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Goodness me

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 26 October 1989

Margaret, Daughter of Beatrice: A Politician’s Psycho-Biography of Margaret Thatcher 
by Leo Abse.
Cape, 288 pp., £13.95, September 1989, 0 224 02726 3
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... Margaret Roberts should have decided that her future depended on not taking after her mother. Leo Abse, however, is a Freudian of precisely that kind. For thirty years Labour MP for Pontypool, Mr Abse retired at the last general election. An active backbencher, interested above all in how people (rather than ...

Boofy’s Bill

Alex Harvey, 18 September 1997

... and such an issue would be unlikely to improve his popularity in Scotland. The obvious choice was Leo Abse, who had not only already taken up the cause but was a shrewd Parliamentarian. Jenkins, bearing an old political grudge, turned instead to Michael Foot, who declined, knowing that Abse was the man for the ...

Schadenfreude

R.W. Johnson, 2 December 1993

The Downing Street Years 
by Margaret Thatcher.
HarperCollins, 914 pp., £25, October 1993, 0 00 255049 0
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... of her own premiership – an ambition which makes dishonesty by omission a more serious matter. Leo Abse, in his psychobiography of Thatcher, argued persuasively that her particular set of neuroses causes her to advance through conflict. Rest, let alone retreat, he suggests, is impossible for her: she actively seeks confrontation and without this ...

Reader, he married her

Christopher Hitchens, 10 May 1990

Tom Driberg: His Life and Indiscretions 
by Francis Wheen.
Chatto, 452 pp., £18, May 1990, 0 7011 3143 8
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... and ‘climate of treason’ parasites will make a book in itself. Is there any point, then, in Leo Abse’s ‘take’ on all this, digested into one facile heading as ‘The Judas Syndrome’ and published in the Spectator in 1982? Abse began by mentioning something which I must say I recognise from ...

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