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Wartime

Alan Ryan

6 November 1986
The Enemies Within: The Story of the Miners’ Strike 1984-5 
by Ian MacGregor and Rodney Tyler.
Collins, 384 pp., £15, October 1986, 0 00 217706 4
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A Balance of Power 
by Jim Prior.
Hamish Hamilton, 278 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 9780241119570
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... industrial and political system which had been unable to respond coherently to changed conditions. Ian MacGregor’s Boy’s Own Paper account of how he single-handedly felled Arthur Scargill in spite of back-stabbing, bad-mouthing and betrayal by colleagues, politicians, civil servants and journalists is a richly ...

Ex-King Coal

Arthur Marwick

31 March 1988
The History of the British Coal Industry. Vol. IV, 1913-1946: The Political Economy of Decline 
by Barry Supple.
Oxford, 733 pp., £50, December 1987, 9780198282945
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... of Sir Derek Ezra, supreme servant and subtle bureaucrat of consensus, and that of Sir Ian MacGregor, vieux terrible of confrontation. ‘There is either too much or too little.’ Not since 1913, in fact, have the figures seemed roughly right. Coal had been ancillary, rather than essential, to Britain’s early Industrial Revolution. Demand ...
21 November 1985
The Miners’ Strike 
by Geoffrey Goodman.
Pluto, 213 pp., £4.50, September 1985, 0 7453 0073 1
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Strike: Thatcher, Scargill and the Miners 
by Peter Wilsher, Donald Macintyre and Michael Jones.
Deutsch, 284 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 233 97825 9
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... Siddall [the previous chairman of the National Coal Board], it was discreetly pointed out to MacGregor [the present chairman], had managed to achieve the same sort of result without any bothersome early warnings ... but although there was undoubtedly some dissent along these lines, it was pretty muted. ‘There was a spirit of ...
10 March 1994
Scargill: The Unauthorised Biography 
by Paul Routledge.
HarperCollins, 296 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 300 05365 7
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... I had assumed to be rigid, and by its tardiness. Scargill was the only child of an adoring Christian mother and a mild-mannered Communist father, himself a miner. Since becoming famous, Scargill has evinced a remarkable tenderness towards his mother and insisted on his devastation, at the age of 18, when she died. Sensitive, quite possibly bullied by other ...

The Miners’ Strike

Michael Stewart

6 September 1984
... peak next year or very soon after, and within a decade will be in rapid decline. Britain’s reliance on coal will thus increase sharply: therefore, we should not now be closing capacity and running down the mining labour force. Closely examined, this proposition is unsustainable. Declining oil production carries no implication that there should be rising ...

