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Peter Clarke: True or False?, 16 August 1990

... of Lord Dacre? Was it an impish vulgarisation ventured by Professor Norman Stone? Well, no, it was Nicholas Ridley, of course, nailing back another fag, the better to concentrate his thoughts for the readers of the Spectator. His level of analysis, however, for all the difference of tone, is on the same wavelength as that of Powell’s agenda for Chequers. If ...

Born Again

Phillip Whitehead, 19 February 1981

Face the future 
by David Owen.
Cape, 552 pp., £12.50, January 1981, 0 224 01956 2
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... are best read in conjunction with theirs, just as his chapter on Equality is better read with Nicholas Bosanquet’s recent pamphlet, ‘Signposts for the Eighties’,† which points to the new challenge of inequality within the working class in conditions of high unemployment. Elsewhere, the attack on the corporate state is more sustained. Local ...

Lying abroad

Fred Halliday, 21 July 1994

by Henry Kissinger.
Simon and Schuster, 912 pp., £25, May 1994, 9780671659912
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True Brits: Inside the Foreign Office 
by Ruth Dudley Edwards.
BBC, 256 pp., £16.99, April 1994, 0 563 36955 8
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Mandarin: The Diaries of Nicholas Henderson 
by Nicholas Henderson.
Weidenfeld, 517 pp., £20, May 1994, 0 297 81433 8
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... all be the greatest British problem with ‘Europe’ – its own unresolved memory of empire. Nicholas Henderson, a former Ambassador to Warsaw, Bonn, Paris and Washington, begins by acknowledging in his turn the ‘mystification’ and ‘misrepresentation’ attaching to the role, but takes a different tack. His memoirs are a defence of the traditional ...

The Illiberal Hour

Mark Bonham-Carter, 7 March 1985

Black and White Britain: The Third Survey 
by Colin Brown.
PSI/Heinemann, 331 pp., £22.50, September 1984, 0 435 83124 0
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... legislation. This all took place in a political atmosphere very different from today, described by Nicholas Deakin in Colour and Citizenship as ‘the liberal hour’. The then Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins, accepted the demand made by the Board, but, very reasonably, requested evidence that discrimination on the grounds of ...

Corbyn’s Progress

Tariq Ali, 3 March 2016

... with New Labour. The establishment decided to wheel out the chief of defence staff, Sir Nicholas Houghton. Interviewed on 8 November, he confided to a purring Andrew Marr that the army was deeply vexed by Corbyn’s unilateralism, which damaged ‘the credibility of deterrence’. On the same show, Maria Eagle, a PLP sniper with a seat on the front ...

Time Unfolded

Perry Anderson: Powell v. the World, 2 August 2018

... Stendhal’s. Along the way, he could be as astringent about such a venerated totem as Flaubert as Nicholas Jenkins is about Trollope: monotonous predictability of plot and characterisation; Bel Ami vastly superior to L’Education sentimentale; a touch of the mountebank. In the 20th century, he pioneered admiration for Svevo in England, and was first off ...


Tim Gardam: New Conservatism, 13 June 1991

... bracing truths of her uncompromising vision? John Major talks of a nation at ease with itself, and Nicholas Ridley told Newsnight: ‘The British want a rest. They don’t want to have everything turned upside down, they want a quiet time. I’m not saying this is an admirable quality of the British, because that’s why we keep falling behind, but ... if that ...


Alan Bennett: Notes on 1997, 1 January 1998

... action’ to a foreground scene of some talk at another table between John Standing, playing Nicholas Jenkins, and Jeremy Clyde, playing Roddie Cutts. Christopher Morahan wants our table to be having an animated and amusing conversation, with Sillery the life and soul of the party. There is one problem with this and that is that the MPs are played ...

Lady Rothermere’s Fan

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 7 November 1985

The Letters of Ann Fleming 
edited by Mark Amory.
Collins, 448 pp., £16.50, October 1985, 0 00 217059 0
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... and Devonshires’: ‘there was a great uproar and lots of four-letter words; Debo said to Roy Jenkins: “Can’t you stop them by saying something Labour?” ’ – ‘but this,’ she says to Waugh, ‘is something Roy has never been able to do.’ There’s an interest, of course, in all this tribal chit-chat, but however stylishly done, it doesn’t ...

Back to Runnymede

Ferdinand Mount: Magna Carta, 23 April 2015

Magna Carta 
by David Carpenter.
Penguin, 594 pp., £10.99, January 2015, 978 0 241 95337 2
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Magna Carta Uncovered 
by Anthony Arlidge and Igor Judge.
Hart, 222 pp., £25, October 2014, 978 1 84946 556 4
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Magna Carta 
by J.C. Holt.
Cambridge, 488 pp., £21.99, May 2015, 978 1 107 47157 3
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Magna Carta: The Foundation of Freedom 1215-2015 
by Nicholas Vincent.
Third Millennium, 192 pp., £44.95, January 2015, 978 1 908990 28 0
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Magna Carta: The Making and Legacy of the Great Charter 
by Dan Jones.
Head of Zeus, 192 pp., £14.99, December 2014, 978 1 78185 885 1
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... remained law well into the 19th century. Nine clauses survived the Victorian tidying up, until Roy Jenkins in 1965 set up the Law Commission, which carried out a further winnowing. Even today we still have Clause 40 about not selling, denying or delaying justice, and Clause 39, that no free man is to be imprisoned or dispossessed ‘save by the lawful judgment ...

Conspire Slowly, Act Quickly

David Runciman: Thatcher Undone, 2 January 2020

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. III: Herself Alone 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 1072 pp., £35, October 2019, 978 0 241 32474 5
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... it came to the primary political battle of her life, which was to defeat socialism. When Simon Jenkins, then the editor of the Times, went to interview Thatcher at Chequers in the run-up to the leadership contest, he saw a copy of Heseltine’s latest book on the coffee table, stuffed with post-it notes. She told him she had been marking up what she called ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... on the bandwagon. But the press ignored this. ‘The story was in the bag before I even spoke,’ Nicholas Holgate, Kensington and Chelsea Council’s town clerk, told me. ‘As a civil servant for 24 years and a local government officer for eight and a half years I was trained to be impartial, objective and evidence-driven. None of that was evident in the ...

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