It is a huge pleasure to be here with you tonight.
And to be giving the Hugo Young Lecture.
Hugo Young was a figure of great decency and integrity.
He wrote beautifully and insightfully and gave journalism a good name.
As Alan Rusbridger wrote after his death, “Hugo never forgot why he was there: not to make friends or amiably to chew the political cud, but to report and to explain.”
Of the many things that made Hugo Young famous, was the phrase “one of us”.
It was the title he gave to his renowned biography of Margaret Thatcher.
As Hugo began the book:
“Is he one of us? The question became one of the emblematic themes of the Thatcher years.”
“Posed by Mrs Thatcher it defined the test which politicians and other public officials vying for her favour were required to pass.”
Now, I cite this not because I think we should take it as a model for government.