Kingdom into Europe with the European Communities Act 1972 in October. [7]

Once de Gaulle had left office, Heath was determined to get the UK into the (then) European Economic Community. The EEC economy had also slowed down and British membership was seen as a way to revitalise it. [8] After a 12-hour talk between Heath and French President Georges Pompidou Britain's third application succeeded. [9]

End of his premiership Edit

Heath failed to control the power of the unions. Two miners' strikes damaged the economy. The 1974 strike caused much of the country's industry to work a three-day week to conserve energy. That was enough for the electorate to put the government out of office. The loss of the 1974 general election ended Heath's career at the top. The Conservative Party replaced him with Margaret Thatcher.

Heath never married. He had been expected to marry childhood friend Kay Raven, who reportedly tired of waiting and married an RAF officer whom she met on holiday in 1950. In a four-sentence paragraph of his memoirs, Heath claimed that he had been too busy establishing a career after the war and had "perhaps . taken too much for granted". In a 1998 TV interview with Michael Cockerell, Heath admitted that he had kept her photograph in his flat for many years afterwards. [10]

His interest in music kept him on friendly terms with a number of female musicians including Moura Lympany. Lympany had thought Heath would marry her, but when asked about the most intimate thing he had done, replied, "He put his arm around my shoulder." [11] Bernard Levin wrote at the time in The Observer, forgetting two other prime ministers who were bachelors with no known romantic interests, that the UK had to wait until the emergence of the permissive society for a prime minister who was a virgin. [12] In later life, according to his official biographer Philip Ziegler, Heath was "apt to relapse into morose silence or completely ignore the woman next to him and talk across her to the nearest man". [12]

John Campbell, who published a biography of Heath in 1993, devoted four pages to a discussion of the evidence concerning Heath's sexuality. Whilst acknowledging that Heath was often assumed by the public to be gay, not least because it is "nowadays . whispered of any bachelor" he found "no positive evidence" that this was so "except for the faintest unsubstantiated rumour". [13] Campbell concluded that the most significant aspect of Heath's sexuality was his complete repression of it.

Edward Heath - History

The interactive parts of this resource no longer work, but it has been archived so you can continue using the rest of it.

Edward Heath - European citizen

Taking the UK into the EEC

In July 1960 Heath was appointed Lord Privy Seal in the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan. In this post he was responsible (from 1961) for the negotiations surrounding Britain's first attempt to join the European Economic Community (EEC), which had been created by the Treaty of Rome in March 1957. These negotiations, however, ended in failure. In January 1963 the French president, Charles de Gaulle, wary of Britain's close relationship with the USA, vetoed Britain's application. This was a bitter blow for Heath. It prompted one of his most famous speeches, in which he promised that Britain would not turn its back on the European project: 'We are part of Europe by geography, tradition, history, culture and civilisation. We shall continue to work with our friends in Europe for the true unity and strength of this continent.'

1974 and after

Securing Britain's entry into the EEC was Heath's greatest political achievement. In other areas, however, his term in office was less successful. Trouble in Northern Ireland and, in particular, mounting economic problems undermined his position. In March 1974 the Labour leader Harold Wilson succeeded him as Prime Minister. In June 1975 the Wilson government, having successfully 'renegotiated' the original terms of Britain's entry into the EEC three months earlier, called a referendum to endorse continued membership. Some 67.2% of participants voted 'yes' - a belated vindication of Heath's long-standing position.

Heath was replaced as leader of the Tory party by Margaret Thatcher in 1975. His subsequent political career was marked by his continued commitment to European union - and by his numerous clashes with Mrs Thatcher, a less enthusiastic supporter of the European Community, over European policy. He was knighted in 1992, and retired from politics in 2001. In his final speech to Parliament, Heath criticised the 'Eurosceptic' attitude of the Conservative Party leadership and emphasised his support for British membership of the single European currency.

Sir Edward Heath: Traitor and Pedophile

Wiltshire Police have now published their report on Operation Conifer, the investigation into Sir Edward Heath’s pedophilia. There are two reports, the Summary Report, which is in the public domain, and the Confidential Report. The latter has gone to the failing Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), who won’t pay too much attention to it. This is far too hot a topic for IICSA, no offense intended.

I have read the published report, which runs to 109 pages. It is already in the public domain that I was consulted by Conifer detectives. The Sunday Times, which supports Heath and EU membership, tried to embarrass the inquiry by linking me to it, complete with the absurd claim, based on my bogus conviction, that I was a ‘hoaxer’ and a photo of me in my MCC blazer.

This was part of a concerted campaign of pressure on Wiltshire’s able chief constable, Mike Veale, which included a silly letter to the London Times from a former Cabinet Secretary, Lord Armstrong. He was the guy, you may recall, who coined the phrase “being economical with the truth” during the Spyhunter litigation in Australia. Lord Armstrong on that occasion was probably baffled by appearing in front of an unbiddable judge, Mr Justice Powell, a rare experience for a Cabinet Secretary.

The Sunday Times article backfired, partly because the great British public never bought into the idea of a ring-back bomb hoax. The prosecution looked exactly what it was – a pathetic attempt to cover up the truth. The MCC blazer of course is a stylish, tasteful and discreet item of clothing. All that photo (which did not come from me) probably did was to increase the sales of blazers in the MCC shop.

Mike Veale, to his immense credit, did not cave in to the pressure from Whitehall. He’s a good copper, with respect, arguably the best in the UK. Most of our chief constables are lily-livered Cabinet Office stooges, no offense intended.

The Cabinet Office are probably a bit baffled. They are used to rolling over police forces and probably thought that Wiltshire Police were a bit rural and easy meat. For once in a criminal inquiry the Cabinet Office’s control of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) didn’t come into play. The chief suspect, i.e. Heath, died in 2005 of complications from the pulmonary embolism he suffered in 2003 in Salzburg Austria after the DVD warned him that MI5 were on to him. There was never any question therefore of a prosecution, although some of his accomplices are still alive.

It was yours truly, BTW, who put MI5 onto Heath. I don’t think the DVD ever told him of my role in the investigation into him by British Intelligence, of which I am not of course a part (I just help out occasionally). Heath didn’t like me anyway, in fact I think he feared me. He would have liked me even less if he’d known I shopped him to MI5. Knowledge of his treason during World War II ruled out a State Funeral, of course.

Although I never liked the old bugger, I always treated him courteously. I strongly disagree with those who say that he should have been hanged in World War II. He held the King’s Commission and was entitled to the military courtesy of being shot.

Sir Edward Heath KG MBE

Sir Edward was born on July 9 th , 1916, the son of a carpenter and a maid. His parents were probably very nice people, but in this case the apple fell some way from the tree. A grammar school boy, he went up to Balliol College Oxford in 1935.

