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Nemesis

David Marquand, 22 January 1981

Change and Fortune 
by Douglas Jay.
Hutchinson, 515 pp., £16, June 1980, 0 09 139530 5
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Life and Labour 
by Michael Stewart.
Sidgwick, 288 pp., £12.50, November 1980, 0 283 98686 7
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... also throw a good deal of unintentional light on the reasons for its fall. Michael Stewart and Douglas Jay were both awarded Firsts at Oxford in the Twenties, entered Labour politics in the Thirties, held junior office in the Attlee Government in the Forties, supported Gaitskell in the battles of the Fifties and were appointed to Wilson’s Cabinet in ...

Stop the war

Penelope Lively, 1 April 1982

The Parting of Ways: A Personal Account of the Thirties 
by Shiela Grant Duff.
Peter Owen, 223 pp., £10.50, March 1982, 0 7206 0586 5
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From Middle England: A Memory of the Thirties 
by Philip Oakes.
Deutsch, 185 pp., £5.95, May 1980, 0 233 97232 3
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Dwellers All in Time and Space: A Memory of the 1940s 
by Philip Oakes.
Deutsch, 227 pp., £8.50, March 1982, 0 233 97434 2
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... his part in the plot against Hitler. They were part of a circle of young people – Goronwy Rees, Douglas Jay, Isaiah Berlin and others – deeply involved in observation and anguished discussion of what was happening in Europe. Shiela Grant Duff became a journalist – foreign correspondent, virtually unpaid, of the Observer, whose arrangements seem to ...

The Thing

Alan Ryan, 9 October 1986

Whitehall: Tragedy and Farce 
by Clive Ponting.
Hamish Hamilton, 256 pp., £9.95, March 1986, 0 241 11835 2
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On the Record. Surveillance, Computers and Privacy: The Inside Story 
by Duncan Campbell and Steve Connor.
Joseph, 347 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 7181 2575 4
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... and civil servants with, say, the absolute confidence of the generation of Hugh Gaitskell and Douglas Jay that ministers would feel no temptation to cheat and that if they had done so their civil servants would have stopped them. Behind the old confidence lay a peculiar history. The idea of a civil service is an English idea, but its origins do not ...

Middle-Class Hair

Carolyn Steedman: A New World for Women, 19 October 2017

... to right: Margaret Drabble in 1964; the Warwick Students’ Handbook cover image from 1966; the Jay twins in ‘Tatler’, 1964. The girl is there, at the crossroads, under the road sign, because of the Robbins Report. That’s the historical story you need to know to interpret her presence. The Robbins Report was the result of the deliberations of the ...

Party Man

David Marquand, 1 July 1982

Tony Crosland 
by Susan Crosland.
Cape, 448 pp., £10.95, June 1982, 9780224017879
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... after all. He was not a mere apparatchik, like Denis Healey, or a burnt-out case, like Douglas Jay. He was the revisionists’ guru – our teacher and mentor. We were what we were, in part at any rate, because of him. To watch him sulking in his tent, when the cause being fought over was, in reality, his cause, and when the troops fighting ...

Questionably Virtuous

Stuart Middleton: Harold Wilson, 8 September 2016

Harold Wilson: The Unprincipled Prime Minister? Reappraising Harold Wilson 
edited by Andrew Crines and Kevin Hickson.
Biteback, 319 pp., £20, March 2016, 978 1 78590 031 0
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... clinic, the key decisions fell to Wilson and two inexperienced colleagues, Hugh Gaitskell and Douglas Jay. He responded to their calm assurance with a calculating vacillation that laid the basis for a lasting distrust, even as devaluation was agreed on and announced in September 1949. The economy recovered more quickly than ministerial ...

Darling Clem

Paul Addison, 17 April 1986

Clement Attlee 
by Trevor Burridge.
Cape, 401 pp., £20, January 1986, 0 224 02318 7
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The Second World War Diary of Hugh Dalton 1940-1945 
edited by Ben Pimlott.
Cape in association with the London School of Economics, 913 pp., £40, February 1986, 9780224020657
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Loyalists and Loners 
by Michael Foot.
Collins, 315 pp., £15, March 1986, 0 00 217583 5
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... himself, with an eye to party politics, recruited able young socialists like Hugh Gaitskell and Douglas Jay. The diaries reveal the many points of conflict between the career Civil Service and the outsiders. There were quarrels about honours: were the temporaries entitled to them? And there were differences over policy. One of Dalton’s pet ideas at ...