The Sound of Thunder

Tom Nairn: The Miners’ Strike

8 October 2009
Marching to the Fault Line: The 1984 Miners’ Strike and the Death of Industrial Britain 
by Francis Beckett and David Hencke.
Constable, 303 pp., £18.99, February 2009, 978 1 84901 025 2
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Shafted: The Media, the Miners’ Strike and the Aftermath 
edited by Granville Williams.
Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, 176 pp., £9.99, March 2009, 978 1 898240 05 1
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... eventually set up a separate union, the Union of Democratic Mineworkers. The Scottish-American Ian MacGregor, appointed head of the National Coal Board, was clear that ‘the key to the whole strike was Nottinghamshire and its 31,000 miners. If we could keep this vast and prosperous coalfield going, then I was convinced, however long it took, we could ...
9 May 1996
John Wayne: American 
by Randy Roberts and James Olson.
Free Press, 738 pp., £17.99, March 1996, 0 02 923837 4
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... Ford’s The Searchers as one of the five best movies ever made; it starred John Wayne, as the Indian-hating Ethan Edwards. John Wayne casts his shadow over far more than Orange County and Hollywood. Eric Bentley, the Brecht scholar and editor of a volume of testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, has called John Wayne ‘the most ...
22 June 1989
... looking for a way out of a position it should never have got into. It had ignored the ancient Iranian proverb that one should not lead a camel to the top of a minaret without first ascertaining how to get it down. To critics of the boycott the AUT had two answers. It did not like harming students, especially a generation of students that had already been ...
17 October 1996
Sleaze: Politicians, Private Interests and Public Reaction 
edited by F.F. Ridley and Alan Doig.
Oxford, 222 pp., £10.99, April 1996, 0 19 922273 8
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Changing Trains: The Autobiography of Steven Norris 
Hutchinson, 273 pp., £16.99, October 1996, 0 09 180212 1Show More
The Quango Debate 
edited by F.F. Ridley and David Wilson.
Oxford, 188 pp., £10.99, September 1995, 9780199222384
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... of Neil Hamilton, the ‘envelope man’ who changed the law so that he could sue the Guardian for libel, deprived the nation of an exhilarating and informative court case. When the Guardian alleged that Hamilton, Tory MP for Tatton, had taken money from Mohammed AI Fayed, chairman of Harrods to lobby Parliament ...
6 June 1985
Digging Deeper: Issues in the Miners’ Strike 
edited by Huw Beynon.
Verso, 252 pp., £3.95, March 1985, 0 86091 820 3
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Policing the Miners’ Strike 
edited by Bob Fine and Robert Millar.
Lawrence and Wishart, 243 pp., £4.95, March 1985, 0 85315 633 6
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The Strike: An Insider’s Story 
by Roy Ottey.
Sidgwick, 157 pp., £7.95, March 1985, 9780283992285
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Scargill and the Miners 
by Michael Crick.
Penguin, 172 pp., £2.95, March 1985, 0 14 052355 3
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The Great Strike: The Miners’ Strike of 1984-5 and its Lessons 
by Alex Callinicos and Mike Simons.
Socialist Worker, 256 pp., £3.95, April 1985, 0 905998 50 2
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... that it was possible to take the first, concrete steps towards creating a more humanitarian and socialist society now, in the dreary midst of Thatcherism.’ In this most macho of working-class environments, ‘community life’ came in the course of the strike to involve a new and assertive role for womankind. Not merely in collectivising ...

The Satoshi Affair

Andrew O’Hagan

29 June 2016
... shirts that said ‘Computer Forensics’; one carried a search warrant issued under the Australian Crimes Act 1914. They were looking for a man named Craig Steven Wright, who lived with his wife, Ramona, at 43 St Johns Avenue. The warrant was issued at the behest of the Australian Taxation Office. Wright, a computer ...
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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... as we know it: one can, reading Young, get the feeling that one is reading ten years of the Guardian again. It is very much a political correspondent’s book, not only because there’s far more on political scandals like Spycatcher and Westland than on the economic factors which determined the Government’s life, but in the way that insiderish factors are ...
17 June 1982
Inner-City Poverty in Paris and London 
by Peter Willmott and Charles Madge.
Routledge, 146 pp., £8.50, August 1981, 0 7100 0819 8
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The Inner City in Context 
edited by Peter Hall.
Heinemann, 175 pp., £12.50, October 1981, 0 435 35718 2
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New Perspectives in Urban Change and Conflict 
edited by Michael Harloe.
Heinemann, 265 pp., £15, December 1981, 9780435824044
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The Politics of Poverty 
by David Donnison.
Martin Robertson, 239 pp., £9.95, December 1981, 0 85520 481 8
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The Politics of Poverty 
by Susanne MacGregor.
Longman, 193 pp., £2.95, November 1981, 0 582 29524 6
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... time as Chairman of the Supplementary Benefits Commission in The Politics of Poverty, and Susanne MacGregor provides the best of the bunch with her brilliantly incisive analysis of The Politics of Poverty in the welfare state. It is sad that she could not have read the preceding works, which bear directly on her theme. With ...

Diary

Tam Dalyell: Yesterday’s News

18 September 1986
... of this Rasputin, and what exactly did occur between Hobart House – at various stages even MacGregor wanted to settle – and 10 Downing Street. It is a tragedy that Geoffrey Kirk’s book telling the inside story of the strike will never be written and published. He was working on it when he was drowned in waters not far from Raasay in Skye, along ...

Knick-Knackatory

Simon Schaffer

6 April 1995
Sir Hans Sloane: Collector, Scientist, Antiquary, Founding Father of the British Museum 
edited by Arthur MacGregor.
British Museum, 308 pp., £50, November 1994, 0 7141 2085 5
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... are illuminated by the career of Hans Sloane, the confidently opulent metropolitan physician, president both of the Royal College of Physicians and of the Royal Society, whose collections of more than eighty thousand curiosities and antiquities, along with a magnificent library, formed the principal nucleus of the ...

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