Balliol was a hotbed of German intelligence activity. Heath, who was gay, was quickly compromised sexually and recruited by the Abwehr. He was also paid £250 a year by our community partners, a not inconsiderable sum for a young man at Oxford in the late 1930s. With Abwehr encouragement he opposed appeasement. The last thing that the Abwehr would want would be for one of their protégés to openly support Nazi Germany.

Heath always preferred younger sexual partners. He was supplied by the Abwehr’s busy gay brothel in Oxford. In 1937 a young British teenage boy on the Abwehr payroll accompanied Heath to the Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg, Germany, where Sir Edward met Adolf Hitler for the first time. Of the two, Hitler was undoubtedly the more charming.

Heath also met our community partner SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler at a drinks party thrown by the Reichsführer. Heath later claimed that he thought that Himmler was the “most evil man he had ever met”, which was odd coming from a man who met Hitler, Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl. My sources, which include someone who was at the drinks party, say that Himmler actually hit on Heath and the two of them seemed to get on quite well together. Heinrich knew that Heath was working for Admiral Canaris of course.

Reichsparteitag. Der grosse Appell der Politischen Leiter auf der von Scheinwerfern uberstrahlten Zeppelin-wiese in Nurnburg. Grand review by political leaders on the searchlight-illuminated Zeppelin field in Nuremberg. September 1937. (Office of Alien Property)Exact Date Shot UnknownNARA FILE #: 131-GR-164-2WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 984

Heath was part of the infamous Oxford Spy Ring, along with Roy Jenkins, Madron Seligman and Tony Barber, all of whom studied at Oxford either before or after the last war. His first major task in World War II was to organise a spy ring in Liverpool to pass on shipping intelligence to the Abwehr via the German Embassy in Dublin. Heath worked hard to ensure victory for the Axis Powers and helped get many good men drowned and good ships sunk.

He went to Europe after D-Day, but tried to avoid killing Germans if he could. An artillery officer, his battery was probably a fairly safe berth. Fellow German agent Sir Edward Bridges arranged a military MBE for him at the end of the war, which in Heath’s case truly did stand for ‘Minor Bloody Effort’.

After the war Heath became a protégé of the notorious German spy Harold Macmillan, working hard to reverse the Allied victory in 1945 by getting Britain into the EEC. Although frustrated by de Gaulle’s veto (Heath didn’t know that de Gaulle was also gay and that British Intelligence were able to lean on him, by which I mean offer him valuable guidance) first time around, he got us in in 1973. He made effective use of strong-arm tactics, including having his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Iain Macleod, murdered by GO2, after Macleod worked out that the terms being imposed by Germany were ruinous.

Macleod’s replacement was Heath’s fellow Abwehr and DVD agent Tony Barber, who had handed his Spitfire over to the Luftwaffe in 1942. You won’t see that in Barber’s Wikipedia entry, of course. As ever Wikipedia are covering for German Intelligence and are still pushing the lie that Barber ran out of fuel. With typical intellectual dishonesty they get around the fact that his Spitfire PR Mk IV was later photographed at the Luftwaffe test center at Rechlin by choosing not to mention it.

Barber sabotaged the British economy and Heath’s premiership was a disaster. He deservedly lost not just one but two general elections in 1974 and was replaced as Leader of the Tory Party by the great Margaret Thatcher. Heath never accepted his defeat and maintained a grudge against Margaret for the rest of his worthless life.

He retired to Salisbury, Wiltshire, where he was regularly supplied with young boys by a brothel-keeper, who admitted as much when prosecuted in 1994. No doubt under Cabinet Office pressure the CPS ensured that the prosecution did not proceed. It was when this came to light, from a former police officer, that Operation Conifer was started.

The IISCA inquiry was partly triggered by revelations about the late BBC pedophile Jimmy Savile, who was the head of a ring organised out of the Cabinet Office and which supplied boys to both Heath and the Cabinet Secretary of the day, John Hunt. The inquiry has been reduced to a farce, with one chairman following another. The current chairman is a social worker, with no intelligence expertise whatsoever, no offense intended. I’m sure that she’s a nice person but she’s hopelessly out of her depth and has probably never even heard of the DVD or GO2.

The inquiry has been so discredited it’s scarcely worth discrediting it any further. There is no chance that it will get at the truth and if it did stumble on the truth accidentally, no chance that it would publish it. The only good thing to come out of IICSA is that is has damaged public confidence, not before time, in the whole concept of official inquiries.

Operation Conifer’s Conclusions

The inquiry team, led initially by Detective Superintendent Sean Memory, an able officer who was then smeared, and then by Detective Superintendent Steve Kirby, under the supervision of Gold Commander Assistant Chief Constable Paul Mills, concluded that there was enough evidence to justify arresting Sir Edward Heath, were he still alive, and interviewing him under caution, in respect of seven alleged sex offences. These were all offences against males, mostly boys, one as young as 11.

The allegations included one of rape, against a young rent-boy, although it’s important to emphasise that the allegation is one of statutory rape ‘only’. Penetration under English law, as in many American states, becomes rape if the victim is too young to give consent. So far as I know the encounter was paid-for, consensual sex. Illegal, and not good, but not as dramatic as the word “rape” suggests.

This is where the legal establishment is getting its comeuppance. It’s been pursuing stale sex allegations for years and messing around with the definition of offenses to make them sound more serious. Now it’s come back to bite them, as the perpetrator in this case happened to be the Prime Minister who dragged us into the EEC.

The inquiry team have exploded three myths about Heath, assiduously propagated for years by the Cabinet Office:

(2) That he was invariably accompanied by protection officers, and

(3) That he could not drive and did not own a car.

They established that he had consensual sexual relations with adult men (young ones, I bet). In fact it seems that he had a voracious sexual appetite and was a sexual predator of the worst sort.

Heath did not receive 24/7 protection until shortly before he became Prime Minister in 1970. Moreover, he seems to have been adept at giving his protection officers the slip.

He also owned two cars at various times, a Vauxhall Viva (an odd choice) and a Rover 2000. No doubt he would have preferred to drive something more Hunnish, like a Mercedes, but he was pretending to be on our side, the bastard.

The Conifer team have done excellent police work. I have no hesitation in saying so, although they have not gone as far as I did in Spyhunter and have not reached any conclusions on the more serious allegations against Heath. His activities for the Abwehr were outside their remit.

In relation to the boys who went missing off Heath’s yachts they were hampered by a lack of co-operation from some of the crew, the Cabinet Office and the intelligence services. No one complained about the boys going missing because they were in care and their files were lost, on Cabinet Office orders. The reach of the Cabinet Office into local government in Britain is deep.

