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Why Wapping?

Rex Winsbury, 6 March 1986

... cosy duopoly no less riddled than Fleet Street with high-cost restrictive practices, as David Owen has recently pointed out) breaks down under the impact of the satellite systems that will deliver far more channels to the home. The essential value of the press remains unaltered whether it is produced by steam, hot metal, electronics, or by the ...

State-Sponsored Counter-Terror

Karl Miller, 8 May 1986

Parliamentary Debates: Hansard, Vol. 95, No 94 
HMSO, £2.50Show More
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... for a long time to come. Some of those who were content with the Falklands war – such as David Owen – have baulked at the American attack: it is often more convenient to criticise the aggression of foreigners than that of your own nation, and Libya has been an American show, a Reagan spectacular, with the British input amounting to no more ...

Falklands Retrospect

Hugo Young, 17 August 1989

The Little Platoon: Diplomacy and the Falklands Dispute 
by Michael Charlton.
Blackwell, 230 pp., £14.95, June 1989, 0 631 16564 9
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... and depicted by one of them as the man who might have solved the problem. Within months of David Owen taking over on Crosland’s early death, yet another solution – cession of sovereignty followed by leaseback – is being trotted round Whitehall. The ‘Hong Kong solution’, as this was termed in the late Seventies, sounds a less winning ...

Smoking for England

Paul Foot, 5 July 1984

Smoke Ring: The Politics of Tobacco 
by Peter Taylor.
Bodley Head, 384 pp., £9.95, March 1984, 0 370 30513 2
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... on by the medical profession, set out to curb the tobacco industry. They were Kenneth Robinson and David Owen (Labour) and Sir George Young (Tory). All three were routed. The hardest fighter of the three was Sir George Young. His determination to cut down, for instance, on tobacco’s sponsorship of sports made him unpopular in those parts of the Tory ...

Nigels against the World

Ferdinand Mount: The EU Referendum, 19 May 2016

... Eurosceptic ministers and former ministers, such as Iain Duncan Smith, Nigel Lawson and David Owen. Then there’s Grassroots Out, which was supposed to bring the other two lots together. But the prospectus on offer has been muddied because the spokesmen within each organisation have had different ideas. Johnson in particular changes his ideas ...

Corbyn’s Progress

Tariq Ali, 3 March 2016

... candidate from the minuscule parliamentary left. This strategy had worked before: last time round David Miliband nominated Diane Abbott as a candidate. In 2015 they hoped a left candidate would take away support from Andy Burnham, who was what passed for leftish, leaving the door open for Liz Kendall or Yvette Cooper. Enter Jeremy Corbyn stage left. He may ...

Hobsbawm Today

Ross McKibbin, 22 June 1989

Politics for a Rational Left: Political Writings, 1977-88 
by Eric Hobsbawm.
Verso, 250 pp., £29.95, May 1989, 0 86091 246 9
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... become increasingly significant in Hobsbawm’s argument. He has no particular affection for David Owen or the old SDP, nor does he think that the educated classes are likely to be much attracted by socialism, but he clearly believes that the educated classes are an essential element in an anti-Thatcher majority. He makes the point that the ...


Christopher Ricks, 22 November 1990

Bloomsbury Dictionary of Dedications 
edited by Adrian Room.
Bloomsbury, 354 pp., £17.99, September 1990, 0 7475 0521 7
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Unauthorised Versions: Poems and their Parodies 
edited by Kenneth Baker.
Faber, 446 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 0 571 14122 6
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The Faber Book of Vernacular Verse 
edited by Tom Paulin.
Faber, 407 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 571 14470 5
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... a prophylactic distance. The SDP/Liberal Alliance is judged to have ‘foundered on the pique of David Steel and the pride of David Owen’: it is not clear why a note to this effect had to be appended to this other parody of Woddis’s, for the parody itself implies as much. Or as little, since there are those of us ...


