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"gifts from world leaders such as Fidel Castro, Chairman Mao and Saddam Hussein"

It is so nice to see that Heath's fellow socialists were so generous to him! You can judge a man by his friends.

He'll be sulking from the afterworld ;)

What a pity he didn't live long enough to be tried for treason.

Three posts, each showing a sickening lack of respect. No wonder there's not a real-name in sight, disrespectful cowards.

Totally agree, Mark. Conservative councillors in Salisbury should bury their heads in shame! Good on Cllr. Sample!

There's something faintly churlish about this refusal. It's the sort of chippy thing you would normally expect from Lib Dems or, er, Ted Heath.

I for one would be extremely fascinated to see the various forms of loot the old swine received over the years. Just imagine the main exhibit: a stuffed panda playing a piano on the deck of a yacht. Worth £5 of anyone's money.

Can't see any harm in opening the place up. Whilst some of us anoraks might choose to pay a visit, it's hardly going to attract vast queues of fans snaking round the cathedral close!

"La Vendetta ah La Vendetta
E un piacer serbato ai saggi" Da Ponte

"I have no gun but I can spit" Auden

I see that the Cameroons on Con Home are already out supporting their true hero!

Ted Heath showed scant respect for the oppressed peoples of China, Cuba and Iraq. Heath was coying up to those dictators when they were at their most brutal.

One paper reported that Heath was paid by the Chinese government after he was succeeded by Lady Thatcher.

It is normally bad manners to speak ill of the dead but Heath's case it is fair to make a dishonourable exception.

You Turn If You Want To!

I'm an unashamed Heathite (though Euro-sceptic) and am proud that my grandfather was a very close friend of his and one time chair of his CA. I'm horrified that people are seeing fit to be so publicly nasty.

Are these the depths to which we've sunk, or do we as Tories stand for something better - for a defiance of the generally dumbing down of standards in society? I thought, and hoped, it was the latter...

Thatcherite, a lot of the criticisms you make of Ted Heath are fair but I still think this decision sounds pretty petty. If you go to Chartwell, you will see the gifts that Stalin gave to Churchill who spent a lot of time cosying up to him in 1941-5. As someone has already said, I don't think that there will be vast crowds in Salisbury Cathedral Close if Ted Heath's house is opened to the public. The Close is already a big tourist attraction for other reasons.

Are you sure that's the right picture? It looks an awfully lot like a house in Winchester Cathedral Close (the wall on the right separates the grounds from the lane running along the Cathedral's south nave wall).

As Heath was instrumental in taking this country into the European Project which undermines our parliamentary sovereignty and undermines the British state there is an argument that he committed treason, according to the British Constitution; Tony Blair acknowledged that point last year;

The British problem with our membership of the EU may derive from the curious and tortured circumstances of its birth. But long since, it has taken on a unique life of its own. The dilemma of a British Prime Minister over Europe is acute to the point of the ridiculous. Basically you have a choice: co-operate in Europe and you betray Britain; be unreasonable in Europe, be praised back home, and be utterly without influence in Europe. It’s sort of: isolation or treason.
Tony Blair 02/02/06 OXFORD

It is an offence under Section 1 of the Treason Act 1795 “within the realm or without … to devise … constraint of the person of our sovereign … his heirs or successors.”
It is an offence under section 1 of the Treason Act 1795 to engage in actions “tending to the overthrow of the laws, government and happy constitution” of the United Kingdom
The Attorney-General took over the cases brought against our leaders under the Treason Act 1795 and then he dropped them as “not in the public interest”.

That in itself breached the Bill of Rights by “suspending the operation of law” and was contrary to natural justice in that the Attorney sat in judgement on his own case.

Of course as Blair has since repealed the Treason Act 1795 no more action can be brought, but when Heath took this country into the Union the Treason act was still in force as was the Bill of Rights 1689 it still is in fact.

As there is documentary proof that Heath knew the full extent of the European project and exactly what was planned for the British state there can be no argument that he did not understand the full implication of his actions. Sorry I cannot give respect to a leader who only holds his position because he has taken an oath of allegiance to his state and then works to undermine that state.