Not a single intelligence file on Heath was handed over. None of the team, so far as I know, was an intelligence officer. Sensibly they concentrated on living victims, not having bodies (which is why the poor boys were weighted down with lengths of anchor chain after they were murdered and then thrown overboard by GO2 agents). Naval Intelligence had a source on one of the yachts, but that file is buried deep. They saved an entire Crown Colony (British Honduras) with the bio-leverage they thus acquired on Heath. You don’t hand that sort of file over to the rozzers, however good they might be.

With limited cooperation and no access at all to intelligence files, ACC Mills and his team have fact-checked three Cabinet Office lies about Heath. They have also shown some of his victims that there are police officers out there who care about them and the rule of law, and who are not frightened of Whitehall.

Update on the Las Vegas shootings

The single shooter theory has now collapsed completely. Only the FBI and the mainstream media are still running with it, but then they’re still claiming that Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy.

I respectfully agree with the range figures, based on audio analysis, highlighted elsewhere on this site by my colleague Ian Greenhalgh. We have one shooter/team of shooters in the Mandalay Bay and another closer in. We probably have two different types of round involved, .223 Remington and 30 cal. It does not follow of course that one of the shooters was Paddock.

As presently advised, I am thinking .223 gunfire from the Mandalay Bay to implicate Paddock and 30 cal. belt-fed from one of the potential sites identified by Ian. A single 30 cal. belt-fed machine-gun can cut down a large number of unarmed and unprotected civilians in a short space of time.

Sonoma County wild fires

How many times do I have to say it? Starting wild fires was an al Qaeda and is now an ISIS modus operandi. Years after I picked that up it was confirmed in the 2011 Seal Team Six raid on the bin Laden family compound in Pakistan. Nobody congratulated me of course.

Nothing was done to warn communities. Homeland Security ignored the threat and allied countries also at risk, like Australia, were left to swing in the wind. The Fibbies aren’t in the least bit concerned – so far as the FBI are concerned it would seem that US citizens are no more than cannon-fodder.

Nobody in the media has the intelligence to link the Sonoma County fires with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Mexico City earthquake and the Las Vegas mass shooting. Most journalists have never heard of the DVD, let alone scalar high energy weapons systems. To them, disasters are things which just happen.

The same applies to politicians. Margaret Thatcher’s government was hit by disaster after disaster, but nobody in the Cabinet worked out that German intelligence was behind most of them. I respectfully agree with Dean Simonton (UC-Davis) about the IQ of politicians. The current British Mensa Magazine (October 2017, page 12) has a useful article summarising his work.

The optimum level of a political leader’s IQ is a maximum of 1.2 standard deviations above the group mean, i.e. around 120-125. Put shortly, smart people tend not to get elected. This is how we end up with Presidents like Bill Clinton and Prime Ministers like Tony Blair, no offense intended.

Indeed, it is almost impossible for highly intelligent people to get elected. They’re too different. This basically means that democracies are run by comparative idiots.

That’s bad enough. Problems really arise however when the idiots in charge don’t understand what idiots they are and fail to listen to their much more intelligent advisers, or appoint themselves experts. There’s only one elected leader in the world, e.g., who knows anything about intelligence, and that’s Vladimir Putin. He’s almost the only politician whose opinion about intelligence matters is worth listening to.

Spyhunter by barrister and intelligence specialist, Michael Shrimpton, is a fascinating alternative look at the history of espionage from the 11th century to the present day, and is on Amazon

I hope the people reading this with access to President Trump who are blocking Spyhunter or intelligence about the DVD from reaching him know the quality of some of the people whose lives they are throwing away. One poor couple burnt to death this week had been married for 75 years. I am sure they were good people. Another was a Navy veteran, a former F4U pilot.

As I said last week, we’re in a quasi-war with Germany, folks. We may not know it, but the Germans, who started it, sure do. How many more skyscrapers, how many more mass-shootings, how many more wild fire victims, before we wake up and smell the coffee? Sadly, I predict that the deaths last week will not be enough to wake up our brain-dead media and political class. They will carry on sacrificing lives, like World War I generals unaware that Asquith, Lloyd George and Hankey were working for Germany and handing over our war plans to the enemy.

At least some of the lives the generals threw away were their own. Over forty British general officers died in World War I. The politicians aren’t taking any risks with their own safety, but they’re happy to keep throwing away other people’s lives. It’s easier to sacrifice the life of somebody you don’t know than think about what you are doing.

There is no chance of a serious official inquiry into the California fires. Law enforcement is wedded to the fatally flawed concepts that terrorism is not a state-sponsored phenomenon and that wild fires are started by discarded cigarettes.

There is however a slight chance that one of the insurance companies being asked to stump up serious money for this nonsense (ditto the insurers for the Mandalay Bay) might start asking questions. Many insurance policies have clauses excluding terrorism. These could probably be invoked re the California fires.

I act for an insurer and I’m happy to advise others! There’s no law against insurers employing investigators with a brain. Even the FBI are not barred by Act of Congress from employing intelligent agents. It’s just custom and practice not to.

This Week’s Reading: Churchill and the Admirals

Captain Stephen Roskill RN, 1977, Pen & Sword 2004

This well-known work of naval history has helpfully been republished by Pen & Sword Military. I’d like to devote more space to analysing it, because it’s been an influential book.

The late Captain Roskill worked for the Cabinet Office after the war and unsurprisingly always took the Cabinet Office viewpoint. He’s an admirer of the German agent Lord Hankey. In this well-known work he really puts the boot into Winston Churchill.

Winne, whose grandson I knew, had his faults: he didn’t drink nearly enough and smoked far too few cigars for one thing. Some of his brainwaves were wildly impracticable and I share Captain Roskill’s analysis that he was first and foremost a military, not a naval officer. He served in India and on the Western Front but never at sea.

However Roskill’s criticisms of him are far too severe, and wholly ignore the role of Abwehr assets, including Hankey and Sir Edward Bridges, in undermining him. Bridges, e.g., lied to him over the sailing of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse from Singapore. Stephen Roskill was a fine gunnery officer, and in a particular a very good naval AAA specialist. On balance however he should have stuck to gunnery.

I don’t think that he was a German spy, even though he worked for the Cabinet Office. He just wasn’t a good enough intelligence officer, with respect, to spot the German spies he was working with!

Edward Heath

Edward Heath (1916-2005), also known as Ted Heath, was a Conservative Party politician who served as British prime minister between 1970 and 1974, the worst period of the Troubles.

