George Jones obituary

George Jones was a doughty defender of local government against the relentless centralisation successive governments have visited upon Britain. He had a long career at the London School of Economics and was a stalwart of London’s university and thinktank scene, attending seminars and other events until the week of his death at the age of 79.

 

His research also covered the cabinet and the office of prime minister. He believed in intellectual precision and the straightforward expression of ideas: he would, from time to time, and as a compliment, describe someone as a “simplifier” of a particular complex field. This he was himself.

 

His doctorate, published as Borough Politics (1969), concerned the local government of his home city, Wolverhampton. His intense interest in politics and the interaction between the personal and the political led him to write, with Bernard Donoughue, Herbert Morrison: Portrait of a Politician, which was reissued with a foreword by Morrison’s grandson, Peter Mandelson, in 2001. Jones much admired Morrison’s approach to politics and government.

 

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