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Mrs Thatcher’s Instincts

Barbara Wootton, 7 August 1980

Mrs Thatcher’s First Year 
by Hugh Stephenson.
Jill Norman, 128 pp., £6.50, June 1980, 0 906908 16 7
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A House Divided 
by David Steel.
Weidenfeld, 200 pp., £6.50, June 1980, 0 297 77764 5
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... faced with the prospect of heading a minority government, discussed with the then Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe the possibility of some sort of coalition. But Steel reports that it was ‘the almost universal opinion’ of Liberal MPs that no such offer should be accepted, as it would merely give them a seat or two in an essentially Tory government. They ...

Bypass Variegated

Rosemary Hill: Osbert Lancaster, 21 January 2016

Osbert Lancaster’s Cartoons, Columns and Curlicues: ‘Pillar to Post’, ‘Homes Sweet Homes’, ‘Drayneflete Revealed’ 
by Osbert Lancaster.
Pimpernel, 304 pp., £40, October 2015, 978 1 910258 37 8
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... skirt on?’ The white heat of technology fails to improve the streets of Drayneflete while the Jeremy Thorpe scandal leaves Lord Littlehampton in a fixed stare of catatonic horror. Lancaster’s other work in later life included a contribution to the Festival of Britain and a distinguished and still under-recognised career as a stage designer. He ...
Who Framed Colin Wallace? 
by Paul Foot.
Macmillan, 306 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 0 333 47008 7
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... of these campaigns, well before Wright. Homosexual smears were directed against Edward Heath, Jeremy Thorpe, Norman St John Stevas and Humphrey Berkeley; bogus bank accounts (showing corrupt earnings) were contrived for Edward Short and Ian Paisley; Wilson was seen as the beneficiary of, and a possible participant in, the assassination of Hugh ...

Always the Same Dream

Ferdinand Mount: Princess Margaret, 4 January 2018

Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret 
by Craig Brown.
Fourth Estate, 423 pp., £16.99, September 2017, 978 0 00 820361 0
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... through the book: what if she had married Peter Townsend after all, what if she had married Jeremy Thorpe, another improbable contender for her hand, what if she had become queen instead of her sister? These capriccios melt beautifully into the text, because we are immersed in a land of dreams. Being a communist or a homosexual is no barrier here ...

Long March

Martin Pugh, 2 June 1983

Renewal: Labour’s Britain in the 1980s 
by Shadow Cabinet, edited by Gerald Kaufman.
Penguin, 201 pp., £2.50, April 1983, 0 14 052351 0
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Socialism in a Cold Climate 
edited by John Griffith.
Allen and Unwin, 230 pp., £2.95, April 1983, 9780043350508
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Liberal Party Politics 
edited by Vernon Bogdanor.
Oxford, 302 pp., £17.50, April 1983, 0 19 827465 3
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... route to a Left realignment had emerged before the Alliance strategy. It was in the doldrums of Jeremy Thorpe’s leadership in the Sixties that the new course was pioneered. One manifestation lay in the upsurge of the Liberals’ radical youth wing, provoked in part by the jaded condition of Labour during Wilson’s lurch to the right in the years ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... of a visit from Special Branch, I remember seeing from the window of my cell the forlorn figure of Jeremy Thorpe being trooped into Brixton Prison.) As a model for the treatment of suspects in criminal trials, Macpherson’s behaviour cannot be faulted. When the jury went out Lawson described them as the first jury to have ‘the full picture’. For a ...

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