Heath was born in a working class family from Broadstairs, Kent, his father a builder and his mother a domestic servant. Ted Heath was educated in Ramsgate and did well enough to obtain a scholarship to Oxford. He studied philosophy, politics and economics, graduating with a degree in 1939. Heath travelled across Europe during study breaks, including visits to Nazi Germany, where he reportedly met leading Nazis like Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels.

Heath joined the Army in March 1941 and served with distinction as an artillery officer during World War II, leaving the service as a lieutenant colonel. In 1950 he ran for the House of Commons, narrowly winning the seat of Bexley. He was promoted to cabinet in 1959 and held several portfolios, before becoming the leader of the Conservative Party in July 1965.

Heath became prime minister after a Conservative election victory in June 1970. As premier he became chiefly concerned with economic reforms, particularly managing Britain’s entry into the European Common Market. Heath often seemed disinterested in Northern Ireland, looking on its political issues and sectarianism with ambivalent distaste. He had no affection for the Loyalist cause and his working relationship with Unionist politicians like Brian Faulkner was strained.

The Bloody Sunday shootings in January 1972 moved Northern Ireland to the top of Heath’s agenda. Frustrated by Faulkner’s intransigence, Heath authorised the imposition of Direct Rule in March 1972. His government favoured a negotiated peace agreement based on power-sharing and cooperation with Dublin. Heath trusted this to his subordinate William Whitelaw, though Heath was partly involved in December 1973 talks that culminated in the Sunningdale Agreement.

Heath was never widely popular with the British people, who thought him too cold and elitist in spite of his working-class origins. Heath and the Conservatives lost power in the February 1974 election, the prime ministership passing to Labour’s Harold Wilson. Heath remained in parliament another 27 years, finally retiring in June 2001. He was not considered for another cabinet portfolio, due to his poor relationship with Margaret Thatcher.

In January 2003, Heath gave evidence before the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday, one of his last significant public acts. He became seriously ill later that year and died in March 2005, aged 89.

After playing tenor horn at the age of six, encouraged by his father Bert, a trumpeter and the leader of the Wandsworth Town Brass Band, Heath later switched to trombone. [7] [8] Both often played together on numerous dance band recording of the 1920s and 1930s.

Earning a living for his family in the post-war years he, and his brother Harold with three other musicians, formed a band that played to commuters outside London Bridge Station before winding their way along the streets in London to a location outside the Queen's Hall Gardens venue. It was here that Heath's professional career began as he was spotted on the street and asked to play with the Jack Hylton Band [2] who had a residence there. He did not last long, not having the experience required, but it gave him the ambition to pursue a career as a professional musician. [8] [9]

His first real band gig was with an American band on tour in Europe – the Southern Syncopated Orchestra – which had an engagement in Vienna, Austria and needed a trombone player. The drummer for this band, Benny Payton, taught Heath all about Jazz and Swing. Heath had to pay his own way back from Austria when the band ran out of money. [8] Heath heard Bunny Berigan, Tommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey and Paul Whiteman when they toured Europe. [8]

He next played with the Metro-Gnomes, a small band fronted by Hylton's then-wife Ennis Parkes. In the late 1920s, Heath again joined Hylton's larger stage band (also being present on a number of 12-inch "concert" recordings), staying until 1930. [8] Around this time, he also began to play for a number of other dance orchestras.

In 1928, he joined Bert Ambrose's orchestra at the Mayfair Hotel in London and played there until 1935 when he moved on to Sydney Lipton's orchestra at the Grosvenor House. Ambrose, a strict disciplinarian, taught Heath how to be a bandleader. It was during this time that Heath became the most prominent trombone player in Britain, renowned for his perfect tone. He kept playing on numerous recordings as a studio musician, although he concentrated his efforts on the Ambrose band after 1932.

In September 1939 the war caused the immediate disbandment of the Sydney Lipton Band, which was on tour in Scotland at the time. Heath, his wife Moira and children went back to London. In late 1939, Heath joined Maurice Winnick's Dorchester Hotel band.

During the late '30s and early '40s, Heath also played as a sideman on several Benny Carter sessions.

In 1940, Heath joined Geraldo's orchestra and played numerous concerts and broadcasts during the war travelling to the Middle East to play to the Allied Forces-based there. He often became one of the "boys" in Geraldo's vocal group, 'Three Boys and a Girl'.

In 1941, Geraldo asked his band members to submit a favourite tune to include in their broadcasts. Heath had composed a song "That Lovely Weekend", after his wife had written him a poem on a rare weekend together amongst his war travels, and he set this to music. Heath suggested "That Lovely Weekend" to Geraldo and it was orchestrated, with Dorothy Carless on vocal, and was an immediate wartime hit. The royalties from this song and another composition "Gonna Love That Guy" allowed Heath to form his own band.

Heath was inspired by Glenn Miller and his Army Air Force Band and spoke with Miller at length about forming his own band when Miller toured Britain with the USAAF Orchestra. Heath admired the immaculate precision of the Miller ensemble and felt confident that he could emulate Miller's great success with his own orchestra.

In 1944, Heath talked Douglas Lawrence, the Dance Music Organiser for the BBC's Variety Department, into supporting a new band with a broadcasting contract. Lawrence was sceptical as Heath wanted a much larger and more jazz orientated band than anyone had seen in Britain before. [9] This band followed the American model, and featured 5 saxes, 4 trombones, 4 trumpets, piano, guitar, Bass and Drums. The new Ted Heath Band, originally organised as a British "All Star Band" playing only radio dates, was first heard on a BBC broadcast in 1944.

In 1945, the BBC decreed that only permanent, touring bands could appear on radio. So Ted Heath and his Music was officially formed on D-Day, 1944.

In late 1945, American bandleader Toots (Tutti) Camarata [10] came to UK as musical director for the film London Town (1946) starring comedian Sid Field. This film was intended to be Britain's first attempt to emulate the American film musicals of studios such as MGM and Camarata commissioned Heath to provide his band as the nucleus for the film's orchestra. The film was not a success.

Heath arranged a stint at the Winter Gardens at Blackpool in 1946, a Scandinavian tour, a fortnight at the London Casino with Lena Horne, and backed Ella Fitzgerald at the London Palladium.

Huge popularity quickly followed and Heath's Band and his musicians were regular Poll Winners in the Melody Maker and the NME (New Musical Express) – Britain's leading music newspapers. Subsequently, Heath was asked to perform at two Royal Command Performances in front of King George VI in 1948 and 1949. [11]

In 1947 Heath persuaded impresario Val Parnell, uncle of the band's star drummer Jack Parnell, to allow him to hire the London Palladium for alternating Sundays for his Sunday Night Swing Sessions. The band caused a sensation and eventually played 110 Sunday concerts, ending in August 1955, consolidating the band's popular appeal from the late 1940s. These concerts allowed the band to play much more in a jazz idiom than it could in ballrooms. In addition to the Palladium Sunday night concerts the band appeared regularly at the Hammersmith Palais and toured the UK on a weekly basis.