Digging up the Ancestors

R.W. Johnson, 14 November 1996

Hugh Gaitskell 
by Brian Brivati.
Cohen, 492 pp., £25, September 1996, 1 86066 073 8
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... to privilege, who sought the company, within the Party, of fellow Wykehamists (Richard Crossman, Douglas Jay), other public school boys (Benn, Crosland) or public school wannabes like Roy Jenkins, and who, to top it all, was having an affair with an aristocratic Tory woman and loved nothing better than to dance the night away at the Gargoyle Club, the ...

With or without the workers

Ross McKibbin, 25 April 1991

The Progressive Dilemma: From Lloyd George to Kinnock 
by David Marquand.
Heinemann, 248 pp., £20, January 1991, 0 434 45094 4
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... Eleven of the 19 are biographical studies and are often outstandingly good: the essay on Douglas Jay and Michael Stewart (‘The Tortoise and the Hare’), for example, is absolutely just and that on David Owen – which I doubt that Owen will like very much – is remarkable. On the whole, I think the theoretical essays are more successful than ...

In Praise of Middle Government

Ian Gilmour, 12 July 1990

Liberalisms. Essays in Political Philosophy 
by John Gray.
Routledge, 273 pp., £35, August 1989, 0 415 00744 5
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The Voice of Liberal Learning: Michael Oakeshott on Education 
edited by Timothy Fuller.
Yale, 169 pp., £20, April 1990, 0 300 04344 9
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The Political Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott 
by Paul Franco.
Yale, 277 pp., £20, April 1990, 0 300 04686 3
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Conservatism 
by Ted Honderich.
Hamish Hamilton, 255 pp., £16.99, June 1990, 0 241 12999 0
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... as – a book about post-war British socialism which ignored Hugh Gaitskell, Anthony Crosland, and Douglas Jay, and relied instead upon Ralph Miliband, Ken Livingstone and Tony Benn. Honderich is only a little better-informed about past than about present Conservatives. Coleridge makes one fleeting appearance. Disraeli’s Vindication of the Constitution ...

Swiping at Suburbs

Andrew Saint: The course of British urbanism, 31 March 2005

Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City 
by Tristram Hunt.
Weidenfeld, 432 pp., £25, June 2004, 0 297 60767 7
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... proper attracted ‘more self-consciously intellectual’ politicians such as Hugh Gaitskell, Douglas Jay and Michael Foot. Here is unmasked the latent snobbery of the anti-suburbans. The great merit of the garden suburb is that it brought order, grace and amenity to something that would have happened anyway. True enough, the centres of Letchworth ...

Upside Down, Inside Out

Colin Kidd: The 1975 Referendum, 25 October 2018

Yes to Europe! The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain 
by Robert Saunders.
Cambridge, 509 pp., £24.99, March 2018, 978 1 108 42535 3
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... to frustrate radical legislation’. Things changed in 1970 when the Labour anti-Marketeer Douglas Jay argued that since all three main parties notionally favoured admission to the EEC, a general election couldn’t decide the matter, which was of such magnitude there was no alternative but to venture on the experiment of a national ...

Mr Trendy Sicko

James Wolcott, 23 May 2019

White 
by Brett Easton Ellis.
Picador, 261 pp., £16.99, May 2019, 978 1 5290 1239 2
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... House editor who created the trade paperback series Vintage Contemporaries, the springboard for Jay McInerney’s breakthrough novel, Bright Lights, Big City, and Morgan Entrekin, the editor at Simon and Schuster who acquired Bret Easton Ellis’s Less than Zero. Lish had the cult cred, but their properties shone the brightest. Gary and Morgan, Morgan and ...

In real sound stupidity the English are unrivalled

Stefan Collini: ‘Cosmo’ for Capitalists, 6 February 2020

Liberalism at Large: The World According to the ‘Economist’ 
by Alexander Zevin.
Verso, 538 pp., £25, November 2019, 978 1 78168 624 9
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... week between 1922 and 1939. But Layton also appointed younger figures, several of whom, such as Douglas Jay, a future Labour minister, and Graham Hutton, who had been a student of Harold Laski’s at the LSE, embraced progressive ideas and agitated for the paper to take a sympathetic view of alternatives to the insular conservatism of the Baldwin ...

Informed Sources

Antony Jay: The literature behind ‘Yes, Minister’, 22 May 1980

... that I discovered how much sharp observation and serious analysis it contained. It was left to Douglas Hurd, her successor at No 10 when Heath moved in, to pay tribute to its underrated importance, and his book, too – An End to Promises – is most illuminating about that private relationship on which British government pivots.And yet despite all these ...

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