"The chancellors judged by Bill Keegan wax and wane.
The Mile End Group
The Mile End Group (MEG) was created in December 2003 by research students of Peter Hennessy, Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History, at Queen Mary, University of London. The initial focus of the MEG was to provide a lively forum for the findings of postgraduate research, allowing for discussion in an informal yet dynamic environment. As the particular emphasis of the research centred on the worlds of Westminster and Whitehall, past and present, the MEG invited contribution from a variety of individuals with inside knowledge of the workings of government, and over the years has evolved into a seminar series attracting increasingly high profile speakers.
Sir John Major, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, Sir Gus O’Donnell, Alan Rusbridger, Lord Butler of Brockwell, Lord Malloch-Brown and Sir Kevin Tebbit, amongst others, have all contributed to seminars organized and run by MEG. The involvement of such noted speakers has served to widen the appeal of MEG events, and attendees regularly include individuals from academia, business, government and journalism. Many undergraduates also attend, making the group a truly intergenerational forum for the exchange of ideas and experience.
In 2005, the Mile End Institute (for the Study of Government, Intelligence and Society) was created as an umbrella organization for the MEG. The MEI in 2007 jointly-published two books, The New Protective State and Cabinets and the Bomb.
In 2006, undergraduates from Queen Mary were inspired to set up the Undergraduate Mile End Group (UMEG). Debates are regularly held, trips organised and speakers invited to contribute to UMEG events, all which serve to actively engage students from across the university in considering politics and government.
The MEG co-operates with a number of institutes and think tanks and currently has active partnerships and links to the Young Foundation, the Attlee Foundation, the Royal United Services Institute, Corpus Christi College Cambridge, Churchill College Cambridge, the British Academy, the Cabinet Office and the National Archives.
All MEG events are free to attend and we welcome all who wish to come along.
People Behind MEG and MEI
Peter Hennessy is an Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary, and was recently elected fellow of the British Academy. Before joining Queen Mary in 1992, he was a journalist for twenty years with spells on The Times as a leader writerand Whitehall Correspondent, the Financial Times as its Lobby Correspondent at Westminister, and the Economist. He was a regular presenter of the BBC Radio 4 Analysis programme from 1987 to 1992. In 1986 he was a co-founder of the Institute of Contemporary British History.
His books include Cabinet (1986), Whitehall (1989), Never Again: Britain 1945-1951 (1992), The Hidden Wiring: Unearthing the British Constitution (1995), The Prime Minister: The Office and its Holders Since 1945 (2000) and the Secret State: Whitehall and the Cold War (2002). He recently published Having It So Good: Britian in the Fifties (2006), which won the 17th George Orwell Price for Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Political Writing.
Starting in September 2008, Jon Davis co-teaches with John Rentoul of The Independent on Sunday 'The Blair Government' third-year Special Subject in Queen Mary's Department of History; lectures what was formerly Professor Hennessy's 'Cabinet, Premiership and the Conduct of British Central Government Since 1945' course after teaching on it since 2001; and also contributes lecturing to 'The Road from 1945'.
His first book, Prime Ministers and Whitehall, was published by Hambledon Continuum in October 2007 and was based upon his PhD thesis, 'Prime Ministers and Civil Service Reform 1960-74' (sponsored by the Cabinet Office).
Prior to his academic career, Jon was for five years a City investment banker at JP Morgan, Paribas and Hambros and worked in the Modernising Government Secretariat of the Cabinet Office during 2000.
He combines his MEG role with that of Associate Director of Corporate Affairs at QM.