In April 1956 Heath arranged his first American tour. This was a reciprocal agreement between Heath and Stan Kenton, who would tour Britain at the same time as Heath toured the United States. The tour was a major negotiated agreement with the British Musicians' Union and the American Federation of Musicians, which broke a 20-year union deadlock. Heath contracted to play a tour that included Nat King Cole, June Christy and the Four Freshmen that consisted of 43 concerts in 30 cities (primarily the southern states) in 31 days (7,000 miles) climaxing in a Carnegie Hall concert on 1 May 1956. [12] At this performance, the band's instrument truck was delayed by bad weather. The instruments finally arrived just minutes before the curtain rose. The band had no time to warm up or rehearse. There were so many encore calls at the Carnegie Hall performance that Nat King Cole (who was backstage, but not on the bill) had to come out on stage and ask people to leave.

During the tour, Nat King Cole was attacked on stage in Birmingham, Alabama by a group of white segregationists. Heath was so appalled he nearly cancelled the remainder of the tour but was persuaded by Cole to continue. They remained firm friends until Cole died in 1965 and collaborated musically on many occasions. Heath later successfully toured the US again and also toured Australia and Europe.

The 1950s was the most popular period for Ted Heath and His Music during which a substantial repertoire of recordings were made. In 1958 nine albums were recorded. He became a household name throughout the UK, Europe, Australasia and the US. He won the New Musical Express Poll for Best Band/Orchestra each year from 1952 to 1961. [13] Heath was asked to perform at a third Royal Command Performance for King George VI in 1951, and for Elizabeth II in 1954. [11]

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1959 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the BBC Television Theatre. During this period, Heath and his band appeared in several more films (following London Town) including Dance Hall (1950) It’s a Wonderful World (1956) and Jazz Boat (1960).

In addition to Cole, Heath established close personal and professional relationships with Woody Herman, [9] Count Basie, [9] Marlene Dietrich, [9] Johnny Mathis [9] and Tony Bennett. [9] He worked with Sarah Vaughan, [14] Ella Fitzgerald [15] Lena Horne June Christy Mel Torme The Four Freshmen Donna Hightower and others. His band members included Ronnie Scott, an early member of the band, the pianist Stan Tracey, trumpeters Kenny Baker, Eddie Blair, Duncan Campbell, sax players Don Rendell and Tommy Whittle, trombonists Don Lusher and Wally Smith, drummers Jack Parnell and Ronnie Verrell and double bass Johnny Hawksworth. The addition of singers Dickie Valentine, Lita Roza and Dennis Lotis in the '50s gave the band more teenage appeal. He commissioned scores from all the top arrangers of the era with more than 800 original arrangements as part of the band's library. Arrangers included Tadd Dameron, George Shearing, [16] Reg Owen, John Keating Kenny Graham [17] [18] Ken Moule Bob Farnon Woolf Phillips [19] Ron Roullier Bill Russo [20] Johnny Douglas [21] Ron Goodwin [22] and Ralph Dollimore.

Heath used Decca's Phase 4 Stereo recording methods in the early '60s. He continued to commission a huge number of original scores and arrangements and some of his biggest US chart successes came during this time. He performed continuously and successfully until his health faltered in 1964 suffering a cerebral thrombosis on his 62nd birthday and collapsing on stage in Cardiff. Thereafter the band toured less, but continued to record several albums.

He died in 1969 at the age of 67, but the band re-formed after a Thames Television tribute broadcast in 1976 [5] with the approval of the Heath family, and went on performing concerts. Initially some early 1970s recordings were recorded under the musical direction of Roland Shaw, Ralph Dollimore and Stan Reynolds, [5] but thereafter all recordings were supervised by trombonist Don Lusher, who led the band for 25 years until 2000, with mostly original Heath alumni. The final concert in December 2000, was a sell out at London's Royal Festival Hall, attended by most Heath personnel past and present and the Heath family. [2] The band at that performance was made up almost entirely of players who had played under Ted Heath's leadership. Numerous radio and television tributes have been broadcast over the years.

The band compared favourably with the best of America's big bands in the opinion of Count Basie [9] in his testimonial to Heath on Heath's 21st Anniversary album, and is generally accepted as the best swing band that Britain ever produced. [23]

Heath was married twice, firstly in 1924 to Audrey Keymer who died in 1932. There were two sons from the marriage, Raymond and Robert. His second marriage was to Moira Tracey—a ballet dancer who appeared in one of the first television transmissions by John Logie Baird on the BBC, and became a prolific lyricist and songwriter. She received a special award for services to television, the 'Freedom of the City of London' in recognition of her services to songwriting and a British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors 'Gold Badge Award'. [24] She died on 24 January 2000 in Weybridge, Surrey, England, UK. There were four children from this marriage, Martin, Valerie, Nicholas and Timothy. [7]

Two of Heath's sons, Nick Heath [25] and Tim Heath, continued the musical and entertainment tradition in the family by becoming successful artiste managers, record company and music publishing company owners, and Nick Heath continues his entertainment business career as a music producer and owner of Birdland Records. James Heath (Heath's grandson—Nick Heath's son) is a film and music video director. [26]

Leeds College of Music in Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom has a wide collection of Ted Heath recordings and memorabilia available for research.

Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London has established, in conjunction with the Heath family, "The Ted and Moira Heath Award" for promising jazz musicians.

Back in the 70s, a U-turn really was a U-turn

Despite saying that public expenditure needed cutting back, in the 70s Edward Heath kickstarted the economy by pouring money into health, education and welfare. Photograph: Frank Tewkesbury/Getty Images

Despite saying that public expenditure needed cutting back, in the 70s Edward Heath kickstarted the economy by pouring money into health, education and welfare. Photograph: Frank Tewkesbury/Getty Images

I f Labour and its supporters in the media are to be believed, David Cameron's signature manoeuvre – especially after Ken Clarke backed down on reduced sentences for offenders who plead guilty – is the U-turn. Yesterday, the Mirror even provided a handy reminder of the top 10. Glancing through the list, though, one can't help but wonder if we've begun to stretch the concept to the point of meaninglessness. If it weren't such a cliche, I'd say George Orwell – the ultimate stickler when it comes to politics and the English language – must be turning in his grave.

