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W.G. Runciman: Exit Blair, 24 May 2007

... had then arranged to be sheltered from any information that might have given him pause. (Alastair Campbell to John Scarlett, 17.9.02: ‘He is not exactly a “don’t know” on the issue.’) He could therefore genuinely believe in the existence of threatening weapons of mass destruction, just as he could genuinely believe that the invasion would be ...
A Slight and Delicate Creature: The Memoirs of Margaret Cook 
Weidenfeld, 307 pp., £20, January 1999, 0 297 84293 5Show More
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... for insight into the politics and the personalities with whom Robin Cook was involved. She met Gordon Brown just after her marriage, but has ‘little remaining impression of Gordon, whom I have met only once or twice since then, and he seems, like many famous people who start their careers almost as child prodigies, to ...

Just what are those teeth for?

Ian Hamilton, 24 April 1997

... elementary professional prowess. Paxman and Dimbleby might yearn, on our behalf, to find out what Gordon Brown conceals beneath his mask of stony moderation, or how Ash-down would shape up in a pub-brawl, but I’m not certain that the public greatly craves disclosures of this kind. Someone like Max Clifford will tell us that MPs make up for their ...

Playing the World for Fools

Joshua Kurlantzick: In Burma, 19 August 2010

... hand. ‘Sadly, the Burmese regime has squandered the opportunity for national reconciliation,’ Gordon Brown said. In central Burma unrest seems to be building. Although Burma is swarming with informers, the junta has often seemed incapable of anticipating trouble. It appeared to have little warning of 2007’s Saffron Revolution, in which tens of thousands ...

Joe, Jerry and Bomber Blair

Owen Hatherley: Jonathan Meades, 7 March 2013

Museum without Walls 
by Jonathan Meades.
Unbound, 446 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 1 908717 18 4
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... Extremists, written with Deyan Sudjic and Peter Cook, celebrating the postmodern architects Campbell Zogolovitch Wilson Gough – but since then his medium has been television. Meades has never been a fully paid-up architectural correspondent; he argues in Museum without Walls that taking up such a job helped destroy Ian Nairn, the ...

Hinsley’s History

Noël Annan, 1 August 1985

Diplomacy and Intelligence during the Second World War: Essays in Honour of F.H. Hinsley 
edited by Richard Langhorne.
Cambridge, 329 pp., £27.50, May 1985, 0 521 26840 0
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British Intelligence and the Second World War. Vol. I: 1939-Summer 1941, Vol. II: Mid-1941-Mid-1943, Vol. III, Part I: June 1943-June 1944 
by F.H. Hinsley, E.E. Thomas, C.F.G. Ransom and R.C. Knight.
HMSO, 616 pp., £12.95, September 1979, 0 11 630933 4
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... principally for their skill at chess. One of them, another Kingsman, was Alan Turing, who, with Gordon Welchman of Sidney Sussex, was foremost among those who decoded Ultra, encyphered on the Enigma machine, and, perhaps more than any single person, helped to save us from defeat in the battle of the Atlantic. When suddenly Japanese linguists had to be ...


David Craig: In the Barra Isles, 30 October 1997

... or seanchaidh, whose stories were edited into a book by the great Gaelic scholar John Lorne Campbell. Her words had gone on buzzing and irking in a corner of my brain. Most sources are agreed that the people left Pabbay and the last two islands in the chain, Mingulay and Berneray, quite freely, in a final despair at the harshness of the life, the ...


Iain Sinclair: Thatcher in Gravesend, 9 May 2013

... from the defunct imperial trading port of Gravesend with its sad statues to Pocahontas and General Gordon, martyr of Khartoum, I left the pier and its deserted wine bars and found my way to the Old Town Hall: the political and civic centre. The big attraction was an exhibition of paintings by Duncan Grant: ‘Duncan Grant, Gravesend Artist’, that is, not the ...

No more alimony, tra la la

Miranda Carter: Somerset Maugham, 17 December 2009

The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham 
by Selina Hastings.
John Murray, 614 pp., £25, September 2009, 978 0 7195 6554 0
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... he hated the public school he was sent to: King’s Canterbury. The most odious of the masters, Mr Campbell – famed for making boys erase their mistakes by rubbing their noses across the blackboard – was later portrayed as the hateful Mr Gordon in Of Human Bondage. It wasn’t all bad, however. Quite soon, Maugham was ...

Brown v. Salmond

Colin Kidd: The Scottish Elections, 26 April 2007

... for Edinburgh University Student Publications and edited by the university’s student rector, Gordon Brown. Brown did not succumb to nationalism, of course, but he attempted to reformulate the Labour agenda to take account of Scotland’s national peculiarities. The Red Paper had an immediate impact on party politics. In 1976 one of Brown’s ...

Newspaperising the World

Sadakat Kadri: The Leveson Inquiry, 5 July 2012

Dial M for Murdoch 
by Tom Watson and Martin Hickman.
Allen Lane, 360 pp., £20, April 2012, 978 1 84614 603 9
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... over aspects of Labour Party toadying that it would have done well to discuss – most notably, Gordon Brown’s contorted attempts to ingratiate himself with Murdoch – but it does convincingly suggest that News International had no rival when it came to pushing around the weak and cosying up to the strong. The company’s executives and editors created a ...

After the Referendum

LRB Contributors, 9 October 2014

... kept us all ablaze these last few weeks and months. Bella Caledonia, Wee Ginger Dug, Rev. Stuart Campbell, Alec Finlay, Wheelie Bins for Yes – a cataract of stuff. God knows, in my hours online I wandered down some peculiar byways (the Spectator comments pages). The Better Together ‘Patronising Lady’ advert kept us entertained for ages. (Watch the ...

The Breakaway

Perry Anderson: Goodbye Europe, 21 January 2021

... by the hostility to the euro of the Murdoch press that had helped elect him, soon faded. But Gordon Brown’s firm refusal to abandon sterling, made from his position of strength at the Exchequer, maintained the status quo bequeathed by Major. London would sign up to the Social Chapter that Major had sidestepped, but despite increasingly frantic pressure ...

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