Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart most recent book, Controlling the Economic Future, was reviewed here by David Marquand (LRB, Vol. 6, No 12).

Atone and Move Forward

Michael Stewart, 11 December 1997

In a speech at the London School of Economics in June this year, Antonio Caesese, the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, spoke about the century’s greatest forgotten massacre and the role of the ‘Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide’ in drawing it to the world’s attention. Though provision had been made in the Treaty of Sèvres in 1920 to bring the Turkish-perpetrators to trial, the impetus soon weakened and in the place of justice came punishment by the Commandos, who sought out and murdered leaders of the Young Turks in Germany in 1921-22. The aim of the Commandos – and this was Caesese’s point – was not primarily revenge. Their most famous member, Soghomon Tehlirian, surrendered voluntarily to the police, hoping that a public trial would make the world more aware of the massacre. Tehlirian was tried, and acquitted, by a Berlin court – but even so the story of the slaughter all but disappeared from the historical record. Antonio Caesese recalled Hitler’s reported appeal to his worried colleagues when they doubted they could get away with a ‘final solution’: ‘After all, who today speaks of the annihilation of the Armenians?’’‘

Nanny knows best

Michael Stewart, 4 June 1987

Let us begin with Kinnock, in order, so to speak, to get him out of the way. If one’s view is that Neil Kinnock is a good man in a position made impossible by historical developments, one will not find much in either Michael Leapman’s sympathetic and readable portrait, or John Cole’s lively and good-humoured canter over the events of the last decade, to change one’s mind.

Hattersley’s Specifics

Michael Stewart, 19 March 1987

Tony Crosland’s epoch-making book The Future of Socialism was published in 1956. That Roy Hattersley’s aim is to don the master’s mantle in the late 1980s is evident not only from his book’s subtitle, but also from his brief account of a conversation he had with Tony Crosland a week before the latter’s fatal stroke. ‘Give me,’ said Crosland, ‘a simple definition of socialism’. Hattersley obligingly failing to do this, Tony Crosland did it himself. ‘Socialism,’ he said, ‘is about the pursuit of equality and the protection of freedom – in the knowledge that until we are truly equal we will not be truly free’. It is that self-evident truth, says Hattersley, that his book seeks to demonstrate. (Subtle politician that he is, Hattersley refers us to Susan Crosland’s biography of her husband ‘for a full account of the conversation’ between him and Crosland. In fact, Mrs Crosland’s book contains hardly any fuller an account: but it does contain ample evidence of the fact that Tony Crosland liked Roy Hattersley. Ah well, that’s showbiz.)’

Roll Call

Michael Stewart, 5 September 1985

Lord Roll is a very distinguished man, who has levitated over a period of 70 years or so from a small village in an obscure corner of Central Europe to the topmost rank of the British Establishment. He has had three separate careers. First he was an academic, writing among other things A History of Economic Thought, a valuable introduction to the subject still in print almost 50 years after its first publication. Then he was a civil servant, deeply involved at one point in the abortive 1961-63 negotiations on British entry into the EEC, and later Permanent Secretary of the 1964-70 Labour Government’s Department of Economic Affairs. Finally he became a power in the City, as Chairman of Warburg’s, Director of the Bank of England, Times Newspapers, and so on and so forth.

Diary: Staggeringly Complacent

Michael Stewart, 6 June 1985

The arguments about the miners’ strike will go on for a long time yet, as is evident from Richard Hyman’s piece on another page. My own view remains essentially what it was when I wrote what turned out to be a controversial article last summer (LRB, 6 September 1984). Mr Scargill’s demand that no pit be closed except on grounds of exhaustion was economic nonsense; his attempt to achieve his aims by extra-Parliamentary means which included violence and intimidation had to be defeated; but the support he enjoyed inside and outside the mining communities was an understandable reaction to a government indifferent to high unemployment and worsening poverty, and determined to ram highly contentious policies through Parliament despite the paucity of its electoral support. This reading still seems to me to be correct.

Going for Gould

R.W. Johnson, 23 July 1987

Election post-mortems concentrate, reasonably enough, on how the electorate actually behaved – which class, which region or which sex swung most. In 1987 the most striking finding was...

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Keynesian International

David Marquand, 5 July 1984

As the name they gave their subject implied, the great political economists of the 19th century knew that the economy cannot be studied fruitfully in isolation from the polity. The notion that...

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Nemesis

David Marquand, 22 January 1981

After a decade of decline, the old, Fabian right of the Labour Party is now so chastened that it is hard to remember that it was once the dominant tradition in British left-wing politics. These...

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