Note real name

Ken Adams, don't be so ridiculous - there's no sensible argument of treason. Since the Queen ratified the Treaty of Rome and Parliament (comprised of Queen, Lords and Commons) enacted the European Communities Act, you're living in a fantasy land.

By all means criticise the EU and Heath with hard economic and political reality (not exactly difficult), but you undermine your arguments with that nonsense.

Actually, I thought the first three posts were quite funny. But I agree, it would be interesting to open his house up.

I'm sure it will be a big tourist destination..........

The man never held a proper job and as PM earned a maximum of 50k a year. He went ocean racing, which is quite possibly the worlds most expensive hobby.

And yet he lived in a house in the CLose worth probably £3m today


The wages of sin are clearly not minimum wage.

It is the right picture, Ed!

Jonathan, I think the register of members interests showed he was earning quite a lot of money through directorships ect. He also didn't have a wife or kids to bleed him dry.

The comments above completely miss the point. The point is not whether or not you were a fan of Ted Heath, it is that the Local Council in Salisbury consulted the residents who live within the close and as a result took the decision they did. I have often been to the close and one of its main features is that it is a quiet close and somewhere you can go and sit to get some peace and quiet in beautiful surroundings. There is already a certain amount of tourism visiting the Cathedral but that is mostly to the southside of the close. Ted Heath's house is opposite on the west side of the close therefore causing more disturbance for the residents who probably took into consideration the quietness of the close when they purchased their property.

We are always saying that politicians both locally and nationally don't listen to what the public say, so why the outcry when they do take into account their views. If Ted Heath wanted his collections to be seen by the public then I am sure they can be shown somewhere else within Salisbury or even in the cathedral itself because he had close connections with the cathederal during the time he lived in the close. So come on let's keep to the issue.

What a collection of thoroughly unpleasant posts about a man who served his country honourably in peace and war. "Never had a proper job?" Colonel in the Royal Artillery seems like a proper job as does Prime Minister. We may disagree with some or all of Ted's policies and I think it would be hard to view the 1970-4 government as a raging success with the benefit of hindsight but he tried to do what he considered to be right for the country. The sort of squalid jibes being offered here might be worthy of Labour or more particularly the Lib Dems but not of Conservatives.

Ken Adams - hope you're not in the Party.

I think Ken Adams is right about Heath's treason. Perhaps the Queen committed it too.
Simon's airy dismissal of UK law is at one with the EU's lack of respect for its own rules. God help us if we ever become subject to Corpus Juris.

On the matter of opening the house to the public, I have no strong opinion as this is really a matter for the local residents.

On the 'rubbishing' of a former leader who was apparently well-supported when in power, this seems sadly typical of the fate suffered by every one of Heath's successors.

It seems that the current 'party line' takes precedence over sny concept of loyalty in the modern Conservative party.

Despite the fact Mr Heath betrayed the 1970's manifesto (a very good conservative document), oversaw the Barber Boom and let his burning ambition to succeed where MacMillan failed overide commonsense, I think this decision petty. It carries echoes of Oxford University's failure to recognise Margaret Thatcher.

People in Cathedral Close already live next to one of the wonders of the UK, with plenty of tourists and would not notice a few tramping over to look at Ted's old home. Vanity on his part perhaps but he had little enough to be remembered for (though history wll probably remember him when Dougles-Home, Wilson & Callaghan)

Judging from the conduct of the Tories in my area, i'm suprised they havent converted his former home into a block of flats!

I thought he was quite a good Prime Minister at the time, but when canvassing as a candidate at the 1974 general elections I found he wasn't at all popular among the electorate and I was told a lot of things about him that are better not repeated here. He wasn't very successful electorally, winning only one of his four General Elections (compare Margaret Thatcher winning three out of three), and the major thing history will remember him for was taking us into the EEC, something which now looks more and more like a mistake. The fact that he wanted his house kept open as a sort of memorial to him says a lot about his character and his (on the whole misplaced) pride.

I don't think many people would want to visit it anyway so perhaps it's not a great loss if it gets sold to someone who would value it.

