'Why did you go into politics in the first place?' A question that former Cabinet minister has found himself asked, and indeed asking himself, over the years, Lord Waldegrave's is a life lived through politics. The youngest of seven children, and the son of an earl, Waldegrave's quintessentially English upbringing would go on to shape the course of his life, instilling in him a sense of independence and self-discipline needed to steel one for a successful career in government. Formative years spent at Eton, Oxford and Harvard fortified his resolve to enter the political establishment, and by the early seventies he finally achieved his greatest ambition. As an fearless young Conservative politician in the seventies and eighties, one who witnessed the fall of Heath and the triumph and eventual decline of Thatcher, Waldegrave was firmly at the heart of one of the most exciting and tumultuous periods of modern British history. However just as his star was in the ascent, Waldegrave became embroiled in a scandal which tarnished his reputation, but could not dampen his voracious enthusiasm for the political game.
An unembroidered account of the narcotic effect of politics from one of the most fiercely intellectual governmental figures of the modern age, A Different Kind of Weather is a beautifully weighted memoir of political success and failure, and the passing of an era.
Lord Waldegrave was educated at Eton College, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and Harvard. After a spell working in industry, he was elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament for Bristol West in 1979. He was made a Minister in 1981, and served continuously in 1997, including terms as Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, and at the Foreign Office. At Cabinet level he served as Secretary of State for Health, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of Agriculture, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury. After losing his Commons seat in 1997, he entered the House of Lords as Baron Waldegrave of North Hill. He is currently Provost of Eton College, and owns a dairy farming business in Somerset. He is married to Caroline Waldegrave, and they have four children.
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