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Vanity and Venality

Susan Watkins: The European Impasse, 29 August 2013

Un New Deal pour l’Europe 
by Michel Aglietta and Thomas Brand.
Odile Jacob, 305 pp., £20, March 2013, 978 2 7381 2902 4
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Gekaufte Zeit: Die vertagte Krise des demokratischen Kapitalismus 
by Wolfgang Streeck.
Suhrkamp, 271 pp., £20, March 2013, 978 3 518 58592 4
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The Crisis of the European Union: A Response 
by Jürgen Habermas, translated by Ciaran Cronin.
Polity, 120 pp., £16.99, April 2012, 978 0 7456 6242 8
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For Europe! Manifesto for a Postnational Revolution in Europe 
by Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Guy Verhofstadt.
CreateSpace, 152 pp., £9.90, September 2012, 978 1 4792 6188 8
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German Europe 
by Ulrich Beck, translated by Rodney Livingstone.
Polity, 98 pp., £16.99, March 2013, 978 0 7456 6539 9
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The Future of Europe: Towards a Two-Speed EU? 
by Jean-Claude Piris.
Cambridge, 166 pp., £17.99, December 2011, 978 1 107 66256 8
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Au Revoir, Europe: What if Britain Left the EU? 
by David Charter.
Biteback, 334 pp., £14.99, December 2012, 978 1 84954 121 3
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... outside a more tightly co-ordinated Eurozone? In Au Revoir, Europe: What if Britain Left the EU? David Charter, a Times journalist, argues that the combined dynamics of growing Euroscepticism in the UK and increasing integration in the Eurozone mean that London will either have to negotiate a form of second-tier membership – some have proposed making ...


Alan Bennett: Postscript, 19 February 2004

... condemnation of the BBC’s apology (and its abjectness) by its most distinguished broadcaster, David Attenborough. With a constituency that far outnumbers that of the Labour Party and a voice that is more respected and indeed loved than any politician’s can hope to be, if David Attenborough is on the other side, the ...

Back to Runnymede

Ferdinand Mount: Magna Carta, 23 April 2015

Magna Carta 
by David Carpenter.
Penguin, 594 pp., £10.99, January 2015, 978 0 241 95337 2
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Magna Carta Uncovered 
by Anthony Arlidge and Igor Judge.
Hart, 222 pp., £25, October 2014, 978 1 84946 556 4
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Magna Carta 
by J.C. Holt.
Cambridge, 488 pp., £21.99, May 2015, 978 1 107 47157 3
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Magna Carta: The Foundation of Freedom 1215-2015 
by Nicholas Vincent.
Third Millennium, 192 pp., £44.95, January 2015, 978 1 908990 28 0
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Magna Carta: The Making and Legacy of the Great Charter 
by Dan Jones.
Head of Zeus, 192 pp., £14.99, December 2014, 978 1 78185 885 1
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... first or last time in its 800-year history, is the ferocity of the hatred provoked by the Great Charter among its opponents, and the instinctive cherishing of it by its supporters. Nothing could have exceeded the fury of King John himself at Runnymede. Matthew Paris describes him as ‘gnashing his teeth, scowling with his eyes, and seizing sticks from the ...


David Marquand, 20 December 1990

Citizenship and Community: Civic Republicanism and the Modern World 
by Adrian Oldfield.
Routledge, 196 pp., £30, August 1990, 0 415 04875 3
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Community and the Economy: The Theory of Public Co-operation 
by Jonathan Boswell.
Routledge, 226 pp., £30, October 1990, 0 415 05556 3
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Encouraging citizenship: Report of the Commission on Citizenship 
HMSO, 129 pp., £8, September 1990, 0 11 701464 8Show More
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... of social-citizenship rights rather than the provider of services, in the old Beveridgean way. Charter 88 sees the root of our political ills in a culture of ‘subjecthood not citizenship’ and the cure in explicit guarantees of fundamental civil and political (but not social) rights. The Speaker’s Commission on Citizenship has warned that citizenship ...

If We Leave

Francis FitzGibbon, 16 June 2016

... As part of the Lisbon Treaty negotiations the UK got an opt-out from most of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. The charter reproduces the rights included in the European Convention on Human Rights, which isn’t an EU treaty, but was adopted by the Council of Europe, with additions including rights for ...

