Kathleen Burk

Kathleen Burk who grew up in California, lectures in history at University College London. She is the co-author, with Alec Cairn-cross, of ‘Goodbye Great Britain’: The 1976 IMF Crisis, and is currently writing a biography of A.J.P. Taylor.


Kathleen Burk, 9 July 1992

The City of London has always had a streak of lawlessness, partly because great fortunes could be made and partly because regulation has been relatively light. Advantage has repeatedly been taken of the latter, and certainly the past few years have seen a series of scandals, notably Lloyd’s, Guinness, Barlow Clowes, BCCI and now Maxwell. Indeed, Maxwell bids fair to be one of the best. Robert Maxwell was a rogue of the first order, but no one can say that we were not warned: in 1971 the Department of Trade and Industry warned that he was ‘not a fit and proper person to have charge of a public company’. Not the least interesting question is why, with that sort of record, banks were so eager to lend large sums of money to him.

Diary: Election Diary

Kathleen Burk, 23 April 1992

Week Nought. After months of media discussion as to the likely election date, we were finally put out of our misery: it was to be April. What was rather more of a surprise was the Chancellor’s Budget: no penny off the basic rate of tax, but a new tax band of 20 per cent for the first £2000. Did no one remind him that Labour had tried much the same thing – a 25 per cent band when basic rate was 33 per cent – and that his party had eliminated it? At any rate, the proposal caught Labour with its ideological trousers down, unable to object, without sounding churlish, to the poorest-off workers paying less tax.’

When Labour last ruled

Ross McKibbin, 9 April 1992

This is a timely and exceptionally interesting book. 1976, the year of IMF intervention, together with the winter of 1978-79, represents in purest form what was for most people (insofar as they...

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