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Ghosts in the Palace

Tom Nairn, 24 April 1997

... cart as well. We can’t be sure about this yet, in the darkling subsidence of Majorism. However, John Redwood, Sir George Gardiner and Michaels Howard and Portillo are scarcely arguments against the view. ‘The source of the authority and legitimacy of government ... the personification of the nation ... an institution vital to our national ...

Brexitism

Alan Finlayson, 18 May 2017

... know, you are the bigger fool.’ ‘No future, no future, no future for you’ the Sex Pistols’ John Lydon sang in 1977’s ‘God Save the Queen’ (subsequently featured at the opening ceremony for the London Olympics in 2012). It’s no surprise he’s come out as a Brexitist. A core sentiment of Brexitism has been expressed to me as the worry that ...

Diary

Glen Newey: Life with WikiLeaks, 6 January 2011

... noted, of possessing at least one cardinal virtue. Where politicians continually have to flatter a demos that sees them as clay-footed, each citizen, banjaxed and blandished by turns, is apt to divine in himself a moral purity his political masters lack. Democracies create a climate of moral narcissism among the politicised classes. The thought then beckons ...

Big G and Little G

Paul Laity, 6 February 1997

The British Electricity Experiment 
edited by John Surrey.
Earthscan, 329 pp., £40, July 1996, 1 85383 370 3
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... parents as customers before 1998 (for every household that signs, the school receives £7.50). John Battle, Labour’s energy spokesman, told me that electricity and gas packages can now be bought from mailorder catalogues. The preservation of monopoly elements in both generation and supply has encouraged the febrile profit-making which we associate with ...

Lumpers v. Splitters

Ferdinand Mount: How to Build an Empire, 31 March 2016

British Imperial: What the Empire Wasn’t 
by Bernard Porter.
I.B. Tauris, 216 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 1 78453 445 5
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Heroic Failure and the British 
by Stephanie Barczewski.
Yale, 267 pp., £20, February 2016, 978 0 300 18006 0
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... He doesn’t take his own advice, and he clearly suggests that some of his colleagues, such as John Darwin, have already imbibed the message of complexity, though the popular debate remains stuck in the crude old ruts. Even John Seeley’s notorious claim, borrowed by Porter for the title of his earlier book, that ‘we ...

Like a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

John Lloyd: Globalisation, 2 September 1999

The Lexus and the Olive Tree 
by Thomas Friedman.
HarperCollins, 394 pp., £19.99, May 1999, 0 00 257014 9
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Global Transformation 
by David Held and Anthony McGrew.
Polity, 515 pp., £59.50, March 1999, 0 7456 1498 1
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... agenda tied to its tail, one which was destructive of social solidarities, while the right-wing John Redwood objected that it came veined with social-democratic notions which discouraged governments like Britain’s from making up their minds to be independent nation states in charge of their own economy and their own politics. The different styles of ...

Diary

Clancy Sigal: Among the Draft-Dodgers, 9 October 2008

... in his neatly pressed Brooks Brothers suit, looked (and was) so incorruptibly straight that on demos we often put him instead of volatile Harry in front of the TV cameras. Frank dragged Clinton along that day. Bill flirted with the girls – this is not hindsight – and was always somewhere else when it came to hawking leaflets on street corners. On that ...

Laundering Britain’s Past

Marilyn Butler, 12 September 1991

The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830 
by Paul Johnson.
Weidenfeld, 1095 pp., £25, September 1991, 0 297 81207 6
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... curve, punctuated by short sharp slumps. A political spectre lurks, thus far in the shadows – ‘Demos’, the ignorant mob, for ever its own worst enemy. Strongly governed, by practical men who knew what they were doing, Britain (like America a century later) had the will, the moral authority and the military power to act as policeman of the world. Well ...

Was Weber wrong?