What a pity he didn't croak before he stuffed the country. Heath could have avoided treason altogether. Look at his real legacy: Traitors abound!

Remember that old quote: 'Do not ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country'? Heaths' was obviously the Federalist State. His followers have left all non racist British patriots unwelcome within our own borders.

I left the conservatives when Cameron became leader. They no longer deserve the name. Cameron looks just as dangerous to the liberty and democracy of this nation as Heath turned out to be. For those still hoping and giving Cameron the benefit of the doubt - don't waste your time or energy. His brand of conservative are a squalid lot.

My name is Paul Marks and I live in Kettering, Northamptonshire - in case anyone thinks I am a "coward".

I told Edward Heath what I thought of him back in 1989 (over his defence of the mass murder conducted by the regime in the People's Republic of China) and I see no reason to pretend to regard him as a great man now he is dead.

"But he faught for the country during the war" - so did a lot of people, some good and some bad. And Edward Heath was one of the bad ones.

By the way, where did he get all the money from?

He was not born with money, he did not marry money and he never worked a day in his life. So where did all the money come from?

It a shame that the local authority should not allow the house to become a museum. However Heath died before being properly and widely exposed over the EEC entry conditions in which he gave away far more than he needed. The whole project is a respose to conditions now past (for the UK). Secondly how did Heath come by all his money? He never had a proper job - and he was a colonel in the HAC not the RA. My father (also an HAC colonel) said in 1965 that Heath was thought to be untrustworthy, and so it proved

"still in force as was the Bill of Rights 1689 it still is in fact."

Think you'll find that no politician, judge, orlawyer would agree with you on that, in that the Bill of Rights explicitly sets out to limit the powers of government, and I don't think you'd find anybody who could enforce such limits actually willing to do so.

Ken Adams - I hope you ARE in the party.

Paul Marks: where did he get all the money from?

Earned it. We can quibble about "earning" but Heath did make a fair bit of money from his directorships and his books. I don't suppose he sold his London house at a loss, either. Can't remember if he sold his yacht.

Very petty. I'm not a believer but I'm getting a strong case of a need for some of Jesus' best thoughts here .... glad I'm so perfect that I'm free to make such unkind remarks about someone who's dead. For goodness' sake, isn't there a difference between that which he did as PM (and his very amusing, for the rest of us, public sulking afterwards) with a decision about whether or not to honour his wishes to have his house made over to the country in some way? I'm sure if I were ever lucky enough to be somewhere as beautiful as Salisbury I would love to visit, even if it only confirmed my suspicions about the dubious communist company he kept.

I was absolutely no fan of Ted Heath. His views on the EU were abhorrent and "the incredible sulk" against Margaret Thatcher was not an edifying sight. Nevertheless, I'm depressed by some of the nasty jibes and insinuations that this thread has provoked.

Does anyone know the reasons that the local council gave for turning down this application?

William, it was reported that most of the Grocer's money came from the Chinese government as "fees".

It was also reported that Heath negotiated to lease the house at a substantial discount (as a "courtesy" to a former Prime Minister who could not afford it). When John Major enabled leaseholders to buy the freehold, Heath exercised his right and the price was based on the discount.

There was therefore quite a stir when Heath's estate was revealed to be around £6m. This may have influenced the views of local Tories towards coverting his "cheap" house into a museum.

Heath bought the house on a ten year lease in 1985 for between £90,000 and £100,000, and then seems to have negotiated sale of the freehold from the Church Commissioners in 1993 as a result of the Leasehold Reform Act for about £250,000. He should have been able to afford that.

On the other hand, Arundells is a house and ought to remain so. Given the shortage of housing in the area, that might be a better use than a museum.

Is it perhaps typical of Sir Edward that in death he tries to spoil, for his neighbours, the sumptuous peace and comfort that he would have indignantly defended in life ?

I personally would find it more convenient to tramp in and out of the Albany, if his neighbours there accept that Sir Edward would have wished it so.

Presumably the property situation is financially sound. The target public (if any) would surely be interested more in where he operated than where he retired. So could his old constituency association (or its successors) be induced, for the right sum, to harbour the exhibition of the great man’s loot ?

