Tribute to Lord Radice, Founding Visiting Parliamentary Fellow

Emeritus Fellow Archie Brown remembers Lord Giles Radice (4 October 1936 – 15 August 2022), who was a founding Visiting Parliamentary Fellow at St Antony’s:

Giles (Lord) Radice – who died on 25 August at the age of 85 – was, along with his Conservative counterpart, Sir Patrick Cormack, one of the first two Visiting Parliamentary Fellows at St Antony’s. Although both of them were later to become peers, at the time when they got the Parliamentary Fellowship off to a splendid start in the 1994-95 academic year, they were in the House of Commons.

Giles was on the centre-right of the Labour Party, and he published an influential pamphlet in 1992 called ‘Southern Discomfort’, with proposals for change in Labour policy to make it more attractive to voters in the South of England. (Now is perhaps the time for a pamphlet on ‘Northern Discomfort’, for Labour has made gains in the south, but has lost support, since the time when Radice was writing, in the north of England and, calamitously so, in Scotland, currently dominated by the Scottish National Party.)  As George (Lord) Robertson made clear in a warm tribute, Radice was a Labour loyalist who tried to dissuade several of his parliamentary friends from forming a new Social Democratic Party, and he firmly resisted their blandishments to join them.

Giles admitted that, as a very active MP, it was not easy to make time for visits to St Antony’s, though he also said he found his College attachment stimulating and intellectually productive. He was a conscientious Parliamentary Fellow and always an interesting person to engage in discussion. As both a reflective politician (and author of numerous books) and a very practical one, he made a notable contribution to the life of the College. The parliamentary seminar programme in Trinity Term 1975 on ‘Accountability in British Politics’ got the series, which has continued annually ever since, off to a very good start. In addition to his role as a co-convenor of those seminars, Giles had several discussion meetings with St Antony’s graduate students (as did Patrick Cormack), and he invited two groups of students from the College to the House of Commons. He also took part in a roundtable discussion in the European Studies Centre on ‘Germany 50 years after the Stunde Null’. During his College Fellowship, he published his book, The New Germans, in April 1995.

Giles and his wife, Lisanne Radice, were excellent company, their pungent views leavened by a great sense of humour. Giles, who latterly suffered from cancer, will be greatly missed, and our sincere condolences are extended to Lisanne.

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