Born Again

Phillip Whitehead

  • Face the future by David Owen
    Cape, 552 pp, £12.50, January 1981, ISBN 0 224 01956 2

When a young man who has thrust himself to the centre of the political stage writes a book on politics, he will suffer the condescension of his seniors, the condemnation of his critics, and the faint sniggers of academics offstage. David Owen has had his prescription for Britain patronised by Grimond and Powell, dissected by Ken Coates, and treated like a first-year undergraduate’s essay by Professor Peter Townsend. With his publishers bringing its publication forward to catch the crisis, the book might look like a hastily-written manifesto for the alliance of born-again social democrats and ancient political re-treads among whom he may be doomed to reside. He deserves better, and so does the book. It is written by a socialist, and for socialists.

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[*] The Socialist Agenda edited by David Lipsey and Dick Leonard, Cape, 242 pp., £7.95, 15 January, 0 224 01886 8. David Marquand will be discussing the book shortly in this journal.

[†] Published by Campaign for Labour Victory (39c Highbury Place, London N5), £1 including postage.