What about his papers ? - already sent to the Churchill archive perhaps ?

The nasty party is alive and well and living on this thread.
I am afraid David still as a bit more to do before he cleans the party up.The comments above belong in the gutter. Those who have made them should be ashamed of themselves.

To open a museum to the Grocer would just be pandering to his enormous and unwarranted ego. Still no-one knows who sponsored his millionaire sailing, or how he dealt with his taxes. Best to leave him, or perhaps erect a sculptured fish monument in memory of his services to the British Fishermen.

Thatcherite: "around £6 million"? That would be £5 million, then? On the basis of Dave Batt's figures about the past value of the house as leasehold, it sounds as if a considerable proportion of the estate was tied up in the house (so maybe his effects didn't run to stuffed pandas etc as I initially thought).

Mike Turner: no-one knows who sponsored his millionaire sailing. No-one cares, either.

If the inscrutable Chinese Government decided to throw buckets of money at Ted Heath for own their wily oriental ends, then I say good luck to him. I hope he died laughing at them.

Go on - tell me this is all part of an insidious Confuscian plot: the Chinese planted their chap in Cathedral Close to pave the way for the tanks to come rolling down Salisbury High Street, whilst heartless swine from Brussels subverted the Oxfam shop on the corner. It wouldn't surprise me. Thus far today on ConHome we have had Adam Smith the Marxist Thinker and Elizabeth II the Traitor. Definitely above par.

I very much doubt whether the local Planning Committee decided this on the grounds of their political views on Ted Heath. If they did they shouldn't have.

My youthful political attitudes were formed during his Premiership, in opposition to his Europhilia and love of big government and heavy handed over-regulation. His Government ended in chaos in a way even John Major's did not manage and I am just old enough to have voted "No" in the 1975 Referendum. So I hold no brief for him, and incidentally think his muted museum to be a telling sign of vanity as well as highlighting the sadness of having no relatives to leave his fortune to.

But I do think banging on about him being a traitor is small-minded at this stage. I am amused that the Blair Govt has repealed the law against actions "tending to the overthrow of the laws, government and happy constitution" of the UK - he obviously foresaw the potential prosecution for smashing up our "happy constitution" but wasn't thorough enough to repeal the law against the sale of honours.

Ted Heath was a complex man (as well as a man with complexes). I met him on a couple of occasions as a student, both during his early sulking years - once he was charming, intellectually engaged, almost sparkling (at a private dinner of about a dozen - all young male undergraduates which may have had something to do with his good humour); the other time I sat next to him at a large dinner and failed to get much more than a monosyllable out of him all evening.

As for his money, whether or not he got money from the Chinese, apart from the profit on his house refered to above, remember that he had nearly thirty years with a very good ex-PM pension (and MP's salary) with not much to spend them on and also, apart from directorships (he worked for a small merchant bank for a time between the army and politics, so was quite well-bid back in that world, or at least the international smooozing bit of it - real jobs? more so than many), made a lot of money out of his bestselling books "Sailing" and "Music" - shows your age and squirrel like capacities if you still have one or both of those on your bookshelves but they were fastastically successful and, if they are not still on many shelves, then landfill sites and/or re-cycling plants must have been seriously utilised as a result.

What a poor reflection on we Conservatives when one reads all the unpleasant jibes at Ted Heath. He was our leader, he was our Prime Minister. He was not a God but quite human and believed in what he was doing with passion.
He was a Christian which I suspect is more than can be said about some of the authors of some of the comments. I am just an ordinary Conservative of some 45 years who will support the Party and it's leader through "Thick & Thin" and has done just that in the past.

I hope that any Heath exhibition - in Salisbury or elsewhere - will give due prominence to his greatest legacy: Thatcherism.

It is somewhat sad to see such vitriol directed against Ted Heath. I am no fan of his, indeed I would rank him as one of the worst leaders our party ever had.

His record as leader in general elections: Played 4, lost 3 won 1. (25% success rate). No wonder he disliked Mrs Thatcher so much, after all, she played 3, won 3. (Also Heath managed the unique - to my knowledge - feat of losing two elections in one year!)

