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25 January 2001
... Hannen, President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the Court of Appeal; and Sir John Day and Sir Archibald Levin Smith, both from the High Court: ‘Unionists to a man,’ as Roy Jenkins describes them in his Life of Gladstone. But what were these judges thinking of, presiding over a tribunal to which none of the ordinary rules applied, set ...

House History

John Sutherland

24 January 1980
Allen Lane: King Penguin 
by J.E. Morpurgo.
Hutchinson, 405 pp., £9.95, November 1980, 0 09 139690 5
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... designs, sober covers and superior typography (hangovers, as Morpurgo demonstrates, from John Lane’s Bodley Head). The Penguin aura was of solid, durable literature and (as Pelicans) sensible discussion. To work the paradox to death, one might claim that Penguins were paperbacks which, for most of their history, successfully passed themselves off ...

Above it all

Stephen Sedley

7 April 1994
Suing Judges: A Study of Judicial Immunity 
by Abimbola Olowofoyeku.
Oxford, 234 pp., £27.50, December 1993, 0 19 825793 7
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The Independence of the Judiciary: The View from the Lord Chancellor’s Office 
by Robert Stevens.
Oxford, 221 pp., £25, November 1993, 0 19 825815 1
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... Queen’s Counsel. Still, as long as it’s men in wigs ... The real problem is the one to which John Griffith and others have repeatedly called attention: that the judiciary comes very largely from a tranche of society whose values, culture, données and attitudes are homogeneous because they are socially and educationally inbred. Less attention has ...

Law and Class

Francis Bennion

1 May 1980
Respectable Rebels 
edited by Roger King.
Hodder, 200 pp., £10.95, October 1979, 0 340 23164 5
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The Judge 
by Patrick Devlin.
Oxford, 207 pp., £7.50, September 1979, 0 19 215949 6
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Human Rights 
edited by F.E. Dowrick.
Saxon House, 223 pp., £9.70, July 1979, 0 566 00281 7
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In on the Act 
by Sir Harold Kent.
Macmillan, 273 pp., £8.95, September 1979, 0 333 27120 3
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Law, Justice and Social Policy 
by Rosalind Brooke.
Croom Helm, 136 pp., £7.95, October 1979, 0 85664 636 9
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Inequality, Crime and Public Policy 
by John Braithwaite.
Routledge, 332 pp., £10.75, November 1979, 0 7100 0323 4
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...  ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘BlacKkKlansman’

27 September 2018
... who you are taken to be? When and how do you assert or hide who you are? Stallworth, played by John David Washington complete with 1970s Afro, infiltrates the Klan on the telephone and with his name; a white colleague using the name does the actual hanging out with the bad guys. So ‘black’ here means imagined to be black, and the word in context needs ...

How Movies End

David Thomson: John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

20 February 2020
by John Boorman.
Faber, 237 pp., £20, February, 978 0 571 35379 8
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... is this, written by the man who made it?It would be hard to deliver a brief biographical sketch of John Boorman that was tidy or plausible. Yet it would be harder still to leave a reader in any doubt about his integrity, his passion and his blithe disdain for success, more radiant than gloomy. At 87, it’s his life, and he has resolved to treat it as a ...

That’s America

Stephen Greenblatt

29 September 1988
‘Ronald Reagan’, the Movie, and Other Episodes in Political Demonology 
by Michael Rogin.
California, 366 pp., £19.95, April 1987, 0 520 05937 9
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... Convention was a glamorous performance. But at one point, trying to reproach the Democrats with John Adams’s phrase ‘Facts are stubborn things,’ he slipped and declared instead: ‘Facts are stupid things.’ At the moment he wished to invoke an intransigent, incontrovertible reality which would supposedly confound his enemies and bear out the ...


Sheila Hale: Dysphasia

5 March 1998
... be it is also one of the more worrying symptoms of a bizarre and poignant neurological disorder. John suffers from dysphasia – or aphasia as it is also called; and it is one of the many paradoxes of his condition that although he can hear perfectly, he cannot monitor what he is saying, or rather not saying. The buffer which in normal speech-processing ...

Dangerous Play

Mike Selvey

23 May 1985
Gubby Allen: Man of Cricket 
by E.W. Swanton.
Hutchinson, 311 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 0 09 159780 3
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Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack: 1985 
edited by John Woodcock.
Wisden, 1280 pp., £11.95, April 1985, 0 947766 00 6
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... newspapers.* Last summer? Well, that problem was solved last week when the Gospel according to St John, all 1300 pages of it, beat the dust out of the doormat. It is a sure sign that spring is in the air when Wisden arrives. While there is a good twelve months browse therein, one flick through is enough to stir the brain cells. It is the cricketer’s holy ...
7 March 1996
Leaving Las Vegas 
directed by Mike Figgis.
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... making hundreds of temperance movies. Brownlow reckons that the ‘alcoholic genius’ D.W. Griffith ‘made 13 pictures against the evils of drink at Biograph’. Griffith’s hypocritical example is more typical of Hollywood than W.C. Fields’s ‘lust for alcohol’ in It’s the Old Army Game (1926) or ...

The Vulgarity of Success

Murray Sayle: Everest and Empire

7 May 1998
Eric Shipton: Everest and Beyond 
by Peter Steele.
Constable, 290 pp., £18.99, March 1998, 0 09 478300 4
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... of the expedition’s other climbers were British, as was its finance, and its leader, Colonel John Hunt (now Baron Hunt of Lanfair Waterdine and a Knight of the Garter) was on secondment from the British Army. On descending, Ed Hillary, as he is universally known, shouted to his fellow New Zealander George Lowe, another climber of great ...
2 August 1984
... When​ Doctor Johnson defined a club as ‘an assembly of good fellows meeting under certain conditions’ he did not mention the essential condition – that each member shall assume that every other member is a good fellow. In practice, of course, it is a law of club life the world over that, apart from very small clubs indeed, no member can know every other member even by sight ...

Hating dogs

Julian Barnes

17 September 1981
Words on the Air 
by John Sparrow.
Collins, 163 pp., £7.95, August 1981, 0 00 216876 6
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... save Venice, by protecting it from pollution and installing a new sewage system. Simultaneously, John Sparrow was also turning his attention to the plight of the stricken city. In one of his major letters to the Times, the then Warden of All Souls addressed the urgent question of Venetian dogshit. He noted with regret the inadequacy of the local decree which ...

Middle Way

Paul Addison

6 December 1979
Consensus and Disunity: The Lloyd George Coalition Government 1918-1922 
by Kenneth O. Morgan.
Oxford, 436 pp., £15
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... the humdrum realities, the second and third tiers of office where men like Worthington-Evans and Griffith-Boscawen manned the engine-room. The argument is rather that the new wartime power bloc had a built-in logic which distinguished it from other combinations. It was a new force in the making, only to be blasted by the peace. To us, it may be axiomatic ...

You’ve got three minutes

J. Hoberman: Sitting for Warhol

20 July 2006
Andy Warhol Screen Tests: The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné: Vol. I 
by Callie Angell.
Abrams, 319 pp., £35, April 2006, 0 8109 5539 3
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... work. He has had a retroactive effect on film history as well: the Lumière brothers, D.W. Griffith and even Hitchcock may be understood in some sense as Warholian too. Hardly a theoretician, Warhol reinvented film practice to suit himself. Unlike Hollywood screen tests, his were not made to audition personnel for prospective movies, although those ...

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