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Why did it end so badly?

Ross McKibbin: Thatcher

18 March 2004
Margaret Thatcher. Vol. II: The Iron Lady 
by John Campbell.
Cape, 913 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 224 06156 9
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... we be oversympathetic to Howe, one of the most obstinately wrong-headed of chancellors, or to Lawson, one of the most reckless. There was an increasing reliance on court favourites – particularly BernardIngham and Charles Powell, the man Campbell describes as the real deputy prime minister. 7. Campbell is interesting on Thatcher’s attitude to local government and here he attempts some ...

You Know Who You Are

Colin Kidd: About Last Year

25 January 2018
Fall Out: A Year Of Political Mayhem 
by Tim Shipman.
William Collins, 559 pp., £25, November 2017, 978 0 00 826438 3
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... civil servants are notionally debarred from politics as opposed to policy, though not from its presentation; and the lines have become increasingly blurred since the era of Thatcher’s courtiers BernardIngham and Charles Powell (both, harmlessly at first glance, career civil servants), and then of Blair’s media manager, the former Mirror journalist Alastair Campbell, who was given special ...

Living with Monsters

Ferdinand Mount: PMs v. the Media

22 April 2010
Where Power Lies: Prime Ministers v. the Media 
by Lance Price.
Simon & Schuster, 498 pp., £20, February 2010, 978 1 84737 253 6
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... for her by her spokesman Henry James, a career civil servant who had worked for both Heath and Wilson and was as grave and imposing a figure as his literary namesake. When James was succeeded by BernardIngham, who had worked for Barbara Castle, presentation certainly hotted up. Ingham gave a robust account of his new mistress’s views, stamped on the latest rumours with his trademark dismissal ...
20 April 1989
One of Us: A Biography of Margaret Thatcher 
by Hugo Young.
Macmillan, 570 pp., £16.95, April 1989, 0 333 34439 1
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...  there was a nearly 60 per cent poll – and it seemed possible that Mrs Thatcher’s political career would be abruptly terminated in an angry wave of Jewish anti-Tory protest. Finchley, wrote Bernard Donoughue in 1964, ‘was the Liberal Party’s greatest and most publicised hope of “another Orpington” in the South-East of England’. The Liberals even arranged two special TV campaign ...

Bravo l’artiste

John Lanchester: What is Murdoch after?

5 February 2004
The Murdoch Archipelago 
by Bruce Page.
Simon and Schuster, 580 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 7432 3936 9
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Rupert Murdoch: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Media Wizard 
by Neil Chenoweth.
Crown Business, 416 pp., $27.50, December 2002, 0 609 61038 4
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Autumn of the Moguls: My Misadventures with the Titans, Poseurs and Money Guys who Mastered and Messed up Big Media 
by Michael Wolff.
Flamingo, 381 pp., £18.99, January 2004, 0 00 717881 6
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... Now, though, I think Murdoch’s support cuts both ways, and did so even at the time. Page gives an example, in his account of the Westland Affair. Mrs Thatcher, and especially her press secretary, BernardIngham, were so close to the Sun that the paper tended to run anything she wanted: ‘Ingham’s dominance of the lobby – gift of the Murdoch papers – was a weapon of tempting power, but ...


Alan Bennett: What I Did in 2015

7 January 2016
... Azakh the barber to trim my eyebrows. It’s a cosmetic refinement I’ve always resisted on the assumption that once cut the eyebrows would grow more luxuriantly and I should end up looking like BernardIngham or (this in the interests of balance) Denis Healey. However, I am getting on and there will scarcely be time for the development of comparable thickets so today I am tidied up. The last time I ...

Fear in Those Blue Eyes

David Runciman: Thatcher in Her Bubble

3 December 2015
Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. II: Everything She Wants 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 821 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 7139 9288 5
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... affair was so great that Whitelaw never managed to understand it.) Those who did recognise the strength of Heseltine’s feelings and the threat it posed – including Thatcher’s press secretary, BernardIngham – tried to match him at his own game, leaking hostile material to the press in order to take the wind out of his sails. One of these leaks was a letter from the solicitor-general accusing ...

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