However, it does us no good to make make personal insults of the departed like this. After all, if Mrs. Thatcher could see fit to forget the past and attend his funeral, should we not learn a little from her example?

Roger Bird is taking the urine. Heath's legacy was the 3 day week, rampant inflation, trade union militancy and the surrender of our national sovereignty (along agriculture and fisheries etc) to the EU. That is not a legacy that I would be proud of.

Afterthought: He has a large gravestone let into the floor inside Salisbury cathedral, so maybe that is sufficient of a memorial for this obviously controversial person.

Can't quite see why a one-term Prime Minister should merit a personal museum. I'd have had more respect for Heath if he'd asked for his knick-knacks to be sold and the money given to the upkeep of Salisbury Cathedral, once of the loveliest in the country.

I am no Heathite but I must say that the outpouring of bile from some contributors above almost leaves me speechless. Like many Tories of my age I was a supporter of Ted at the time for no other reason than the fact that he was our leader. I suspect that over time a good many Tory leaders have had support in the same way, i.e. the old fashioned concept of loyalty. One of the most generous tributes to Ted Heath I heard following his death was from Bill Walker the staunch Thatcherite MP, who pointed out that behind the public personae there was a compassionate man who simply struggled to interact with his fellow man but could be warm and generous to a fault.
As to the money I can tell you from my own knowledge that up until its demise he was a International Board member of Arthur Andersen for which he received a generous six figure retainer and that this and a number of other similar posts will have generated his income and wealth , not the Chinese.
As an ardent Thatcherite I would be the first to argue that most of Ted’s legacy we would be better off without .I am also sure that most thinking Tories would quickly point out that the sole reason Ted was able to accumulate his wealth was due to the transformation in the fortunes of this country that Lady Thatcher secured. He is long gone now and poring bile on his memory is not what Conservatives should be made of. I am sure his Trustees will appeal the decision of the Parish Council and the planning inspectorate will apply common sense to the proposal

I heard, face to face, Ted Heath make nasty and cutting personal remarks about Lady Thatcher (e.g. how she dressed, spoke etc). They were not those of a true statesman to put it mildly.

The bottom line is that he gave away too much, far too much to join the EU.

We lost cheap imports of food from the Commonwealth. The exporters were left high and dry.The industrial areas of Liverpool and Manchester became virtual deserts as all industry migrated to the South East and the Northern Ports were no longer required. ect ect ect.
The saving grace was North Sea Oil.

"posts, each showing a sickening lack of respect"


"He was our leader, he was our Prime Minister."

And he lied to us!

"Ted Heath showed scant respect for the oppressed peoples of China, Cuba and Iraq. Heath was coying up to those dictators when they were at their most brutal."

Can anybody else spot the irony in somebody calling themselves 'Thatcherite' spluttering about Ted Heath showing scant respect for oppressed peoples and cosying up to brutal dictators?

The disgusting DVA is no doubt referring to Pinochet. I was no fan of Pinochet's human right record but you cannot it to Mao's or Saddam's genocidal practices.

Thatcherite, if you met DVA face:face or used your real name, I wonder if you would be so nasty, negative and personal?

DVA was smearing the good lady. For the record, I fear no one.

The reason I do not use my own name is that CCHQ keep records on CH posters' comments (in addition to Party members' letters in the press). Mr Hinchcliffe will find out that to his cost if he applies to become a Parliamentary Candidate.

I always enjoyed one commentator's remark (it might have been Simon Hoggart) "When Mr. Heath makes a joke, it's no laughing matter."

"The disgusting DVA is no doubt referring to Pinochet..."


"...I was no fan of Pinochet's human right record but you cannot it to Mao's or Saddam's genocidal practices."

Well quite. It's interesting that you should mention Saddam Hussein again, by the way. Who had the keys to 10 Downing Street when the Saddam Hussein was being armed to the back teeth with biological and chemical weapons technology during the 1980s? (Clue: it wasn't Ted Heath!)

