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Family History

Miles Taylor: Tony Benn, 25 September 2003

Free at Last: Diaries 1991-2001 
by Tony Benn.
Hutchinson, 738 pp., £25, October 2002, 0 09 179352 1
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Free Radical: New Century Essays 
by Tony Benn.
Continuum, 246 pp., £9.95, May 2003, 9780826465962
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... nice’). It is worth recalling, too, that Margaret Thatcher’s press hound, Bernard Ingham, cut his political teeth at Benn’s side in the Department of Energy in the Wilson-Callaghan Government. Despite being sidelined by New Labour, rarely a week went by when Benn did not pop up on one news programme or another. As late as June ...

You Know Who You Are

Colin Kidd: About Last Year, 25 January 2018

Fall Out: A Year Of Political Mayhem 
by Tim Shipman.
William Collins, 559 pp., £25, November 2017, 978 0 00 826438 3
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... and the lines have become increasingly blurred since the era of Thatcher’s courtiers Bernard Ingham and Charles Powell (both, harmlessly at first glance, career civil servants), and then of Blair’s media manager, the former Mirror journalist Alastair Campbell, who was given special executive powers to command civil servants by an order of ...

Superman Falls to Earth

Ferdinand Mount: Boris Johnson’s First Year, 2 July 2020

... from the Number Ten press office, again of an unprecedented rudeness, surpassing even the gruff Bernard Ingham under Thatcher and the venomous Alastair Campbell under Blair. For all Johnson’s protestations that he wishes to see warm and friendly relations with ‘our European friends’, he only has eyes and ears for the domestic Europhobes who ...

Living with Monsters

Ferdinand Mount: PMs v. the Media, 22 April 2010

Where Power Lies: Prime Ministers v. the Media 
by Lance Price.
Simon & Schuster, 498 pp., £20, February 2010, 978 1 84737 253 6
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... and was as grave and imposing a figure as his literary namesake. When James was succeeded by Bernard Ingham, who had worked for Barbara Castle, presentation certainly hotted up. Ingham gave a robust account of his new mistress’s views, stamped on the latest rumours with his trademark dismissal, ‘bunkum and ...

Is this successful management?

R.W. Johnson, 20 April 1989

One of Us: A Biography of Margaret Thatcher 
by Hugo Young.
Macmillan, 570 pp., £16.95, April 1989, 0 333 34439 1
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... career would be abruptly terminated in an angry wave of Jewish anti-Tory protest. Finchley, wrote Bernard Donoughue in 1964, ‘was the Liberal Party’s greatest and most publicised hope of “another Orpington” in the South-East of England’. The Liberals even arranged two special TV campaign appearances for their candidate, John Pardoe. All of this must ...

Bravo l’artiste

John Lanchester: What is Murdoch after?, 5 February 2004

The Murdoch Archipelago 
by Bruce Page.
Simon and Schuster, 580 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 7432 3936 9
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Rupert Murdoch: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Media Wizard 
by Neil Chenoweth.
Crown Business, 416 pp., $27.50, December 2002, 0 609 61038 4
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Autumn of the Moguls: My Misadventures with the Titans, Poseurs and Money Guys who Mastered and Messed up Big Media 
by Michael Wolff.
Flamingo, 381 pp., £18.99, January 2004, 0 00 717881 6
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... example, in his account of the Westland Affair. Mrs Thatcher, and especially her press secretary, Bernard Ingham, were so close to the Sun that the paper tended to run anything she wanted: ‘Ingham’s dominance of the lobby – gift of the Murdoch papers – was a weapon of tempting power, but dangerously visible in ...


Alan Bennett: What I Did in 2015, 7 January 2016

... assumption that once cut the eyebrows would grow more luxuriantly and I should end up looking like Bernard Ingham or (this in the interests of balance) Denis Healey. However, I am getting on and there will scarcely be time for the development of comparable thickets so today I am tidied up. The last time I remember having related thoughts was when I was 17 ...

Fear in Those Blue Eyes

David Runciman: Thatcher in Her Bubble, 3 December 2015

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. II: Everything She Wants 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 821 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 7139 9288 5
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... of Heseltine’s feelings and the threat it posed – including Thatcher’s press secretary, Bernard Ingham – tried to match him at his own game, leaking hostile material to the press in order to take the wind out of his sails. One of these leaks was a letter from the solicitor-general accusing Heseltine of ‘material inaccuracies’ in a ...

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