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7 December 1989
Life Lines: Politics and Health 1986-1988 
by Edwina Currie.
Sidgwick, 291 pp., £13.95, November 1989, 0 283 99920 9
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My Turn 
by Nancy Reagan and William Novak.
Weidenfeld, 384 pp., £15.95, October 1989, 0 297 79677 1
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Heiress: The Story of Christina Onassis 
by Nigel Dempster.
Weidenfeld, 180 pp., £12.95, October 1989, 0 297 79671 2
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... Edwina had her date with destiny on 10 September 1986. A TV crew were camped outside her house in her Derbyshire constituency, and were shining lights through the windows. Edwina waited for the phone to ring. When it did, it was a man’s voice, telling her to get along without delay to Downing Street. ‘And so, into my battered Maestro... ’ – a nice populist touch there ...

Short Cuts

John Lanchester: Football and Currie

17 October 2002
... wanker’ or ‘stick it up your bollocks’. Interesting. But not very. On its publication Keane went straight to the top of the bestseller list. Another book certain to do that is the Diaries of EdwinaCurrie (Little, Brown, £18.99). An earlier publicity coup of Currie’s involved splitting up with her husband at the same time as she published a novel called She’s Leaving Home. Anyone who might ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Britney’s Biggest Fan

21 June 2001
... An Act of Treachery follows the success of Widdecombe’s first novel, The Clematis Tree. That tale of a child brain-damaged in a car accident could be said to have something of the night about it. EdwinaCurrie, whose novels include A Parliamentary Affair and Chasing Men, described The Clematis Tree in the Mail on Sunday as ‘the product of a perceptive but warped mind’; she also complained about ...

Diary

Francis Wyndham: At the Theatre

10 November 1988
... is generally seen as a heroic gesture, in line with the legend of lady-like sanctity that has grown up around Grenfell’s memory, but to me it sounds unattractively bossy, in the worst manner of EdwinaCurrie. To be forbidden to eat sweets in the theatre is surely an encroachment on civil liberties ... I prefer the kind of theatrical anecdote which, though told as a joke, is offered as illustration ...

In the Chocolate

Hugh Pennington: Cadbury's Big Mistake

2 August 2007
... like S. enteritidis, which infects thousands every year in Britain, the forty or so extra cases would almost certainly not have drawn any special attention. S. enteritidis caused the resignation of EdwinaCurrie from the Tory government in 1988 when she said ‘most of the egg production in this country, sadly, is now infected with salmonella.’ She was right. A pandemic was in progress. In 1981 ...

Diary

Robert Fisk: Salman Rushdie and Other Demons

16 March 1989
... court – but more to the point, he has been demonised. This is a frightening prospect but it is not peculiar to Rushdie. Demons seem to be necessary to us all, whether they are home-grown – EdwinaCurrie, Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams come to mind – or on a more exalted, international scale. Unfortunately for him, Mr Rushdie falls into the latter category although the credentials are the same ...

Medes and Persians

Paul Foot: The Government’s Favourite Accountants

2 November 2000
... which had worked for the Authority in 1983. Mr Denham questioned the narrow timeframe of Newton’s disclosure, and asked about the role played by the family of Mr Newton’s Junior Health Minister, EdwinaCurrie. At the time of the Wessex computer scandal, he said, Mrs Currie’s husband Ray and his brother Brian were senior executives at Arthur Andersen. Mrs Currie was incensed by this reference, and ...
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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... and Industry to be soliciting Party contributions from those he was supposed to be regulating. All of this was, however, pretty coded stuff. Only with two members of the Government, Leon Brittan and EdwinaCurrie, did their Jewishness become a cause for comment. In their very different ways, these two ministers had personalities which rubbed their colleagues up the wrong way, a fact which was, in the ...

Staying in power

Geoffrey Hawthorn

7 January 1988
Mrs Thatcher’s Revolution: The Ending of the Socialist Era 
by Peter Jenkins.
Cape, 411 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 0 224 02516 3
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De-Industrialisation and Foreign Trade 
by R.E. Rowthorn and J.R. Wells.
Cambridge, 422 pp., £40, November 1988, 0 521 26360 3
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... There are now 33 per cent more people in poverty than in 1979, 72 per cent more children. Their health continues to deteriorate. (The Government has stopped issuing figures by social class, but EdwinaCurrie knows, and says it’s their fault for deteriorating.) Thatcher will do all she can not to spend to improve it; Lawson is, after all, lowering the PBSR and wants to reduce taxes too. ‘Why ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2012

3 January 2013
... offence of the public school. On this I’m as big a bore as (rather less worthily) Hockney is on smoking. The only person in the programme waving that flag – rather uncharacteristically – is EdwinaCurrie, who is, as she puts it, a Scouse Tory who acknowledges the continuing unfairness of public school education while knowing her party will do nothing to alleviate it.24 January. ‘Well, love ...
9 March 1995
... help from the tax-payer) of the tenant with too colourful a professional life; Patrick Nicholls, suspected drunk driver; Nicholas Ridley, too loquacious an advocate of anti-German feeling; and Mrs EdwinaCurrie (‘most of the egg production in this country is, sadly, now infected with salmonella’). Then there is the long line of sex-scandal casualties: Cecil Parkinson, Tim Yeo, David Mellor ...

North and South

Raphael Samuel

22 June 1995
Coming Back Brockens: A Year in a Mining Village 
by Mark Hudson.
Cape, 320 pp., £16.99, October 1994, 0 224 04170 3
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... chunks of pizza’ while at the brick busstop ‘dozens of couples could be seen groping in the glare of the car headlights.’ Northern diet is a subject of particular disgust, as it was for EdwinaCurrie during her period of office as Junior Health Minister in Mrs Thatcher’s government, and as it is for the Statistical Office’s Regional Trends in their reports on the incidence of the killer ...

What We’re about to Receive

Jeremy Harding: Food Insecurity

13 May 2010
... is the abundance we’re now accustomed to: plenty is the medium in which our anxieties, our pleasures and even our ‘ethics’ thrive. So it comes as a bigger shock than the salmonella scare (EdwinaCurrie, 1988) or the BSE scare (John Selwyn Gummer, 1990) to hear the latest strand in the table talk: that the era of endless food is winding down. This belief is new. Until recently the discussion ...

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