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Wilsonia

Paul Foot

2 March 1989
The Wilson Plot: The Intelligence Services and the Discrediting of a Prime Minister 
by David Leigh.
Heinemann, 271 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 0 434 41340 2
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A Price too High 
by Peter Rawlinson.
Weidenfeld, 284 pp., £16, March 1989, 0 297 79431 0
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... Party. They hounded a depressed MP and former minister, Bernard Floud, to his death. They pursued an able junior minister Niall Macdermot out of office. They even circulated the fantastic notion that JohnStonehouse, whose long career in the Co-operative Movement was dedicated to witch-hunting Communists, was a Communist agent. These three stories are told in detail here for the first time. David ...

Prodigals

John​ Sutherland

19 August 1982
A Prodigal Child 
by David Storey.
Cape, 319 pp., £7.50, June 1982, 0 224 02027 7
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The Prodigal Daughter 
by Jeffrey Archer.
Hodder, 447 pp., £7.95, July 1982, 0 340 27687 8
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Ralph 
by John Stonehouse.
Cape, 318 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 224 02019 6
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The Man from St Petersburg 
by Ken Follett.
Hamish Hamilton, 292 pp., £7.95, May 1982, 0 241 10783 0
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The Patriot Game 
by George Higgins.
Secker, 237 pp., £7.50, July 1982, 0 436 19589 5
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... of being a latterday Pitt. The Prodigal Daughter is a trashy novel, but the feat of national impersonation which it represents is quite remarkable. If Jeffrey Archer embodies rebounding success, JohnStonehouse’s book breathes failure. Stripped down, Ralph is the story of a successful politician who grows restless with his good life, gets into a terrible pickle, assumes a false identity ...

Wedded to the Absolute

Ferdinand Mount: Enoch Powell

26 September 2019
Enoch Powell: Politics and Ideas in Modern Britain 
by Paul Corthorn.
Oxford, 233 pp., £20, August, 978 0 19 874714 7
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... only one passage in Powell’s Birmingham speech that I had quite forgotten, still a remarkable one, in which Powell pays tribute to the ‘insight’ and ‘courage’ of his fellow Black Country MP JohnStonehouse, soon to become postmaster general and then regarded as a coming man in the Labour Party, perhaps even a future leader. Stonehouse had denounced as ‘a canker’ the campaign by local ...
6 July 1989
Who Framed Colin Wallace? 
by Paul Foot.
Macmillan, 306 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 0 333 47008 7
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... it is important to say that Wallace was the first to make public admission of these campaigns, well before Wright. Homosexual smears were directed against Edward Heath, Jeremy Thorpe, Norman St John Stevas and Humphrey Berkeley; bogus bank accounts (showing corrupt earnings) were contrived for Edward Short and Ian Paisley; Wilson was seen as the beneficiary of, and a possible participant in, the ...

Other People’s Mail

Bernard Porter: MI5

19 November 2009
The Defence of the Realm: The Authorised History of MI5 
by Christopher Andrew.
Allen Lane, 1032 pp., £30, October 2009, 978 0 7139 9885 6
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... rich, immensely readable and fascinating. Anyone interested not only in MI5 specifically, but also in many of the events it became involved with over the last 50 years – the Profumo affair; the JohnStonehouse mystery; Peter Wright; a score of famous spy cases; the Northern Ireland conflict; the miners’ strikes; the Gibraltar shootings; the Lockerbie bombing; ‘Room 101’; the thrilling ...

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