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The Alternative: Politics for a Change 
edited by Ben Pimlott, Anthony Wright and Tony Flower.
W.H. Allen, 260 pp., £14.95, July 1990, 9781852271688
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... also share the tendency to encapsulate the transition from one epoch to another in pithy slogans: John Lloyd speaks of ‘End-of-History politics’, for example; other contributors of ‘old thinking’. In one important respect, The Alternative does differ from New Times. In 1988 the ideological decay of Thatcherism was only incipient; most of the essays in ...


Christopher Hitchens: Men (and Women) of the Year, 14 December 1995

... cherished the leathery but perfectly-formed C. P.-B. She unveiled her adulterous passion with the Hewitt. She took leave to doubt that her ex-husband-elect was fit for the throne. Excuse me, but didn’t I know all this already? Nothing on Carling was offered, or asked for by the fawning Bashir, and nothing on young James Gilbey of the ‘Squidgy’ tapes ...

Fog has no memory

Jonathan Meades: Postwar Colour(lessness), 19 July 2018

The Tiger in the Smoke: Art and Culture in Postwar Britain 
by Lynda Nead.
Yale, 416 pp., £35, October 2017, 978 0 300 21460 4
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... they were ‘rendered ideological by the critical discourse of the period’, that’s to say, by John Berger’s insistence that they were ‘engaged’ whether they liked it or not. Their drab everyday subjects and their exaggerated reprise of the Camden Town Group’s brand of murky domestic realism lent plausibility to Berger’s ...

Watching Me Watching Them Watching You

Andrew O’Hagan: Surveillance, 9 October 2003

... the nation that existed between Margaret Thatcher’s ‘there’s no such thing as society’ and John Major’s ‘it’s time to understand a bit less and condemn a bit more.’ I felt for the boy being led away but also for the boys leading him, and I believed there was not only a terrible death beyond what we could see there, but lives too, the life of a ...

Do Not Scribble

Amanda Vickery: Letter-Writing, 4 November 2010

The Pen and the People: English Letter-Writers 1660-1800 
by Susan Whyman.
Oxford, 400 pp., £30, October 2009, 978 0 19 953244 5
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Becoming a Woman in the Age of Letters 
by Dena Goodman.
Cornell, 408 pp., £24.50, June 2009, 978 0 8014 7545 0
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... is the fuel of one of the most compelling documents a historian can hold – the love letter. Mary Hewitt, the young wife of a Coventry lawyer, kissed his letters when he was away and invited him to imagine her a Woman of Feeling languishing for want of him: post days are all sunshine when we are to have a letter [in the] morning … I find a secrett pleasure ...

Downsize, Your Majesty

David Cannadine, 16 October 1997

The Royals 
by Kitty Kelley.
Warner, 547 pp., $27, September 1997, 0 446 51712 7
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... entourage and its hangers-on: Lord Snowdon, Raine Spencer, Major Ronald Ferguson, Koo Stark, James Hewitt, Madam Vasso and the rest. Thus described by Kelley, the House of Windsor is part Evelyn Waugh, part Tom Sharpe, wholly Spitting Image. It is not so much that she descends to personalities as that she is incapable of rising above them. But this is scarcely ...

Mother Country

Catherine Hall: The Hostile Environment, 23 January 2020

The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment 
by Amelia Gentleman.
Guardian Faber, 336 pp., £18.99, September 2019, 978 1 78335 184 8
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Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation 
by Colin Grant.
Cape, 320 pp., £18.99, October 2019, 978 1 78733 105 1
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Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Become Scapegoats 
by Maya Goodfellow.
Verso, 272 pp., £12.99, November 2019, 978 1 78873 336 6
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... press, Parliament and public for the first time since emancipation. Eyre’s critics were led by John Stuart Mill, his supporters by the likes of Carlyle and Ruskin. But the issue for Mill and liberal opinion was the legality of the punitive actions, not the source of the protest, which was the social, political and economic oppression of the majority black ...

History of a Dog’s Dinner

Keith Ewing and Conor Gearty, 6 February 1997

... in which the King’s Secretary issued a warrant authorising two messengers to enter the home of John Entick and search for seditious papers. There was neither common law nor statutory authority for this action, which Entick successfully challenged in the courts, recovering damages from the hapless messengers (said to be ‘as much responsible as their ...

Uneasy Listening

Paul Laity: ‘Lord Haw-Haw’, 8 July 2004

Germany Calling: A Personal Biography of William Joyce, ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ 
by Mary Kenny.
New Island, 300 pp., £17.99, November 2003, 1 902602 78 1
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Lord Haw-Haw: The English Voice of Nazi Germany 
by Peter Martland.
National Archives, 309 pp., £19.99, March 2003, 1 903365 17 1
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... Sally’) and Ezra Pound, who was indicted for broadcasting from Italy; in Britain, John Amery and P.G. Wodehouse, who was cold-shouldered for giving a jaunty talk about life in his internment camp. Lord Haw-Haw was the most notorious radio traitor of all, and many British people, in the charged atmosphere of the postwar months, seemed ...

It’s already happened

James Meek: The NHS Goes Private, 22 September 2011

... the private sector sets aside for corporate sheen, although it does have a museum dedicated to John Charnley, who, almost half a century ago, pioneered the popular benchmark of the NHS’s success or failure, the hip replacement operation. They still do hips at Wrightington, and knees, and elbows, and shoulders. They deal with joint problems that are too ...

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