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Frank Field: Reading Kilroy-Silk’s Diary, 6 November 1986

... to come with me’ was my reply. Months later Kilroy told me how he had written this event up as Field shooting his mouth off in an attempt to bring about the by-election which failed to materialise in Birkenhead. He is right to think that I was looking forward to winning a by-election, and thereby to helping the Labour Party to challenge directly one of the ...

Liverpool’s Nightmare

Frank Field, 19 December 1985

Liverpool on the Brink: One City’s Struggle against Government Cuts 
by Michael Parkinson.
Policy Journals, 184 pp., £9.50, November 1985, 0 946967 06 7
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Unemployment in Liverpool. Vol. I: Unemployment Changes 1982-1985 
by Michael Hayes.
Liverpool City Council, 16 pp., £2, November 1985
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Liverpool’s Economy. Vol. I: Employment and Unemployment: Changes and Trends 1978-1991 
by Michael Hayes.
Liverpool City Council, 39 pp., £2.50, June 1985
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... Whether the country likes Derek Hatton or not – and thankfully most people don’t – he has a point. Liverpool’s two-year budget campaign, brought to a climax after the recent vote to balance the books, has had a deadly serious side to it. Militant’s primary aim has of course been to use the City’s financial crisis as a massive recruiting drive for the Tendency ...

Third Way, Old Hat

Ross McKibbin: Amnesia at the Top, 3 September 1998

... The departure of Frank Field, the enthusiastic reception by the Parliamentary Labour Party of Gordon Brown’s spending plans, together with the increasingly desperate attempts by the Government’s leading members, particularly the Prime Minister himself, to discover a Third Way, represent an important moment in the history of New Labour ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Anti-Socialism, 25 September 2003

... Frank Field has been Birkenhead’s MP since 1979. He was, for the first year of Blair’s Administration, the Minister for Welfare Reform in Harriet Harman’s DSS. Harman and Field didn’t get on very well, and both were anyway sacked after 15 months. Not being a minister has given the former Young Conservative more time for writing ...


W.G. Runciman, 20 October 1983

Inside the Inner City 
by Paul Harrison.
Pelican, 444 pp., £3.95, August 1983, 9780140224191
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Brighton on the Rocks: Monetarism and the Local State 
Queens Park Rates Book Group, 192 pp., £3.95, May 1983, 0 904733 08 4Show More
The Wealth Report 
edited by Frank Field.
Routledge, 164 pp., £6.95, June 1983, 0 7100 9452 3
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... that the current shift in favour of the rich – abundantly documented by the contributors to Frank Field’s second Wealth Report – will in due time increase the incomes of the poor. Not even the hardest-hitting indictment of restrictive fiscal policies will move those for whom the defeat of wage-fuelled inflation is the overriding priority in the ...

The market taketh away

Paul Foot, 3 July 1997

Number One Millbank: The Financial Downfall of the Church of England 
by Terry Lovell.
HarperCollins, 263 pp., £15.99, June 1997, 0 00 627866 3
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... could have imagined, was Peter Baring. The House of Commons Social Services Committee under Frank Field carried out a long investigation which resulted in unusually strong language for a Commons Committee. The ‘foolishness’ and ‘complacency’ of the Commissioners, the report concluded, has ‘in all likelihood done more than any other single ...

After the May Day Flood

Seumas Milne, 5 June 1997

... The second key pointer to the kind of government Tony Blair will lead was the appointment of Frank Field as the minister responsible for welfare reform. The Prime Minister has made it abundantly clear that he wishes to be remembered as the leader who confronted the swelling costs of welfare and reconstructed the benefits and pensions system to fit a ...
Possible Dreams: A Personal History of the British Christian Socialists 
by Chris Bryant.
Hodder, 351 pp., £25, July 1996, 0 340 64201 7
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... Chris Smith and Jack Straw and half the Shadow Cabinet and many more on the backbenches including Frank Field, that one-man think-tank of the Labour Right. ‘They’ are the Christian socialists, architects of New Labour, ready to provide the movement with the ethical foundations which seem sorely missing. Perhaps they hold a Bible in one hand and the ...


W.G. Runciman: Dining Out, 4 June 1998

... Blair says immediately to my wife: ‘Weren’t you kind enough to ask me to a drinks party for Frank Field’s 50th birthday?’ She answers: ‘Yes, and you neither came nor replied.’ ‘Didn’t I?’ says Blair, and subsequently sends a charming letter of apology. The thought that this smiling young Scottish public schoolboy could be the next ...