D.A.N. Jones, 8 January 1987

The Old School: A Study 
by Simon Raven.
Hamish Hamilton, 139 pp., £12, September 1986, 0 241 11929 4
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The Best Years of their Lives: The National Service Experience 1945-63 
by Trevor Royle.
Joseph, 288 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 7181 2459 6
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Murder without Conviction: Inside the World of the Krays 
by John Dickson.
Sidgwick, 164 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 9780283994074
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Inside ‘Private Eye’ 
by Peter McKay.
Fourth Estate, 192 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 947795 80 4
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Malice in Wonderland: Robert Maxwell v. ‘Private Eye’ 
by Robert Maxwell, John Jackson, Peter Donnelly and Joe Haines.
Macdonald, 191 pp., £10.95, December 1986, 0 356 14616 2
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... prints interviews with them, as if they were as respectable as the Shah of Iran. Dickson mentions David Bailey, who published a handsome photograph of the Twins, with an eloquent caption by Francis Wyndham, comparing them with Humphrey Bogart. It was the little public-school gang of Private Eye that broke through the hype: larger journals seemed awed by the ...

Keeping Left

Edmund Dell, 2 October 1980

The Castle Diaries 
by Barbara Castle.
Weidenfeld, 778 pp., £14.95, September 1980, 0 297 77420 4
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... of her civil servants, and of a political spectrum of Junior Ministers from Michael Meacher to David Owen. It now appears that she was often less loyal to them in her thoughts. But we must leave God to try her for these. It was by her actions that she led them, and from out in front. She lived in the shadow of ‘In Place of Strife’, which looms ...


Peter Pulzer, 20 February 1986

The Redefinition of Conservatism: Politics and Doctrine 
by Charles Covell.
Macmillan, 267 pp., £27.50, January 1986, 0 333 38463 6
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Thinkers of the New Left 
by Roger Scruton.
Longman, 227 pp., £9.95, January 1986, 0 582 90273 8
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The Idea of Liberalism: Studies for a New Map of Politics 
by George Watson.
Macmillan, 172 pp., £22.50, November 1985, 0 333 38754 6
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Socialism and Freedom 
by Bryan Gould.
Macmillan, 109 pp., £25, November 1985, 0 333 40580 3
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... is, in any case, another problem. Rawls has already been pinched by the Alliance – implicitly by David Owen in A Future that will Work, explicitly by the SDP’s Tawney Society. Talk like that, whether on social justice or on electoral reform, and you are already stamped as a defector. The neo-conservatives have made the most noise in recent years, just ...

Hattersley’s Specifics

Michael Stewart, 19 March 1987

Choose freedom: The Future for Democratic Socialism 
by Roy Hattersley.
Joseph, 265 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 7181 2483 9
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Power, Competition and the State. Vol. I: Britain in Search of Balance, 1940-61 
by Keith Middlemas.
Methuen, 404 pp., £25, October 1986, 0 333 41412 8
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... what Mr Hattersley thinks they ought to think), and in spite of a few ritual swipes at the SDP and David Owen, there is nothing in the book to preclude the idea of a Labour-Alliance coalition after the next election. But there is, in fact, one troublesome matter. Mr Hattersley denounces with passion and eloquence the appalling way that – despite the ...

Socialism without Socialism

Peter Jenkins, 20 March 1986

Socialist Register 1985/86: Social Democracy and After 
edited by Ralph Miliband, John Saville, Marcel Liebman and Leo Panitch.
Merlin, 489 pp., £15, February 1986, 9780850363395
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... form of a polemic against the idea of social democracy. The target is not the social democracy of David Owen and the SDP, an explicitly non-socialist politics of the left, but social democracy used in its proper historical sense to encompass all the non-revolutionary and non-Communist socialist parties of the industrial world, or what in the classical ...

Tiananmen Revisited

Philippa Tristram, 19 November 1992

... million marching in Hong Kong was even more significant than one million demonstrating in Beijing. David Owen warned that the involvement of the colony could be ‘very dangerous’. In early June a further demonstration damaged property and the Hong Kong riot police were sent in promptly. It was alleged, in language reminiscent of Beijing, that ...

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