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Vote for the Beast!

Ian Gilmour: The Tory Leadership

20 October 2005
... Archer, the Times had come down in favour of Hague, and in 2001 it announced that Duncan Smith ‘is a better choice this time’. In a long dissertation the Daily Telegraph, whose editor was then CharlesMoore, told its readers that Duncan Smith saw things with ‘the eyes of a voter’ and had a better ‘estimation of the huge scale of the Tory task’ than Clarke did. Moreover, he had ‘a more ...

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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... a completely free hand except on one subject. He forbade attacks on American Presidents in general and President Reagan in particular. Entry for 18 April 1986, Not Many Dead The success of Michael Moore’s film about Roger Smith and General Motors has aroused an envious spirit of emulation in my breast. ‘Conrad and Me’, a script which I hone and burnish in slack moments, has the following ...

Phwoar!

Suzanne Moore: Amanda Platell

6 January 2000
Scandal 
by Amanda Platell.
Piatkus, 297 pp., £5.99, November 1999, 0 7499 3119 1
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... size 12 with open hostility.’ In some parallel universe I like to think that Max Hastings and Paul Dacre and John Witherow and Alan Rusbridger behave like this. Dominic Lawson may well have said to CharlesMoore in some gentleman’s outfitters what Sharon says to Georgina: ‘Well, we can’t both buy this, can we, babe? And I know who looks best in it.’ Both women, you see, are competing for the ...
8 November 2018
... whether this is what victory looks like. To the north, but out of sight of Pope’s pillar, is the vast American cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon. The head of the US Commission of Fine Art, CharlesMoore, insisted that American cemeteries in France not be designed in the British fashion, in phalanxes of headstones. Instead, they would be a combination of lawns, trees and crosses – parks for ...

Conspire Slowly, Act Quickly

David Runciman: Thatcher Undone

22 December 2019
Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. III: Herself Alone 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 1072 pp., £35, October 2019, 978 0 241 32474 5
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... de la Billière: ‘Hey Peter, what sort of country have you got there when they sack the prime minister halfway through a war?’It was not a coup, not even a very British one. But it was, as CharlesMoore describes, the result of a very Tory conspiracy. Thatcher fell following the first ballot of a leadership election among Conservative MPs in which she secured more votes than her rival Michael ...

Squealing

Ian Buruma

13 May 1993
Gower: The Autobiography 
by David Gower and Martin Johnson.
Collins Willow, 256 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 00 218413 3
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... rich and famous off their pedestals is played with special relish in England. It is not an edifying spectacle. But then neither is the squealing of toffs when they feel put upon. Only the other day, CharlesMoore (Eton, Cambridge, Spectator, Telegraph) compared Old Etonians to persecuted Jews. Both the pulling and the squealing point to a society in distress, to a sense of national claustrophobia, to a ...

Properly Disposed

Emily Witt: ‘Moby-Duck’

30 August 2012
Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea 
by Donovan Hohn.
Union, 402 pp., £8.99, September 2012, 978 1 908526 02 1
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... Alguita, ‘a kind of floating eco-friendly utopian experiment’ that trawls the waters around Hawaii with a sieve to determine the ratio of plastic particles to plankton. The boat is captained by CharlesMoore, who ‘resembles the pioneers of oceanography, among the last of the natural sciences to professionalise for the simple reason that wealthy, swashbuckling, yacht-owning amateurs were often the ...
17 December 1981
Studies in Tennyson 
edited by Hallam Tennyson.
Macmillan, 229 pp., £15, October 1981, 0 333 27884 4
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... The title page of this book tells us that it is ‘published to commemorate the centenary of Sir Charles Tennyson, the poet’s grandson and biographer, born 8 November 1879, died 22 June 1977’. Charles Tennyson was very far from being the most eccentric of all the Tennysons, but he is the most astonishing of them at least in one regard: that of enhanced, rather than merely sustained, activity in ...

A Different Sort of Tory

Ronald Stevens: Max Hastings

12 December 2002
Editor: An Inside Story of Newspapers 
by Max Hastings.
Macmillan, 398 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 333 90837 6
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... as that. All the same, he became very unhappy with the Telegraph’s editorial stance on many issues, and the first sign that he intended to have more of his own way came with the appointment of CharlesMoore as Hastings’s deputy in 1989. Moore, though a relatively young man, was and is a rigidly unadventurous Tory with whom the retired colonels and colonial civil servants who had survived from ...

Pioneers

Christopher Reid

3 September 1981
Some Americans: A Personal Record 
by Charles​ Tomlinson.
California, 134 pp., £6.50, June 1981, 0 520 04037 6
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... It is strange,’ Charles Tomlinson writes, ‘to have met the innovators of one’s time only when age had overtaken them.’ The innovators to whom he refers are those American poets – Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, William ...

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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... ending the meeting five minutes early – to keep Maggie sweet.) Thatcher secured an invitation to Camp David, where she intended to remind Reagan of some hard political truths. Her principal aide, Charles Powell, drafted a memo in which he laid bare the core of the argument she would need to get across to the president (the emphasis comes from Thatcher’s annotations of the text): You will cause me ...

Rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat

David Runciman: Thatcher’s Rise

6 June 2013
Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography. Vol. I: Not for Turning 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 859 pp., £30, April 2013, 978 0 7139 9282 3
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... It’s depressing to suppose that fortune favours the people who can keep going longest. But it does. That is one of the clear lessons from the first volume of CharlesMoore’s exhaustive and exhausting authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, which takes the story up to the Falklands War in 1982. The person on display here is not more intelligent than her rivals, or ...
6 June 1996
A Peculiar Man: A Life of George Moore 
by Tony Gray.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 344 pp., £20, April 1996, 1 85619 578 3
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... George Moore, ‘daring’ novelist and absentee landlord, sage and humbug of Ebury Street, seemed born to be insulted. ‘An over-ripe gooseberry, a great big intoxicated baby, a satyr, a boiled ghost, a gosling ...

Politicians in a Fix

David Runciman: The uses of referendums

10 July 2003
... stamp some especially high-handed act of government by decree, or to assert the will of the majority against some recalcitrant minority either within or outside parliament. It doesn’t always work. Charles de Gaulle was the master of this kind of politics until he called one plebiscite too many in 1969 and was finished. It is also easy to forget that the first referendum held in the British Isles took ...

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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... that personality. Even her foolishness was larger than life. Campbell’s biography, of which this is the second and final volume, is not the only one – and there will soon be an official one by CharlesMoore. It will, however, be difficult to trump. Its argument is always fair and judicious: Thatcher-haters will be just as disappointed as devotees. The book begins in 1979, the year Thatcher became ...

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