Donald Rayfield, 19 July 1984

Dostoevsky. Vol II: The Years of Ordeal 1850-1859 
by Joseph Frank.
Robson, 320 pp., £14.95, April 1984, 0 86051 242 8
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The Village of Stepanchikovo 
by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Ignat Avsey.
Angel, 255 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 946162 06 9
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... Dostoevsky in the 1840s, a caustic and iconoclastic rising star, was the subject of Joseph Frank’s first volume of biography and critique, The Seeds of Revolt. This volume stood out from many rival studies for the thoroughness of its research, the generosity of its approach (to Dostoevsky and to other critics), its intelligent judgment of Dostoevsky’s psychology and literary intentions, and, rarest quality of all in the Dostoevsky industry, for its sheer readability ...


Chris Mullin: A report from Westminster, 25 June 2009

... having his wisteria trimmed – Tory excesses are so much more elegant than ours) is leading the field with an ultimatum to eight of his shadow cabinet that they must repay the cost of maintaining their tennis courts, swimming-pools etc, or else . . . On our side, Hazel Blears (who surely will not survive the coming reshuffle) has agreed that she ...

In the field

Nigel Hamilton, 5 November 1981

Washington Despatches, 1941-45: Weekly Political Reports from the British Embassy 
edited by H.G. Nicholas.
Weidenfeld, 700 pp., £20, August 1981, 0 297 77920 6
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British Intelligence and the Second World War. Vol. II 
by F.H. Hinsley, E.E. Thomas, C.F.G. Ransom and R.C. Knight.
HMSO, 850 pp., £15.95, September 1981, 0 11 630934 2
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Mars without Venus: A Study of Some Homosexual Generals 
by Frank Richardson.
William Blackwood, 188 pp., £5.95, September 1981, 9780851581484
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Soldiering on: An Unofficial Portrait of the British Army 
by Dennis Barker.
Deutsch, 236 pp., £8.50, October 1981, 0 233 97391 5
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A Breed of Heroes 
by Alan Judd.
Hodder, 288 pp., £6.95, September 1981, 0 340 26334 2
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War in Peace: An Analysis of Warfare Since 1945 
edited by Robert Thompson.
Orbis, 312 pp., £9.95, September 1981, 0 85613 341 8
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... and chart the influence of that Intelligence on the conduct of both strategy and operations in the field. I think this is a mistake. Hinsley is a fine historian (Professor of the History of International Relations at Cambridge University) and was a distinguished wartime Naval cryptographer at Bletchley Park. But he has no feeling for, or even interest ...

The Angry Men

Jean McNicol: Harriet Harman, 14 December 2017

A Woman’s Work 
by Harriet Harman.
Allen Lane, 405 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 0 241 27494 1
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The Women Who Shaped Politics 
by Sophy Ridge.
Coronet, 295 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 4736 3876 1
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... next year, but she noticed that Blair didn’t seem very happy about it. He’d wanted to appoint Frank Field, who, Blair says in his memoir, A Journey, was ‘hugely persuasive on the big picture’, and told her that Field would ‘lead’ on welfare reform. Field told the civil ...

I am a classical scholar, and you are not

Peter Clarke: Enoch Powell, 7 March 2013

Enoch at 100: A Re-evaluation of the Life, Politics and Philosophy of Enoch Powell 
edited by Lord Howard of Rising.
Biteback, 320 pp., £25, June 2012, 978 1 84954 310 1
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... was explicitly raising the concerns of his own constituents, and in their idiom as much as his. As Frank Field puts it, with his own experience as a Labour MP – writing from a sympathetic stance but in some wonderment – ‘he must have appreciated its likely impact.’ In a long and revealing interview at the end of the book, Powell’s ...

Corbyn in the Media

Paul Myerscough, 22 October 2015

... Michael White, Martin Kettle, Peter Hain, Alan Johnson, Tony Blair (twice), Jonathan Jones, Frank Field, David Miliband (whose razor-sharp instinct for leadership contests led him to back Liz Kendall), Steve Coogan, Matthew D’Ancona, Betty Boothroyd. Papers aren’t just papers any longer. A lot of these commentaries appeared online, some of them ...

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