‘A man who made things happen’

Lord Vinson gifting a village green to Holborn in Northumberland in 2004.
Lord Vinson gifting a village green to Holborn in Northumberland in 2004.

The biography of a north Northumberland peer – ‘a man who has made things happen’ – has just been published.

Making Things Happen – The Life and Original Thinking of Nigel Vinson, by Gerald Frost, is now available from Biteback Publishing, for £20 in hardback.

Making Things Happen, by Gerald Frost.

Making Things Happen, by Gerald Frost.

Before he was 40, Nigel Vinson – inventor, entrepreneur, philanthropist and farmer – had achieved a great deal more than many others manage.

Now Lord Vinson of Roddam Dene, he had created and built up a successful company based on his own ideas, floated it on the stock exchange and made more than enough money to never have to work again.

But, instead of retiring, Lord Vinson forged a career in British public life as he sought to find answers to the daunting political and economic problems confronting the country.

This was partly achieved through the wider application of ideas he had developed when running his own business, but also by helping, funding and cooperating with others he judged capable of making a contribution to the country’s recovery.

According to the publishers, Margaret Thatcher herself said that Thatcherism would never have happened without the Centre for Policy Studies – the thinktank Vinson helped her establish.

They say the biography tells the story of a man whose influence, both direct and indirect, has been considerably greater than is widely realised.

He is a man who saw through the fashionable shibboleths of his day, but was often ahead of the trend; a man whose ‘do as you would be done by’ moral philosophy, enormously practical nature and infectious enthusiasm have been fundamental to his continued success.

Author Gerald Frost is a journalist who has written widely on domestic and international politics.

He was director of the London-based Centre for Policy Studies from 1992 to 1995 and, before that, of the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies, which he founded, from 1980 to 1992.

Frost is currently director of the Danube Institute, an independent centre of intellectual debate for Conservatives and their democratic opponents, which is based in Budapest, Hungary.

Frost is a natural ally of Vinson’s politically and the book verges on being overly in awe of Lord Vinson.

Nonetheless, Making Things Happen is written in a lively and accessible manner, despite the focus on issues like political theory.

Visit www.bitepublishing.comISBN 978-1-94954-859-5.