Saturday 1st February 1936

Randolph Churchill issued his manifesto for the upcoming by-election in Ross and  Cromarty. The contest had the dubious distinction of being more about the fathers of candidates than candidates themselves. Randolph's father, Winston, was still notionally a supporter of the government, but had been a fierce opponent of its policy on India and left office to go into the political wilderness as a result. The fact that Randolph had already fought one by-election against the official government candidate albeit without telling his father and was now doing so again was an embarrassing reminder of Winston's ambiguous position. Long viewed with great suspicion by conventional Tories because of his track record of defection, volatility and bad judgement, Winston's hopes of getting back into the Cabinet were looking ever slimmer. The official government candidate in Ross and Cromarty was Malcolm MacDonald, son of Ramsay, who had lost his seat in the previous year's general election, but whose father wanted him back in government. It was an odd reversal of dynastic practices by which the grandson of a crofter was being eased back towards the Cabinet by his family connections whilst the great-grandson of a Duke was a political black sheep.

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