News Ruth Dudley Edwards

Saturday 3 December 2016

Ted Heath: A man who didn't fancy anyone

Just because Heath is a dead Tory, he's become fair game for hysterical paedophile hunters, says Ruth Dudley Edwards

Published 09/08/2015 | 02:30

Glaring at his nemesis: Ted Heath looks at the woman who brought him down as Tory leader, Margaret Thatcher, a happening which led to a 30-year sulk
Glaring at his nemesis: Ted Heath looks at the woman who brought him down as Tory leader, Margaret Thatcher, a happening which led to a 30-year sulk
Childhood: Heath when young. His mother adored her Teddy
Ireland talks: Ted Heath at the time of the Sunningdale talks with, from left, Oliver Napier of the Allliance Party, Liam Cosgrave, Brian Faulkner and Gerry Fitt

So the name of Ted Heath, British Prime Minister from 1970-1974, has been added to the list of dead Conservative politicians accused of being paedophiles. The British police, smarting from their appalling failure to protect thousands of children groomed and raped over years in more than two dozen cities and their equally shameful negligence and cowardice with the likes of Jimmy Savile, are in a state of mad, compensatory zealotry and are inviting the entire population to queue up to accuse Heath of abuse. Egged on by the Labour MP Tom Watson, who has achieved tabloid fame with so far unsubstantiated allegations of a parliamentary paedophile network, the hysterics of social media are in full cry and child molesters are being sought for under every bed.

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One of those is what I believe was the virgin bed of Edward Heath, whom I couldn't stand but who was not a bad man. He was odd though: as the writer Robert Conquest wrote in his memoirs, "I have been at parties where Edward Heath has been present, and could have met him … but didn't see the need, preferring human beings."

At one such party, I was introduced to Heath when he was leader of the Conservative Party. He might as well have been carrying a placard saying 'I cannot converse socially so please don't even try to engage me'. I assumed this was because he was notoriously uncomfortable with women, but in fact Conquest was right. Heath connected extremely well with musical instruments and yachts, but he didn't do people, a species he didn't understand.

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