When I was a boy – back in the 70s when the term was first applied to politics – a U-turn really was a U-turn, not just a decision to nix some half-baked idea you'd floated only to find it was unworkable or unpopular. To execute a U-turn you had to do what skateboarders (yeah, I know, they came in a little bit later) used to call a full one-eighty. You also had to go back on one or more fundamental, ideologically loaded, headline items in the programme to which you were publicly committed at the election that thrust you into office.

People might well value the school milk for the under-fives, the debt advice, the books for kids, and of course the publicly owned forests that have been rescued at the last minute by red-faced ministers forced to abandon their money-saving schemes by a prime minister who's suddenly realised that, in their case, the game isn't worth the candle-end.

But the failure to follow through on those policies – or on the idea of bigger discounts for guilty pleas, anonymity for defendants in rape cases or automatic imprisonment for carrying a knife – hardly qualifies as ripping the heart out of the programme on which either the Lib Dems or the Conservatives were elected.

It certainly doesn't compare to what Ted Heath, undisputed king of the U-turn, got up to in 1972 – the year he earned the derision and despair of the Tory party's proto-Thatcherites by exercising a series of screeching U-turns on what they had been led to believe was the road to redemption.

Public expenditure, said the Conservative manifesto of 1970, needed cutting back. But faced with unemployment rising to over 1 million for the first time since 1947, the government kickstarted the economy by pouring money into health, education, and welfare, most of it spent by Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph – the colleagues who then turned on Heath after he lost two elections in one year in 1974.

The Conservatives had also promised they were no longer in the business of rescuing "lame ducks" – industrial concerns that couldn't pay their way without government assistance. Nor would they spray money willy-nilly at economically underperforming regions of the UK. Before long, though, the government felt obliged to nationalise a number of basket cases, boost regional subsidies and pass an Industry Act so interventionist that it left Tony Benn licking his lips.

Even more humiliatingly, the Tories in opposition had promised categorically never to go back to statutory control of prices and incomes, but that's exactly what Heath had to do after a series of strikes and the failure of the TUC and CBI to agree on a voluntary solution meant there was no other way – other than deflating the economy and returning to mass unemployment (what some see as Thatcher's solution) – of taming inflation.

Poor old Ted even took flak from some Tories for his humanitarian decision to allow in over 25,000 Asians thrown out of Uganda by Idi Amin after the Conservative manifesto promised to take tough action on immigration.

Nothing the Cameron government has yet done comes close to any of this – except perhaps the homeopathic-level dilution of Andrew Lansley's NHS plans. Strictly speaking, though, even that doesn't qualify since those proposals arguably represented a negation rather than a fulfilment of the Tories' manifesto pledges on health.

If (and, given the post-Heath Conservative party's understandable aversion to real U-turns, it's a big if) you catch Cameron putting deficit reduction on ice for the sake of growth and jobs, then get back to me. For the moment, U-turn if you want to: the gentleman's not for turning.

Sir Edward Heath

When Edward Heath, who has died aged 89, took Britain into the European Economic Community in 1971, it was the culmination of a lifetime of undeviating effort. Europe was his great theme - from his maiden speech in 1950 on the Schuman plan for coordinating western Europe's steel industries, to the ones he was still making half a century later, when Tony Blair was in 10 Downing Street and his own battles with his successor as Conservative leader, Margaret Thatcher, had entered history.

When an earlier Conservative prime minister, Harold Macmillan, first applied to join the then European Common Market in the early 1960s, Heath was in charge of the unsuccessful British negotiating team. His widely praised work won him the Charlemagne prize.

Shortly before Heath became prime minister in 1970, the third British application to join the Common Market had been submitted by Labour's Harold Wilson. But Wilson's singleness of purpose was in doubt. Heath's was not. On October 28 1971, the Commons voted with a 112 majority to go into Europe.

After that, little went well. Singlemindedness and determination could also look like obstinacy and arrogance. Heath had won the 1970 election - against all the forecasts - with a majority of 30 and an unchallenged personal authority he lost that in 1974, amid gloom and industrial chaos.

The 1970 victory had been preceded by talk of competitiveness, lower taxes, the hunting down of "lame duck" industry, a curb on public spending and an assault on what was seen as untrammelled trade union power. But then events, as Macmillan would have said, intruded.

In 1971 Rolls-Royce faced bankruptcy and was partly nationalised and bailed out, as was Upper Clyde Shipbuilders. The attack on unions triggered the 1972 saga of the Pentonville 5, while the battle with the miners ended in victory for the NUM. Public spending rocketed. In Northern Ireland, internment was followed by Bloody Sunday and the beginning of the IRA assault on mainland Britain.

Internationally, in the wake of the Yom Kippur war, energy prices went up four-fold, and in 1973-74 there was renewed conflict with the NUM, the slide into the three-day week and the February 1974 election, called around the slogan, "Who governs?" The answer turned out to be Wilson, after a near dead-heat between the Labour and the Conservatives.

Wilson called another election that October. He won a majority of three, but for many Tory MPs losing was a sin. In 1975, Margaret Thatcher won the leadership from Heath. While it may have been radical for the Conservatives to choose a woman, from Heath's point of view the irony was that they had chosen another meritocrat.

For that was where he had come in. His party had seen the need in the mid-1960s to set Heath, their own meritocrat, to catch Labour's formidable Wilson, and that confrontation dominated a decade of British parliamentary life.

Wilson was loquacious, self-justifying, scornful, though anxious to please, fundamentally warm-hearted. Heath was tight-lipped, introverted, seemingly cold. Yet his performance was more effective than the headlines often made out, even if his carelessness about image-building must at times have been the despair of what are now labelled spin doctors.

After Thatcher toppled him, his incapacity to do or say the right thing verged on high comedy. He regarded her as authoritarian, egotistical, intolerant, an aberration among Conservative leaders. There was no doubting their mutual dislike.

Pointedly she left him out of her shadow cabinet when he and many observers were expecting him to be offered the foreign affairs brief. One of the most bizarre episodes in 20th century Britain's politics ensued.

Onlookers were astonished, delighted, appalled, according to temperament and party. Some were all three as Heath delivered speech after critical speech. It might all have been dismissed as disgruntled soliloquies from a soured man, were it not that the drama increasingly involved the central theme of Heath's career: Europe. Thatcher, as he saw things, was pursuing a narrow nationalism that militated against this country playing a full part in Europe.

The great issue is still unresolved, all these years after Heath led the British to Brussels. This lingering insularity, encouraged by what he regarded as the obstinate egotism and narrow vision of his successor, provided him with a cause that saved him from that elder statesman's fate of subsiding into the Lords or persisting on the Commons backbenches like an extinct volcano. Heath declined to be extinct. He and his great theme remained active. And after Thatcher's memorable fall in November 1990, her predecessor wore Westminster's widest, toothiest smile and borrowed one of her own phrases: "Rejoice, rejoice".

