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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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... I happen to be travelling in the opposite direction.) More than half of Nicholas Garland’s book 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 ...

Diary

Ian Aitken: Party Fairy-Tales

22 March 1990
... severely from myths about a golden past now lost in the mists of time. Even quite well-read Labour politicians are prone to the belief that This Great Movement of Ours (or THIGMOO, as my colleague AlanWatkins 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 ...
22 November 1979
Goldenballs 
by Richard Ingrams.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 144 pp., £4.25
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... columns to create an atmosphere around me. Goldsmith is muddled, it needs to be said, in his use of the word ‘extremist’: Richard Ingrams may be an extremist in his journalistic methods, but, as AlanWatkins 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 ...

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 two evils. Although Joseph’s message resonated with the Conservative base and beyond, his invocation of eugenics undermined his reputation with the broadsheet press. The influential journalist AlanWatkins 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 ...

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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... testified: ‘Well, I like a good blow job, and the women downtown don’t know how to suck dick worth 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 ...

The Excursions

Andrew O’Hagan

16 June 2011
... years ago for Mrs Eliot, and Seamus went as the representative poet. Some knight or other was giving 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 ...

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