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18 December 1980
Healey’s Eye 
by Denis Healey.
Cape, 191 pp., £7.95, September 1980, 0 224 01793 4
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The Role of the Trade Unions: The Granada Guildhall Lectures 
by James Prior, Tony Benn and Lionel Murray.
Granada, 96 pp., £1, August 1980, 0 586 05386 7
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Rank and File 
by Hugh Jenkins.
Croom Helm, 179 pp., £9.95, September 1980, 0 7099 0331 6
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The Tragedy of Labour 
by Stephen Haseler.
Blackwell, 249 pp., £7.95, September 1980, 9780631113416
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Labour into the Eighties 
edited by David Bell.
Croom Helm, 168 pp., £9.95, September 1980, 0 7099 0443 6
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... the trade-union movement is not likely to seek the ‘overthrow of a government freely elected’. Hugh Jenkins, who was Labour MP for Putney for fifteen years till the 1979 Election, has recorded interviews with twenty of his Labour constituents (among them Hugh Stephenson, Business Editor of the Times, and Labour’s ...

A Time for War

Peter Clarke

21 October 1982
The Rebirth of Britain 
edited by Wayland Kennet.
Weidenfeld, 275 pp., £12, October 1982, 0 297 78177 4
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Claret and Chips 
by Hugh Stephenson.
Joseph, 201 pp., £8.95, September 1982, 0 7181 2204 6
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... has reinforced Labour’s chronic debility, so far the SDP has been able to thrive upon it. Roy Jenkins talked of an experimental aircraft in adumbrating the idea of a centre party in the early summer of 1980: a ‘dangerously caricaturable analogy’, as he admits in a retrospective comment in The Rebirth of Britain. He said then that it ‘might well ...

Just a Way of Having Fun

Eleanor Birne: John Piper

29 March 2017
The Art of John Piper 
by David Fraser Jenkins and Hugh Fowler-Wright.
Unicorn, 472 pp., £45, June 2016, 978 1 910787 05 2
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... thing, and it is still hard to work out the rationale, even when you look for it in David Fraser Jenkins and Hugh Fowler-Wright’s The Art of John Piper, a nearly exhaustive survey of his career in all its phases. Fraser Jenkins, who curated the Tate’s 1983 retrospective on the ...
30 November 1995
Gladstone 
by Roy Jenkins.
Macmillan, 698 pp., £20, October 1995, 0 333 60216 1
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... its assumptions were from those of the 20th century. But there is no snide debunking in Roy Jenkins’s biography. The Gladstone who emerges – temperamentally commanding, conversationally charming, intellectually erudite, theologically obsessed, morally priggish, sexually tormented, socially hierarchical, politically populist, administratively ...

Sir Jim

Reyner Banham

22 May 1980
Memoirs of an Unjust Fella: An Autobiography 
by J.M. Richards.
Weidenfeld, 279 pp., £10, March 1980, 9780297777670
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... In the travel-starved Fifties, when the journey was often more glamorous than the destination. Sir Hugh Casson began one of his Observer articles: ‘As the airport bus rolled along Chelsea Embankment, I looked up and saw a light burning late in the study of the architectural correspondent of the Times. No doubt he was writing, “Sir Hugh Casson, whose death in an air accident …” ’ A good Cassonian ploy ...
7 February 1991
... 1981, and the launch of the manifesto that came to be known as the Limehouse Declaration. When Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams, David Owen and I met together that morning, we were clear in our intention: in breaking the mould of contemporary politics, we would create a new radical centre, push the Labour Party into third place, change the electoral system and ...
19 February 1987
The Market for Glory: Fleet Street Ownership in the 20th Century 
by Simon Jenkins.
Faber, 247 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 571 14627 9
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The End of the Street 
by Linda Melvern.
Methuen, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 413 14640 5
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... sell not much over half of that, and the Express in particular is down on its luck. In the days of Hugh Cudlipp and Cecil King, the Mirror was a wonder to us all – slick, successful and serious about its politics. Its journalists and layout men buzzed round Hugh Gaitskell, seeking to burnish the Labour Party’s shabby ...

