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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 ...

Downhill from Here

Ian Jack: The 1970s, 27 August 2009

When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies 
by Andy Beckett.
Faber, 576 pp., £20, May 2009, 978 0 571 22136 3
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... Cameron (though it could just as easily have been Gordon Brown) read out the charge sheet at a Demos meeting in 2006: ‘economic decline . . . inflation, stagnation and rising unemployment . . . deteriorating industrial relations’. Nearly 30 million working days were lost to strikes in 1979, mainly during the Winter of Discontent – more than in ...

Vorsprung durch Techno

Ian Penman, 10 September 2020

Kraftwerk: Future Music from Germany 
by Uwe Schütte.
Penguin, 316 pp., £9.99, February, 978 0 14 198675 3
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... or Iggy Pop’s The Idiot? Kraftwerk have a track called ‘Numbers’, but I prefer Soft Cell’s John Rechy-inspired single of the same name, one of the great lost 45s of the 1980s, which involves an entirely other (and far less hygienic) form of accounting. And I haven’t even mentioned that other great pre-techno German dance classic, ‘I Feel Love’ by ...

Vuvuzelas Unite

Andy Beckett: The Trade Union Bill, 22 October 2015

Trade Union Bill (HC Bill 58) 
Stationery Office, 32 pp., July 2015Show More
Trade Union Membership 2014: Statistical Bulletin 
Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, 56 pp., June 2015Show More
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... organised huge and vibrant demonstrations (the slogan ‘Kill the Bill’ was first used on these demos) and then an effective non-co-operation campaign once the bill became law. The campaign drained Heath’s authority and was one reason he was ejected from office in 1974. The unions are weaker now, but they still have allies. Shortly after McCluskey had ...

Ever Closer Union?

Perry Anderson, 7 January 2021

... wave of appointees also included one who was, in the words of an admirer, Europe’s equivalent of John Marshall, the patriarch of the Supreme Court in the US, responsible for establishing its authority across the land. Robert Lecourt was a leading politician in the French version of the Christian Democratic parties of Italy and Germany, the Mouvement ...

The European Coup

Perry Anderson, 17 December 2020

... But can there be Greek legitimacy without German identity – a European democracy with a demos? Commission and Parliament have befriended each other in their quest to become the executive and legislature of the Union. Yet though the Parliament has acquired more and more powers since 1979, it has not won the favour of voters, who have shown less and ...

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