Who, as mentioned, was a staunch ally of the vile murderous tyrant Augusto Pinochet, effectively turned a blind eye to the litany of human rights abuses that were a tool of government for his brutal, oppressive regime, and deliberately sought to undermine efforts to make this monster atone for his unspeakably wicked deeds? (Clue: it wasn't Ted Heath!)

Who was it whose administration fiercely resisted the imposition of sanctions against the apartheid regime of South Africa and repeatedly vetoed UN efforts to introduce such sanctions, all in the name of 'free trade' and under the pretence that Britain would exercise economic leverage on South Africa through British investments there? (Clue: it wasn't Ted Heath!)

I'm certainly not denying that Heath's association with the likes of Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein was unfortunate, but let's not insult everybody's intelligence by pretending your precious sainted Maggie has an unblemished record in standing up for oppressed peoples and standing up to brutal dictators either.

I imagine that most of the other comments have been written by people who did not live through Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan's governments. If they had they would know why Edward Heath was a great leader of this country and widely acknowledged as such at the time. OK things got bad but how many PM's have had the same problems? Also from my memory (a bit poor now I'm getting old) I walked the streets canvassing for support to join the 'Common Market' not the EEC. I think it a great shame that we have been denied the chance to visit his home. Could be T.Blair will want to charge us to visit his home while he's still alive - he'll need to pay his mortgage after all.

How about a brief game of "Spot The Real Enemy"?

OK, so Heath was something of an incompetent disaster whilst PM - but that hardly marks him out from the crowd in the last sixty years. I think we can all agree that:
(a) no-one ever accused Heath of selling peerages;
(b) none of his family milked his position for personal gain;
(c) Ministers used to resign in the old days;
(d) winning the Sydney-Hobart Race and the Admiral's Cup was pretty good going.

While certainly not a Heath fan (in fact I think his reign was relatively disastrous) I think we can safely say things would have been worse if Wilson won in 1970.

Thank you, William. This certainly has not been an edifying thread.

I know CCHQ watch this site - that's how they know that I'm loyal but independent-minded and hard working. Haven't got anything to fear from anyone!

Ted Heath was right to engage with the Chinese amongst others as was Mrs Thatcher with Pinochet,the South Africans and various tin pot African dictators. Both did I suspect because it was in Britains interests to do so. Nixon was at the same time negotiating with the Chinese and as I understand it Mrs Thatcher was continually urging reform on the South Africans behind the scenes whilst opposing sanctions in public.
No PM can afford to be holier than thou about who they do business with as Blair has found out with his arm sales to Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
I would agree with those commentators who have criticised the numerous disgusting posts on this thread. Clearly the nasty party is alive and well in some quarters.

I apologise for to DVA for calling him disgusting. I am in bad mood this week due to repeated broadband speed problems that my ISP seems unable or unwilling to solve.

Is DVA saying that Thatcher supplied biological and chemical weapons to Saddam? I do not recall that.

Thatcher's African policies were not perfect. Lord Carrington put Mugabe in power. The South African regime, even though apartheid was wrong, was not murderous and Thatcher was right to oppose sanctions that would have hurt black South Africans too. FW de Klerk deserves credit for his careful dismantling of apartheid.

Eveline Archer (is she related to DVA?) must be having a laugh. I remember through the Heath, Wilson and Callaghan governments well. They were equally bad. Heath was not a great leader. He was never forgiven by the electorate for the 3 day week and power cuts. He only had one term of office and lost two elections in 1974.

My family, all Conservative Party members, supported Heath and joining the Common Market. Now we are appalled by Cameron's green liberalism and want out of the EU.

This thread should now be closed.

Heath's old house is just a stone's throw from Salisbury Museum. Perhaps they could open up a Heath room/ gallery in the museum _ that would seem sufficient. We do not want to go down the American road of having something like a 'Presidential Library' for our past PMs, for God's sake! And it would be a terrible waste of a beautiful home which should be lived in by a family. It does seem terribly ted to be jealous of the prospect of anyone else enjoying his beautiful home even after he is dead! Salisbury Council have done the right thing.

For once I agree with Justin H.

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