Kenneth Minogue RIP

1 July 2013

10:07 AM

1 July 2013

10:07 AM

The weekend brought the sad news of the death of Kenneth Minogue. Intellectually and physically active to the last, he died on Friday at the age of 82, while returning from a conference on the Galapagos Islands.

Spectator readers will remember his essays and reviews for the magazine stretching over many decades. Some may have been fortunate enough to have been taught by him at the London School of Economics.


Ken was, needless to say, one of the most brilliant conservative political thinkers of his generation. He was also the most wonderful man. He had that rare mixture of great intelligence and twinkly, irrepressible good-humour. Spotting him across a room – even more so when his wife Beverly was alive and with him – was the best possible signal that you were not only going to learn something but have a wonderful time as well.

There is so much more to say. In the meantime, Roger Kimball’s remembrance of Ken is here and John O’Sullivan is here.

I have been going through some of his pieces on our newly digitised Spectator archive. Here is just one gem of Ken’s from July 1993: ‘The Law is a Chatterbox’. So characteristic, lucid and wise. RIP.

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  • Baron

    Great man, Douglas, and a sad loss; it seems men like him are departing us more often than the pseudo-liberal fruitcakes, but how come he didn’t get greater exposure in the more popular press and media?

    In his paper on Britain within the Brussels Empire he says: ‘The basic British objection to the way in which the European project accommodates Britain is that British life has become subject to an alien tradition’. Quite.

    • roger

      Surely the alien tradition started with the Yankee invasion of 1943.

      • Baron

        Good point, roger, except that there are alien traditions and there are alien traditions. We could have dealt with the Yankee infestation, it’s harder to cope with the latter, and not only because of the events around the end of the first half of the last century.