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Cronyism and Clientelism

Peter Geoghegan, 5 November 2020

... Mail test’. (The same metric was adopted by the civil servants making funding decisions in Andrew Mitchell’s now defunct Department for International Development.) Serco was fined £19.2 million last year by the Serious Fraud Office for misconduct in its electronic tagging service for the Ministry of Justice. The wrongdoing is said to have included ...

A Journey in the South

Andrew O’Hagan: In New Orleans, 6 October 2005

... preachin,’ she said. North Carolina was the birthplace of Billy Graham and three US presidents, Andrew Johnson, James Polk and Andrew Jackson, and also, among the twinkling lights out there, you could find the uncelebrated birthplace of Thomas Wolfe, the North Carolinian who wrote Look Homeward, Angel. As the truck got ...

Ghosting

Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange, 6 March 2014

... Major General Campbell, a US commander in Afghanistan, said that ‘any time there’s any sort of leak of classified material, it has the potential to harm the military folks that are working out here every day.’ The notion got under the skin of many people, including many of the journalists dealing with the leaks, and a feeling grew that WikiLeaks must ...

Karl Miller Remembered

Neal Ascherson, John Lanchester and Andrew O’Hagan, 23 October 2014

... a passage where you weren’t quite clear what you thought and hoped that the vagueness didn’t leak into the text. All the points where you were on thin ice and hoped no one would notice, he noticed. You had no choice except to raise your game. The attention and focus given to editing were all the more impressive because Karl had no romance of editing as ...

Martian Arts

Jonathan Raban, 23 July 1987

Home and Away 
by Steve Ellis.
Bloodaxe, 62 pp., £4.50, February 1987, 9781852240271
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The Ballad of the Yorkshire Ripper 
by Blake Morrison.
Chatto, 48 pp., £4.95, May 1987, 0 7011 3227 2
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The Frighteners 
by Sean O’Brien.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £4.50, February 1987, 9781852240134
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... Larkin elegies have the authentic plangency of E.J. Thribb. The best, as yet uncollected, is by Andrew Motion, and was first published in the TLS. ‘This is your subject speaking’ is a long poem, with a powerful and complex narrative drive. In the final section, Motion visits Larkin in the nursing-home where he was dying of his cancer:The door to your ...

Ask Anyone in Canada

Neal Ascherson: Max Beaverbrook’s Mediations, 24 October 2019

Max Beaverbrook: Not Quite a Gentleman 
by Charles Williams.
Biteback, 566 pp., £25, June 2019, 978 1 84954 746 8
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... will be successful,’ he wrote in his diary on their wedding day). There he was introduced to Andrew Bonar Law, another Scots-Canadian son of the manse with a New Brunswick background, who was a rising star in the Unionist (Conservative) Party. It was the beginning of a strange, enduring relationship: Bonar Law as Aitken’s political patron and ...

The Satoshi Affair

Andrew O’Hagan, 30 June 2016

... and Gizmodo stories before Christmas. Wright always said these stories had been provoked by a ‘leak’, the work of a disgruntled employee of his who had stolen a hard drive. In any case, the emails he sent me show a pair of men with shadowy habits – socially undernourished men, I’d say, with a high degree of intellectual ability – operating in a ...

It’s already happened

James Meek: The NHS Goes Private, 22 September 2011

... services, imposed from Whitehall.’ Two months later, the new health secretary, the Conservative Andrew Lansley, announced his plans for a top-down reconfiguration of England’s NHS services, imposed from Whitehall. The patient whom Porter was about to operate on was a 60-year-old woman from the Wirral with a complex prosthesis in one leg, running from her ...

In the Streets of Londonistan

John Upton: Terror, Muslims and the Met, 22 January 2004

... claiming that Sulayman was sending Muslims to train in Afghanistan. The Labour MP for Hendon, Andrew Dismore, raised the matter in Parliament. Ten days after the newspaper article was published, Sulayman became the first Muslim to be arrested and detained under the Terrorism Act 2000. He was charged with inviting another to receive weapons training and ...

Why are you still here?

James Meek: Who owns Grimsby?, 23 April 2015

... are you still here?’It’s not that they don’t still fish out of Grimsby. One morning I met Andrew Allard, who runs a ten-vessel outfit called Jubilee Fishing from an office in the docks. When he showed me on a map on the wall where his boats were at that moment I got a sense of the big world of the Grimsby fishermen, how unprovincial it had been to ...

Why Partition?

Perry Anderson, 19 July 2012

... indelible portrait of Mountbatten – that ‘mendacious, intellectually limited hustler’ – to Andrew Roberts. Full of imaginary exploits from the back seat of his Cadillac in Colombo, as figurehead commander of Allied Forces in South-East Asia, he arrived in Delhi overjoyed to be ‘endowed with an almost heavenly power. I realised that I had been made ...

The Laying on of Hands

Alan Bennett, 7 June 2001

... much to the fore. A leading international architect, one of whose airports had recently sprung a leak, came down the centre aisle, waiting at the end of a pew until someone made room, his self-effacing behaviour and downcast eyes proclaiming him a person of some consequence humbled by the circumstances in which he currently found himself and which might have ...

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