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Colloquially Speaking

Patrick McGuinness: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after 1945, 1 April 1999

The Penguin Book of Poetry from Britain and Ireland since 1945 
edited by Simon Armitage and Robert Crawford.
Viking, 480 pp., £10.99, September 1998, 0 670 86829 9
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The Firebox: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after 1945 
edited by Sean O’Brien.
Picador, 534 pp., £16.99, October 1998, 0 330 36918 0
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... and others. Geoffrey Hill, Dannie Abse, Denise Levertov, Peter Red-grove, U.A. Fanthorpe, Gillian Clarke, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Elaine Feinstein are all variously represented, opening out the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties as a time of diversity and imaginative enterprise. One poet who appears in neither book, and who surely exemplifies not only the ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Fresh Revelations, 20 October 1994

... and hone their interview techniques. ‘I like that Michael Howard,’ says one. ‘And Kenneth Clarke’s a good bloke too.’ Neither boy, I suppose, has ever known anything but a Tory government nor by the sound of it ever wants to. At Birmingham I have a session with David Edgar’s playwrights’ class, then do another ‘Our Alan’ performance for a ...

What is Labour for?

John Lanchester: Five More Years of This?, 31 March 2005

David Blunkett 
by Stephen Pollard.
Hodder, 359 pp., £20, December 2004, 0 340 82534 0
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... no longer cope with looking after him.) He was not addicted to gesture politics in the way that Ken Livingstone was in London, but he was still a standard-bearer of the municipal loony left. In those days the power in the Labour Party was with the Bennites, who had largely taken it over at the constituency level; so Blunkett was, faute de mieux, a Bennite ...

Failed Vocation

James Butler: The Corbyn Project, 3 December 2020

Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour under Corbyn 
by Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire.
Bodley Head, 376 pp., £18.99, September, 978 1 84792 645 6
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This Land: The Story of a Movement 
by Owen Jones.
Allen Lane, 336 pp., £20, September, 978 0 241 47094 7
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... internal culture, though its misfiring launch suggests something of the difficulty. Nita Clarke, whom he appointed to oversee the process, was revealed as an enthusiastic digital partisan of the party’s right and was gone within 24 hours.Few of these stories are entirely new or surprising, but gathered in one place they soon become ...

It’s already happened

James Meek: The NHS Goes Private, 22 September 2011

... the screws. The first attempt to introduce market competition into the NHS was made by Kenneth Clarke in 1990, in the dying months of Thatcher’s rule. The ‘internal market’ was rushed in, ignoring the views of the medical profession. It didn’t work. Tony Blair’s first health minister, Frank Dobson, read its funeral rites when Labour came to power ...

Different Speeds, Same Furies

Perry Anderson: Powell v. Proust, 19 July 2018

Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time 
by Hilary Spurling.
Hamish Hamilton, 509 pp., £25, October 2017, 978 0 241 14383 4
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... she aimed; in which she was principally at home. She liked – to borrow a phrase from St John Clarke, to ‘try conclusions with the maelstrom’. There are echoes of Proust in certain characters in Powell. Uncle Giles’s description of himself as ‘a bit of a radical’ is a repetition of the claim Legrandin awards himself; Sir Gavin Walpole-Wilson’s ...

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