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17 March 1988
... Bristol in the hands of the mob for three days, the Mansion House and three prisons sacked, rioters killed in Derby, Nottingham Castle burned to the ground – that was the news from England in the summer of 1832. We should not be beguiled by the calm portraits of Sir Robert Peel or his heavy, measured prose. He led his party through times much more violent than our own ...
7 December 1989
... One of the first traditionalists to complain when Home Secretary Douglas Hurd referred the case of the Guildford Four to the Court of Appeal was Ivor Stanbrook, Tory MP for Orpington. Mr Stanbrook was worried about the effect on British justice of all this questioning of verdicts in celebrated criminal cases ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: Milosevic is delivered to the Hague

19 July 2001
... quite a lot about the time-servers – quite a lot, if he wants to air it, on Richard Holbrooke, Douglas Hurd, David Owen. On the UN, which is less a matter of dishing dirt than asking very basic questions, he is in a trickier position. In March 1999, Nato was in breach of international law and until quite recently, Milosevic was a stickler for ...
5 December 1985
An Eton Schoolboy’s Album 
by Mark Dixon.
Debrett, 118 pp., £10.95, November 1985, 0 905649 78 8
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... a former Captain of the School, and, I suspect, the next leader of the Conservative Party: Douglas Hurd, who writes: ‘Eton is a beautiful place full of eccentric characters doing odd things; so it is a natural target for an affectionate photographer. The latest to aim at the target is Mark Dixon, who as an Etonian was sufficiently relaxed to ...


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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... in the most unlikely places, but in an extraordinarily confused and baffling way. On the right, Douglas Hurd and other ministers have extolled the ‘active citizen’ – by implication, at any rate, a comfortable suburbanite impelled to good works by his or her own public spirit. At the centre and on the centre-left, a disparate band including Paddy ...

The Man Who Never Glared

John Pemble: Disraeli

5 December 2013
Disraeli: or, The Two Lives 
by Douglas Hurd and Edward Young.
Orion, 320 pp., £20, July 2013, 978 0 297 86097 6
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The Great Rivalry: Gladstone and Disraeli 
by Dick Leonard.
I.B. Tauris, 226 pp., £22.50, June 2013, 978 1 84885 925 8
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Disraeli: The Romance of Politics 
by Robert O’Kell.
Toronto, 595 pp., £66.99, February 2013, 978 1 4426 4459 5
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... that the English, by virtue of their religion, literature and laws, were as Jewish as he was. Douglas Hurd and Edward Young’s Disraeli: or, the Two Lives, and Robert O’Kell’s Disraeli: The Romance of Politics diverge when they come to Disraeli’s Byronism. Hurd and Young wave it aside: ‘Disraeli aspired to ...

This Charming Man

Frank Kermode

24 February 1994
The Collected and Recollected Marc 
Fourth Estate, 51 pp., £25, November 1993, 1 85702 164 9Show More
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... miserable, is on his knees. Among the bull’s-eyes are Robin Day, Ian Paisley, David Owen, Douglas Hurd, Kenneth Baker, David Mellor, Alan Bennett. There are a few outers: Jonathan Miller, Stephen Spender, Alfred Brendel, Melvyn Bragg – but even in these he is good on the hair, which, according to Craig Brown, was what he always homed in ...
19 November 1992
... Major’s decline rather than his fall. At the time of the Conservative Party Conference, Douglas Hurd warned his party to take heed of the terrible historical precedents of 1846 and 1903 – the two great splits in the Party’s history. From a Conservative point of view this was a pertinent message to deliver, the right thing to say to his ...

Local Heroes

John Horgan

7 February 1985
Elections, Politics and Society in Ireland 1832-1885 
by Theodore Hoppen.
Oxford, 569 pp., £29.50, October 1984, 0 19 822630 6
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Ireland and the English Crisis 
by Tom Paulin.
Bloodaxe, 222 pp., £12.95, January 1985, 0 906427 63 0
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The Great Dan: A Biography of Daniel O’Connell 
by Charles Chenevix Trench.
Cape, 345 pp., £10.95, September 1984, 0 224 02176 1
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... ministers ‘grappled with the tedious but mildly pressing problems of the Irish electorate’. Douglas Hurd may not yet be bored, but he would have difficulty in bettering the description of the problems he is facing. So few of them have changed, or have been solved. Part of the difficulty, indeed, is that the nature of the original solution was that ...
24 March 1994
Europe: The Europe We Need 
by Leon Brittan.
Hamish Hamilton, 248 pp., £17.99, March 1994, 0 241 00249 4
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... of a two-speed Europe, in which Britain would be consigned to the slow lane. John Major and Douglas Hurd believe Britain will be in control of the 1996 agenda, and dismiss the possibility that others any longer wish to move faster towards integration than they do. Therefore, they contend, the old model of fast and slow tracks is out of ...


David Saunders-Wilson: The Prison Officers’ Strike

22 May 1986
... for example, is never properly identified. Is it the Home Office, the Prison Department, Douglas Hurd, Chris Train (Director General of the Prison Service) or individual institutional governors who are being referred to? Some measure of how complex and how important careful identification can be is perhaps gained from the directive issued by the ...


Stephen Sedley: On the Guildford Four

9 November 1989
... and assorted do-gooders and bleeding-hearts. Judicial horsehair sometimes visibly bristles at it. Douglas Hurd, for his part, is thought to be equally angered by the snubs his references have been encountering. It is always the duty of a prosecutor who no longer believes that a conviction can decently be sustained to tell the appellate court so, and this ...
18 September 1997
Trial of Strength: The Battle Between Ministers and Judges over Who Makes the Law 
by Joshua Rozenberg.
Richard Cohen, 241 pp., £17.99, April 1997, 1 86066 094 0
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The Politics of the Judiciary 
by J.A.G. Griffith.
Fontana, 376 pp., £8.99, September 1997, 0 00 686381 7
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... Four. The only politician respected by the former Lord Chief Justice Lord Lane, we are told, was Douglas Hurd. But was not Hurd openly attacked by the same Lord Lane in his monstrous judgment at the first appeal of the Birmingham Six, which he dismissed? In the cosy, cautious style of a BBC correspondent (one of ...

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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... preferred candidate from the start, but Black would not wear him. So the paper championed Douglas Hurd as a weightier alternative to John Major, whom Hastings regarded as attractive but not up to the job. When Major emerged from the second ballot as the winner, Black was in the uncomfortable position of owning a Conservative paper, arguably the ...


Conor Gearty: Reasons for Loathing Michael Howard

31 October 1996
... unlawful funding of the Pergau Dam in Malaysia, involved not him but Lady Thatcher and the saintly Douglas Hurd. It is also said that Michael Howard has demeaned his high office by using legislation to embarrass the Opposition. Much is made in this regard of such monstrosities as the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill and the new anti-terrorism ...

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