Malise Ruthven, 18 August 1994

The Revenge of God: The Resurgence of Islam, Christianity and Judaism in the Modern World 
by Gilles Kepel.
Polity, 200 pp., £39.50, December 1993, 0 7456 0999 6
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Pious Passion: The Emergence of Modern Fundamentalism in the United States and Iran 
by Martin Riesebrodt.
California, 272 pp., £30, September 1993, 0 520 07463 7
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... in Algeria, never ceases to remind his congregations, there is no Qur’anic basis for the idea of demos, the people as sovereign. Sovereignty belongs to God alone or those proclaiming the guardianship of His government. A collapse into theocratic totalitarianism seems likely in Algeria and Egypt – if not ‘from above’, by a pro-Islamist coup ...

Brutish Babies

David Wootton: Witchcraft, 11 November 1999

Shaman of Oberstdorf: Chonrad Stoeckhlin and the Phantoms of the Night 
by Wolfgang Behringer, translated by H.C.Erik Midelfort.
Virginia, 203 pp., £14.50, September 1998, 0 8139 1853 7
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Thinking with Demons: The Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe 
by Stuart Clark.
Oxford, 845 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 19 820001 3
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Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England 
by Alan Macfarlane.
Routledge, 368 pp., £55, April 1999, 0 415 19611 6
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The Bewitching of Anne Gunter: A Horrible and True Story of Football, Witchcraft, Murder and the King of England 
by James Sharpe.
Profile, 256 pp., £16.99, November 1999, 9781861970480
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... available from the beginning, and two new ones have been developed in recent years. First, since John Demos’s work on Salem (1982), some historians have been keen to provide psychological explanations of the fear that gripped whole societies, but in particular those who believed themselves bewitched. Much of the most interesting work done on these ...

Homobesottedness

Peter Green: Love in Ancient Greece, 8 May 2008

The Greeks and Greek Love: A Radical Reappraisal of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece 
by James Davidson.
Weidenfeld, 634 pp., £30, November 2007, 978 0 297 81997 4
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... the radical politician Cleon) and an aggressively vulgar Sausage Seller compete for the favours of Demos, a near senile stand-in for the Athenian populace and thus hardly a young kalos. Politics, class and sex are fused in a hilarious allegory of rival gift-giving, prostitution and hypocrisy. Jokes about sodomy and sodomised politicians abound. The Knights is ...

Diary

Paul Henley: The EU, 14 January 2002

... ongoing projects elsewhere: Jean-Marie Le Pen and Umberto Bossi, for example, or Ian Paisley and John Hume, who are merely adding a third Parliamentary seat to those they already hold at Westminster and in the Northern Ireland Assembly. A number of MEPs first achieved celebrity in other fields: Dana, the Irish Eurovision popstar, Michael Cashman, one-time ...

More Interesting than Learning how to Make Brandy Snaps

Bernard Porter: Stella Rimington, 18 October 2001

Open Secret: The Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5 
by Stella Rimington.
Hutchinson, 296 pp., £18.99, September 2001, 0 09 179360 2
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... bolshiness, but we are never told what form (apart from looking into windows) that took. The only demos she took part in at Edinburgh were against ‘Bulge and Krush’. After college she decided that teaching was too boring, so became an archivist. She seems to have had no real outside interests: but maybe she feels they aren’t worth mentioning – unless ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2009, 7 January 2010

... police disapprove – the Stop the War marches, for instance – is routinely marked down whereas demos on which the police look kindly, the Countryside Alliance, say, are correspondingly inflated. If there had been a police presence at the Feeding of the Five Thousand there would have been no miracle. ‘Listen, there were only a dozen or so people ...

Umbrageousness

Ferdinand Mount: Staffing the Raj, 7 September 2017

Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India 
by Shashi Tharoor.
Hurst, 295 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 84904 808 8
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The Making of India: The Untold Story of British Enterprise 
by Kartar Lalvani.
Bloomsbury, 433 pp., £25, March 2016, 978 1 4729 2482 7
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India Conquered: Britain’s Raj and the Chaos of Empire 
by Jon Wilson.
Simon & Schuster, 564 pp., £12.99, August 2017, 978 1 4711 0126 7
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... didn’t even need democracy: fellow-feeling would have been enough. My great-great-grandfather John Low, arguing against Lord Dalhousie’s proposal to annex Nagpur in 1854, recalled from his experience all over India cases of our having suffered heavy losses in revenue, and very extensive losses in human lives, owing to the want of wealth among our native ...

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