The Returning Officer: Cows II

In 1955 David Ensor published his book Thirty Acres and a Cow. It related Ensor’s experiences in running dairy farms in the 1940s and 1950s in Hampshire and Dorset.

Before the Second World War, Ensor had been a lawyer working in Newcastle and London, becoming Clerk of the Peace for the County of London. At the end of Thirty Acres he stated: “You can keep your criminals. I will have my cows,” but by the late 1950s he had become an actor best known as a judge in the TV series The Verdict Is Yours.

In Thirty Acres he advocated the retention of flogging “in spite of what the socialist party and the rest of the long-haired boys say”. From 1964-70 he was the Labour MP for Bury and Radcliffe. l

Stephen Brasher

This article first appeared in the 27 November 2014 issue of the New Statesman, The rise of the insurgents

Photo: Getty
Show Hide image

Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.