In July, 1965, Heath was the first Conservative leader to be chosen by secret ballot of MPs, the election having broken with the patrician system by which his predecessor, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, had "emerged" as leader in 1963. But it was Douglas-Home during his leadership who had instituted that ballot as a means of selecting, and deselecting, leaders.

Heath's origin and career were in sharp contrast with those of his aristocratic predecessor. His father had been a Kent carpenter before becoming a master builder, his mother a lady's maid. Born in Broadstairs, he began his education as a choral scholar at St Peter's, the local Church of England school, at seven he began piano lessons. He won a scholarship to Chatham House grammar school, Ramsgate, took his school certificate at 13, was playing the organ at 14 and conducting at 15. He won an organ scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, became president of the university Conservative association in 1937 and of the Oxford Union in 1939.

In those times he visited Nazi Germany and attended a Nuremberg rally, and, as a supporter of the Spanish republic, came under machine gun fire while driving down the Spanish coast. During the 1938 Oxford byelection which Quintin Hogg, the future Lord Hailsham, won as the pro-appeasement Conservative candidate, Heath worked for the anti-appeasement candidate, the then Master of Balliol, AD Lindsay.

That year too he won a scholarship to Gray's Inn, London. He never took it up because in 1939 came the second world war. He fought in north-west Europe with the Honourable Artillery Company, rose to lieutenant-colonel and was awarded the military MBE and mentioned in dispatches.

After the war, Heath became a civil servant, then took a post as news editor of the Church Times in 1947. Thatcher would have her husband's wealth behind her, but Heath, like John Major, William Hague , Iain Duncan-Smith, and Michael Howard, had to earn a living.

In 1948, he became a trainee in the finance house of Brown, Shipley and Company.

In 1949 at Bexley's "bread-rationing byelection" he reduced the Labour majority from 11,000 to 1,000. At the 1950 general election he won the redistributed seat with a 133 majority. After the Conservatives won the 1951 general election, he became a junior whip and resigned from Brown, Shipley to devote himself to politics.

He was energetic, thorough, efficient and a master both of detail and of his temper. The public had some idea of his political attitudes from his contribution to the seminal Conservative pamphlet, One Nation (1950). But then he remained silent in the Commons as deputy chief whip (1953-55) and chief whip (1955-59), before emerging as labour minister.

From 1960-63, he was Lord Privy Seal with Foreign Office responsibilities and as such handled the Common Market negotiations. He was in his element, dealing with like-minded men over details of trade. Never caught out by questions, he emerged as a fervent European.

When Sir Alec Douglas-Home succeeded Macmillan as prime minister in 1963, Heath was promoted to secretary of state for industry, trade and regional development and president of the board of trade. His main work was to secure the enactment of the resale prices bill which, against stiff Conservative opposition, limited the scope of price agreements.

It was not until the Conservatives lost office in October, 1964, that the House had a fair opportunity to judge Heath's ability in a wider context. His ability, familiarity with trade and finance, toughness in controversy - all fed belief among Conservatives that he was the man to restore them to power. Nevertheless, when the leadership election came, in 1965, Heath did not win outright. But his rivals Reginald Maudling and Enoch Powell withdrew their candidacies before the second ballot and Heath became leader.

He was promptly confronted with the task of preserving party unity over policy towards Ian Smith's white minority regime in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), when it made its 1965 unilateral declaration of independence. UDI challenged the authority of the crown and parliament and Wilson's government took steps - mainly sanctions - to undermine the Smith regime. There was a strong Conservative element, led by Lord Salisbury, which supported Smith. But, backed by Douglas-Home, Heath overcame the revolt.

Then came 1966, the high tide of Wilson's political ascendancy, a 98-seat Labour majority in place of the four-seat majority which had determined the 1964 result. Probably no Conservative could have defeated Labour in that year, but for Heath's enemies, later, that defeat would be seen as a harbinger of worst times to come.

By 1968 Labour's popularity had plummetted. Yet it was that April that Powell made his "rivers of blood" speech on immigration. Neither Heath, nor any of his colleagues had been consulted. The Conservative leader sacked Powell, and thus opened up a fissure in his party which persisted.

In June 1970 Wilson called an election. He, and much of the media, assumed that victory was in the bag for Labour. But it was to be Heath's triumph, although it would last less than four years.

But Heath had hinterland, as his Oxford contemporary Denis Healey would say. By the time he quit the Commons in 2001, he was Father of the House, yet another addition to the honours, political, academic and artistic which he accumulated. And there was the music and the yachting. The latter saw him win the 1969 Sydney to Hobart race, captain Britain's 1971 Admiral's Cup team and be part of the 1980 Sardinia Cup team. His books included his Godkin lectures, Old World, New Horizons (1970), and Sailing A Course In My Life (1975).

Michael White writes: To stay in public life for 26 years after being rejected resoundingly by the electorate and one's own party suggests either implacable determination or bloody-minded stubbornness. In Heath's case it was both. Winston Churchill, the patron of his early promotion, was clearly his model. Both spurned the Lords, but Churchill was 80, not 58, when he left No 10 trailing only slightly tarnished glory, not humiliation.

Critics dubbed it the longest sulk in parliamentary history. But Heath had much to say on many topics and, as a man whose sleeve had been brushed by Hitler's at a rally in Nuremberg in 1937, he brought increasingly unique insights to the task.

At times during the years he sat in his corner seat below the Commons gangway, it seemed as if he was determined to stay there until Thatcher was not only politically down, but ideologically out as well. Had he lived to attend her funeral, one can imagine him thinking he had finally made his point.

But nothing proved so cut and dried. The limits of economic Thatcherism had been demonstrated, especially in its monetarist manifestation. But the deregulated, privatised, market-oriented world she helped to create - rather more successfully than his own efforts - had triumphed almost everywhere.

As for Europe, the great cause of Heath's career, Britain's place in it, in the wake of the Dutch and French referendums is still not clear. Heath's contempt for wilder Eurosceptic Tory talk of withdrawal from the European Union , or membership of the North American Free Trade Agreement, was always total. It could be counter-productive in a house increasingly peopled by Tory MPs who had been taught to regard him as a traitor and by Labour ones who thought, wrongly, that he was almost one of them.

Towards the end he was often lumped together with his near-contemporary, Tony Benn. "Good Riddance" declared a Sunday Telegraph profile when the pair retired as MPs four years ago.