Arts Councillors

Brigid Brophy

7 October 1982
The State and the Visual Arts 
by Nicholas Pearson.
Open University, 128 pp., £5.95, September 1982, 0 335 10109 7
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The Politics of the Arts Council 
by Robert Hutchison.
Sinclair Browne, 186 pp., £7.95, June 1982, 0 86300 016 9
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... today – to stop the philistine bourgeoisie and upper class pulling down handsome buildings. Lord Jenkins of Putney, who, as Hugh Jenkins, was the most recent but one Labour arts minister, would add sport to the list. In reality, however, the most vital territory for a vigorous arts minister to annexe is ...
28 November 1996
Diplomacy and Disillusion at the Court of Margaret Thatcher 
by George Urban.
Tauris, 206 pp., £19.95, September 1996, 1 86064 084 2
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... on Grenada, in which he was going to speak. In this debate, ‘Wayland Young (Lord Kennet) and Roy Jenkins (Lord Jenkins) were on particularly good form.’ According to Urban, Roy Jenkins announced that Reagan’s ‘grasp of his marbles sometimes seems to be precarious’, and Urban then ...
7 August 1986
Mating Birds 
by Lewis Nkosi.
Constable, 184 pp., £8.95, July 1986, 0 00 946724 6
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Lost Time 
by Catharine Arnold.
Hodder, 220 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 340 38783 1
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The Bridge 
by Iain Banks.
Macmillan, 259 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 333 41285 0
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Incidents at the Shrine 
by Ben Okri.
Heinemann, 130 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 434 53230 4
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Things fall apart 
by Chinua Achebe.
Heinemann, 150 pp., £3.50, July 1986, 0 435 90526 0
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The Innocents 
by Carolyn Slaughter.
Viking, 219 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 670 81016 9
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... He, too, is conventional, in so far as conventions exist for fictional men of letters. Like Nick Jenkins in Anthony Powell’s sequence of novels – whose title has a similar Proustian evocativeness – Miles is preparing a fastidious study of the Anatomy of Melancholy. Like Jenkins, Miles has a propensity to quote from ...

Über-Tony

Ben Pimlott: Anthony Crosland

3 September 1998
Crosland’s Future: Opportunity and Outcome 
by David Reisman.
Macmillan, 237 pp., £47.50, October 1997, 0 333 65963 5
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... a filter of experience. Consoling Crosland over the loss of his seat in 1955, the ex-Chancellor Hugh Dalton observed that no good book ever got written between division bells. Crosland may have benefited from an enforced sabbatical. The Future of Socialism is not an academic study, however. The energy it conveys comes from the sense of its author as ...

Questionably Virtuous

Stuart Middleton: Harold Wilson

7 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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... precisely what it was they disliked about him. Looking back on the factionalism of the 1950s Roy Jenkins recalled that ‘one of the basic tenets of Gaitskellism was that Wilson was a tricky fellow.’ The Gaitskellites’ leading theorist, Anthony Crosland, struggling to convince a journalist of Wilson’s shortcomings, was reduced to spluttering: ‘But ...
23 April 1987
Baldwin 
by Roy Jenkins.
Collins, 204 pp., £12.95, March 1987, 9780002175869
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Rab: The Life of R.A. Butler 
by Anthony Howard.
Cape, 422 pp., £15, March 1987, 0 224 01862 0
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The Political Culture of Modern Britain: Studies in Memory of Stephen Koss 
edited by J.M.W. Bean.
Hamish Hamilton, 306 pp., £15, January 1987, 0 241 12026 8
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... that was largely incomprehensible to the world of geopolitics and the welfare state. Roy Jenkins himself belongs pre-eminently to the school of state intervention, but it is one of the virtues of his new study of Baldwin that he manages to recapture and make sense of some if not all of that now-vanished past. He portrays Baldwin as an intensely ...
24 November 1988
Office without Power: Diaries 1968-72 
by Tony Benn.
Hutchinson, 562 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 09 173647 1
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... part in a radio discussion on the working of Parliament, together with John Biffen and Roy (Lord) Jenkins. Asked by the chairman, Peter Hennessy, if he did not think that the Lords now functioned as a ‘focus of opposition’, Benn responded that it was, instead, ‘part of an attack on democracy. After all, why bother to vote in the next election if ...

Damaged Beasts

James Wood: Peter Carey’s ‘Theft’

8 June 2006
Theft: A Love Story 
by Peter Carey.
Faber, 269 pp., £16.99, June 2006, 0 571 23147 0
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... retreated to a rustic house in New South Wales owned by his patron. Here, Michael is looking after Hugh, his large, backward brother, and painting vivid new canvases. Like many of Carey’s scarred, ebullient narrators, Michael is a performer, and his language is a tough dramatic alloy, delicate and robust at once: This paint was from Raphaelson’s, a small ...

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