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Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens, 28 June 1990

Not Many Dead: Journal of a Year in Fleet Street 
by Nicholas Garland.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £16.95, April 1990, 0 09 174449 0
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A Slight Case of Libel: Meacher v. Trelford and Others 
by Alan Watkins.
Duckworth, 241 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7156 2334 6
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... is given over to an account of demoralisation and defection at the Telegraph, and the whole of Watkins’s effort is an education in the nightmare of the Queen’s Bench. Garland approaches the relationship between politics and journalism with an ignorance and a complacency that would almost be refreshing in anyone who wasn’t paid to provide a day-by-day ...


Ian Aitken: Party Fairy-Tales, 22 March 1990

... politicians are prone to the belief that This Great Movement of Ours (or THIGMOO, as my colleague Alan Watkins prefers to call it) was once a truly radical, campaigning party, and that, in some way, the true faith was betrayed by clay-footed leaders and careerist MPs. Like ‘Sir’ Peregrine’s bedtime stories, this too is bunk. For the reality about ...
by Richard Ingrams.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 144 pp., £4.25
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... the word ‘extremist’: Richard Ingrams may be an extremist in his journalistic methods, but, as Alan Watkins has pointed out in an excellent Spectator profile, he is a radical Tory who professes to despise political extremes. Goldsmith stabbed in all directions at his imaginary enemies and, to his cost, singled out Auberon Waugh, thinking him to be the ...

The Irresistible Itch

Colin Kidd: Vandals in Bow Ties, 3 December 2009

Personal Responsibility: Why It Matters 
by Alexander Brown.
Continuum, 214 pp., £12.99, September 2009, 978 1 84706 399 1
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... of eugenics undermined his reputation with the broadsheet press. The influential journalist Alan Watkins described him as ‘a saloon-bar Malthus’. Thatcher, not Joseph, won the Tory leadership contest in spring 1975, and she never forgot the need to approach divisive moral questions with delicacy, circumspection and a degree of ...

How do they see you?

Elizabeth Spelman: Martha Nussbaum, 16 November 2000

Sex and Social Justice 
by Martha Nussbaum.
Oxford, 476 pp., £25, July 1999, 0 19 511032 3
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Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach 
by Martha Nussbaum.
Cambridge, 312 pp., £17.95, May 2000, 0 521 66086 6
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... a damn. But this man happens to suck mine better than anyone I have ever found in the world’ (Watkins v. US Army and related testimony). In one of the book’s most engaging and original chapters, Nussbaum argues that certain forms of objectification of other people’s bodies might enhance sexual encounters without degrading or demeaning any partner to ...

The Excursions

Andrew O’Hagan, 16 June 2011

... a speech and he said that Eliot wasn’t the only poet ever to work for Lloyds. Cardiff’s Vernon Watkins gave a lot of time to his writing but refused to take days off, preferring to come to his desk. Then again, the gentleman said, ‘Watkins was a branch man and Eliot was very much head office.’We stopped for lunch at ...

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