But right until the end of his parliamentary career he remained, like Benn, a speaker who could half-fill a near-empty chamber. Europe was his overriding preoccupation and he coupled it with a wariness of American policy and motives which made him the least pro-Washington postwar premier.

Industrial policy, relations with Russia and the wider world, especially China, where he advised the Beijing government and often defended it, were frequent topics. The author of the "unacceptable face of capitalism" jibe (his target was Lonrho) attacked corruption and poor performance among the captains of industry, deepening Tory enmity as much as his opposition to some of his party's privatisations.

That particular paradox was underlined when he spoke out fiercely against the widespread perception in the 1990s "sleaze era" that most MPs are less than honest and honourable. When he took that stance to the point of attacking the Nolan commission's report on reforming parliamentary accountability, few thought him wise.

Friends who had taken his finances in hand in the 1970s helped make him comfortably well off. In addition to the yacht Morning Cloud, Heath owned a modest terrace house in Wilton Street, Belgravia, and another, much more magnificent and dating from Queen Anne, in Salisbury's Cathedral Close.

Of the Chinese government's decision to put down the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989, he said: "There was a crisis after a month in which the civil authorities had been defied. They took action. Very well." And his conciliatory approach to Saddam Hussein also attracted widespread criticism.

He was asked if he ever wondered if he was making the mistake that Neville Chamberlain had made. "No", he replied. In his defence, it could be said that former soldiers who have seen war are least keen to inflict it on others. But there was recurring evidence that he could be insensitive to democratic demands and insufficiently wary of authoritarian regimes.

As MP for Bexley, Bexley Sidcup and Old Bexley and Sidcup from 1950 - when his majority had been smaller than the number of votes which Mr Job, the Communist party candidate, took off Labour (he often toasted Mr Job) - Heath kept a good agent who looked after constituents' needs, and he did not outstay his welcome among local loyalists until close to the end. Whe he stood down in 2001, Derek Conway, a Eurosceptic ex-whip, won the seat.

The same election Tony Benn's seat went to the Lib Dems. Such are the indignities of political old age. But Heath's were more extensive, unusually so. His complaint was that the Thatcherites who so brilliantly ousted him from the leadership in 1975, never accorded him the courtesies to which an ex-leader and premier was entitled. Invitations to consult, or to No 10 dinners, were virtually non-existent. There was no cabinet job offered when Mrs Thatcher won office in 1979, except some vague talk of the Washington embassy, which he took (rightly) as an insult.

Apart from the Brandt commission on international development and north-south relations (1977-83), which was out of touch with the harsher temper of the times, he undertook few big public tasks, preferring to become what his lieutenant, Ian Gilmour, later called "the most distinguished backbencher since Richard Cobden" the Victorian apostle of free trade.

But his style, never light, underlined the impression that he was sulking. Even his jokes had a habit of sounding like pomposity or bad temper to those who did not know him. Often they were self-deprecating, albeit disguised.

For many years he invited a group of political reporters to dinner on the eve of the Tory conference, at Salisbury in the south or the Riverside hotel at Poulton-le-Fylde when the conference was in Blackpool. He may have had half an eye on the good opinion of posterity, but it was also generous. Reporters in their 30s could hear, firsthand of that brush with Hitler's arm.

"I am very good with widows," Heath would say. Certainly his later career, despite his many frustrations and disappointments, was neither lonely nor friendless. Lady Soames and Lady Woolf, the widow of his chief of staff, were among many who stayed loyal.

And if there had never been a wife to console his solitude there was always music. He was still to be found at the Salzburg annual music festival until 2003.

Heath claimed to have visited every country in the world except North Korea, Bolivia and Paraguay. In many countries he was treated rather more respectfully than at home, where his candour was redefined as petulance by his critics

He remained determined that he would be vindicated, until close to the end.

· Edward Richard George Heath, politician, born July 9 1916 died July 17 2005.

· This obituary has been revised and updated since the deaths of Francis Boyd, in 1995 and Norman Shrapnel last year.

Edward Heath (1525 - 1593)

He made his last Will on 06 March 1592/3 and was buried 2 days later on 08 Mar 1592/93 at Ware, Hertfordshire, England.

His estate was in probate court on 23 Mar 1592/93.

Disputed Origins

Edward Heath was NOT the son of Robert Heath.

Extracts from the last Will of Edward Heath of Ware .

. "I'm a collermaker, sycke in bodie" .

He asked to be buried in the churchyard of Ware and made the following bequests .

"unto Alyce my warylandyff xl a yere duryng her lyff. And her dwellyng in my howse, that ys to saye the chamber that she nowe useth to lie yn wthall moveables of household stuff nowe thereyn, the kytchen & the buttrye, wth ffree egresse ingresse & regresse into the same & easyaments in the backsyde durying her natural lyff. And a table with a ffourme in the hall provided, always.

And my wyll ys that two of my daughters, Elen & Kateryn, shall have all the aforesaid houshold stuff, after my wyffs decease equallie to be devided betwene them by the discreccon of my sonn Willm.

To my said two daughters, Elen & Kateryn, xx s a pece to be payd them at the daye of their maryage.

To Johan my daughter, vj s viij d to be payd to her within one yere after my decease.

To my daughter Johan, her sonn xiij s viij d to be paid at his age of xv yeres.

To Elizabeth my daughter, vj s viij d within one yere after my decease . to eyther of her children John & Margrett, vj s viij d a pece, at their age of xv yeres

To Thomas my sonn, xl s whereof xx s to be payd wthin one yere after my ddecease.

And the other xx s wthin the next yere then next ffolowyng.

To my sonn John, xx s to be payd hym wthin one yere next after my decease.

To my daughter Margaretts children now alyve v s a pece to be payd at their age of xv yeres afteter my decease.

To my sonn Willm, all that my nowe dwelling house wthall the edifice yards gardens wthall the Appurtenances therunto belongyng scituat in lytle Amwell in the countie of Hertf to hym & his heyres for ever, And all the resideue of my goods & moveables unbequeathed . to my sonne Willm his children nowe alyve vj s viij d a pece at their age of xviij yeres.

All wch severall somes of money to be payd by my sonn Willm, whom I do ordeyne & make my sole Executor of this my last Wyll & Testament.

[The following bequest is written on the left margin, evidently intended to be part of the main body of the Will]

Itm - I geve unto my sonn Robt, xl s wherof xx s wthin one yere after my decease and the other xx s wthin the yere then followyng. And all my apparell.

Itm - I geve unto everie of my sonn Robert his children v s a pece to be payd to them at the age of xv age.

Watch the video: EDWARD HEATH. Overview. 1970-74