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Ultra-Sophisticated

Hilary Mantel, 7 December 1989

Life Lines: Politics and Health 1986-1988 
by Edwina Currie.
Sidgwick, 291 pp., £13.95, November 1989, 0 283 99920 9
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My Turn 
by Nancy Reagan and William Novak.
Weidenfeld, 384 pp., £15.95, October 1989, 0 297 79677 1
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Heiress: The Story of Christina Onassis 
by Nigel Dempster.
Weidenfeld, 180 pp., £12.95, October 1989, 0 297 79671 2
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... Edwina had her date with destiny on 10 September 1986. A TV crew were camped outside her house in her Derbyshire constituency, and were shining lights through the windows. Edwina waited for the phone to ring. When it did, it was a man’s voice, telling her to get along without delay to Downing Street ...

Short Cuts

John Lanchester: Football and Currie, 17 October 2002

... went straight to the top of the bestseller list. Another book certain to do that is the Diaries of Edwina Currie (Little, Brown, £18.99). An earlier publicity coup of Currie’s involved splitting up with her husband at the same time as she published a novel called She’s Leaving Home. Anyone who might have thought ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Britney’s Biggest Fan, 21 June 2001

... of a child brain-damaged in a car accident could be said to have something of the night about it. Edwina Currie, whose novels include A Parliamentary Affair and Chasing Men, described The Clematis Tree in the Mail on Sunday as ‘the product of a perceptive but warped mind’; she also complained about its shying away from sex. The title of An Act of ...

In the Chocolate

Hugh Pennington: Cadbury's Big Mistake, 2 August 2007

... almost certainly not have drawn any special attention. S. enteritidis caused the resignation of Edwina Currie from the Tory government in 1988 when she said ‘most of the egg production in this country, sadly, is now infected with salmonella.’ She was right. A pandemic was in progress. In 1981 there were 395 human infections in England and Wales. In ...

Diary

Francis Wyndham: At the Theatre, 10 November 1988

... up around Grenfell’s memory, but to me it sounds unattractively bossy, in the worst manner of Edwina Currie. To be forbidden to eat sweets in the theatre is surely an encroachment on civil liberties ... I prefer the kind of theatrical anecdote which, though told as a joke, is offered as illustration of the deplorably unprofessional behaviour of some ...

Diary

Robert Fisk: Salman Rushdie and Other Demons, 16 March 1989

... is not peculiar to Rushdie. Demons seem to be necessary to us all, whether they are home-grown – Edwina Currie, Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams come to mind – or on a more exalted, international scale. Unfortunately for him, Mr Rushdie falls into the latter category although the credentials are the same: you have to be loathed by a particular ...

Medes and Persians

Paul Foot: The Government’s Favourite Accountants, 2 November 2000

... disclosure, and asked about the role played by the family of Mr Newton’s Junior Health Minister, Edwina Currie. At the time of the Wessex computer scandal, he said, Mrs Currie’s husband Ray and his brother Brian were senior executives at Arthur Andersen. Mrs Currie was incensed by ...

Staying in power

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 7 January 1988

Mrs Thatcher’s Revolution: The Ending of the Socialist Era 
by Peter Jenkins.
Cape, 411 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 0 224 02516 3
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De-Industrialisation and Foreign Trade 
by R.E. Rowthorn and J.R. Wells.
Cambridge, 422 pp., £40, November 1988, 0 521 26360 3
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... health continues to deteriorate. (The Government has stopped issuing figures by social class, but Edwina Currie knows, and says it’s their fault for deteriorating.) Thatcher will do all she can not to spend to improve it; Lawson is, after all, lowering the PBSR and wants to reduce taxes too. ‘Why does the Tory Party hate the North?’ John Wakeham ...

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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... this was, however, pretty coded stuff. Only with two members of the Government, Leon Brittan and Edwina Currie, did their Jewishness become a cause for comment. In their very different ways, these two ministers had personalities which rubbed their colleagues up the wrong way, a fact which was, in the usual mysterious manner, put down to their Jewish ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2012, 3 January 2013

... smoking. The only person in the programme waving that flag – rather uncharacteristically – is Edwina Currie, who is, as she puts it, a Scouse Tory who acknowledges the continuing unfairness of public school education while knowing her party will do nothing to alleviate it.24 January. ‘Well, love, the call’s going on’ is what my mother used to ...

North and South

Raphael Samuel, 22 June 1995

Coming Back Brockens: A Year in a Mining Village 
by Mark Hudson.
Cape, 320 pp., £16.99, October 1994, 0 224 04170 3
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... glare of the car headlights.’ Northern diet is a subject of particular disgust, as it was for Edwina Currie during her period of office as Junior Health Minister in Mrs Thatcher’s government, and as it is for the Statistical Office’s Regional Trends in their reports on the incidence of the killer diseases. The people, whippet-like in the ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... drunk driver; Nicholas Ridley, too loquacious an advocate of anti-German feeling; and Mrs Edwina Currie (‘most of the egg production in this country is, sadly, now infected with salmonella’). Then there is the long line of sex-scandal casualties: Cecil Parkinson, Tim Yeo, David Mellor (greatly exaggerated, but not his only alleged ...

What We’re about to Receive

Jeremy Harding: Food Insecurity, 13 May 2010

... and even our ‘ethics’ thrive. So it comes as a bigger shock than the salmonella scare (Edwina Currie, 1988) or the BSE scare (John Selwyn Gummer, 1990) to hear the latest strand in the table talk: that the era of endless food is winding down. This belief is new. Until recently the discussion was largely about quality. Quantity and availability ...

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