Making peace

Dan Gillon, 3 April 1980

The Question of Palestine 
by Edward Said.
Routledge, 265 pp., £7.50, February 1980, 0 7100 0498 2
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... ranks of the more ‘moderate’ West Bank constituency. The PLO’s early credo and the National Charter in which its philosophy and political programme are enshrined called for the liquidation of the Zionist presence in Palestine – an end to the state of Israel. Segments of the PLO continue to adhere to that goal, and the Organisation as such has resisted ...

23153.8; 19897.7; 15635

Adam Smyth: The Stationers’ Company, 27 August 2015

The Stationers’ Company and The Printers of London: 1501-57 
by Peter Blayney.
Cambridge, 2 vols, 1238 pp., £150, November 2013, 978 1 107 03501 0
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... London 1749. In 1501 the Stationers’ Company was a trade organisation without a royal charter, serving some, but not all, of the printers, publishers, distributors and booksellers involved in the London book trade and ‘thoroughly undistinguished’, in Blayney’s words, particularly by comparison with prestigious incorporated companies such as ...

Short Cuts

Francis FitzGibbon: Criminal Justice after Brexit, 18 May 2017

... decisions. The EU rules on data protection derive from the privacy rights in Article 8 of the 2009 Charter of Fundamental Rights, which closely resembles the earlier Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Once we leave the EU, these rights will continue to be the standard by which the lawfulness of rules on data protection is judged. EU law on ...

Short Cuts

David Bromwich: Springtime for Donald, 20 February 2020

... fate of going to ‘government schools’: he awarded her an ‘opportunity scholarship’ to a charter school, right there on national television. He was improving the state of the union, person by person. Something like the ‘sovereign’s touch’. This interlude, and several others that added half an hour to the speech, were reminiscent of two TV ...

An Unreliable Friend

R.W. Johnson: Nelson Mandela, 19 August 1999

Mandela: The Authorised Biography 
by Anthony Sampson.
HarperCollins, 500 pp., £24.99, May 1999, 0 00 255829 7
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... own history. Take, for example, the Party’s adoption of its fundamental document, the Freedom Charter, by the Congress of the People at Kliptown in 1955. Sampson clearly believes that the Liberals made a major mistake by turning down an invitation to attend because they feared they were being ‘lured into a “popular front” whose decisions were taken ...

Knife and Fork Question

Miles Taylor: The Chartist Movement, 29 November 2001

The Chartist Movement in Britain 1838-50 
edited by Gregory Claeys.
Pickering & Chatto, £495, April 2001, 1 85196 330 8
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... to writing manuals on physiology, diet and anatomy. Although they drafted the original People’s Charter, Lovett’s men were soon overtaken by the Chartist leaders of the Midlands and the North: men such as Humphrey Price, ‘the good parson of Needwood Forest’, and Joseph Rayner Stephens, the Wesleyan preacher. Stephens famously declared Chartism to be a ...

A University for Protestants

Denis Donoghue, 5 August 1982

Trinity College Dublin 1592-1952: An Academic History 
by R.B. McDowell and D.A. Webb.
Cambridge, 580 pp., £35, June 1982, 0 521 23931 1
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... at the dissolution of the monasteries. A year later, on 3 March 1592, Queen Elizabeth issued a charter incorporating ‘the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity near Dublin’ as ‘the mother of a university’ with the aim of providing ‘education, training and instruction of youths and students in the arts and faculties ... that they may be the ...

Free Schools

Dawn Foster, 7 May 2015

... On 22 March​ 2012, David Cameron visited Kings Science Academy in Bradford, one of the first wave of 24 free schools that opened in September 2011. You can see footage of his visit online. The prime minister walks through the playground, hampered by children in grey blazers, with the school’s headteacher, Sajid Raza, at his elbow ...

George Ball on the Middle East

George Ball, 4 April 1991

... the need now was to halt ‘aggression’ as that term is employed in the United Nations Charter. This new purpose found expression in 12 far-reaching resolutions which the Security Council adopted in the following few weeks. The first confirmed that Iraq’s move against Kuwait had indeed constituted an ‘aggression’ – a finding which made ...

A Company of Merchants

Jamie Martin: The Bank of England, 24 January 2019

Till Time’s Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England, 1694-2013 
by David Kynaston.
Bloomsbury, 879 pp., £35, September 2017, 978 1 4088 6856 0
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... The bank was instrumental in the rise of the modern British state and its global reach, but as David Kynaston shows in his official history, it has always had an uncertain relationship with the state, mediating awkwardly between the private imperatives of finance and the public demands of politics. When the bank was founded in 1694, its business was to ...

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