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David Runciman: Shuffling Off into Obscurity

4 May 2016
...  Osborne, funnily enough, in spite of our rows. David Cameron I guess – after all, we’ve been through a lot together. Oliver Letwin, with his decency and his wonderful professorial quality. KenClarke. Definitely KenClarke. He is truly brilliant … I am really looking forward to the election campaign. We have something important to say, and now I just want to get out there and say it. It ...

Little Mercians

Ian Gilmour: Why Kenneth Clarke​ should lead the Tories

5 July 2001
... the predictable and much-predicted consequence that it pleased nobody else. Its long orgy of self-indulgence began immediately after the 1997 election, when the Parliamentary Party rejected Kenneth Clarke as its next leader. Clarke was unquestionably the best of the candidates and indeed the only one who was unquestionably qualified for the job. Yet Conservative MPs preferred William Hague, who should ...

Gove or Galtieri?

Colin Kidd: Popular Conservatism

4 October 2017
Crown, Church and Constitution: Popular Conservatism in England 1815-67 
by Jörg Neuheiser, translated by Jennifer Walcoff Neuheiser.
Berghahn, 320 pp., £78, May 2016, 978 1 78533 140 4
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Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy 
by Daniel Ziblatt.
Cambridge, 450 pp., £26.99, April 2017, 978 0 521 17299 8
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Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism, 1830-1914: An Intellectual History 
by Emily Jones.
Oxford, 288 pp., £60, April 2017, 978 0 19 879942 9
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Kind of Blue: A Political Memoir 
by Ken Clarke.
Pan, 525 pp., £9.99, June 2017, 978 1 5098 3720 5
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... shameless opportunism, other forms of popular conservatism fare less well. Tory Brexiters observe with trembling suspicion the unvenerated elders of their own tribe: Michael Heseltine, John Major and KenClarke. The recent past of the Conservative Party has become a foreign country, treacherously so. The paperback edition of Clarke’s memoirs includes as an appendix his speech in the House of ...

Who will get legal aid now?

Joanna Biggs: Legal Aid

20 October 2011
... was intended by the 1949 Legal Aid and Advice Act. More important, we are an excessively litigious and irresponsible nation: we don’t want to sort out our problems ourselves. The justice minister, KenClarke, says that from now on ‘people will instead use alternative, less adversarial means of resolving their problems.’ The legal aid minister, Jonathan Djanogly, a former City lawyer, is ...

A British Bundesrat?

Colin Kidd: Scotland and the Constitution

16 April 2014
... published last year; while Conservatives at Westminster, including Kenneth Baker, Malcolm Rifkind and members of the so-called Democracy Taskforce set up by the Tories in opposition and headed by KenClarke, have over the past decade proposed various means of ironing out post-devolutionary wrinkles in the British political system. So too has the McKay Commission (2012-13), chaired by a former ...
3 March 2016
... If anything expressed the debasement of Britain’s political culture it was the lack of reaction to this military interference in politics. When Corbyn tried to complain, a former Tory grandee, KenClarke, declared that the army was not answerable to Parliament, but to the queen. Anything but Corbyn: even a banana monarchy. In December, Cameron sought parliamentary approval for sending British ...

You Know Who You Are

Colin Kidd: About Last Year

25 January 2018
Fall Out: A Year Of Political Mayhem 
by Tim Shipman.
William Collins, 559 pp., £25, November 2017, 978 0 00 826438 3
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... popular will enshrined in the referendum result. Despite the recent Conservative rebellion aimed at ensuring parliamentary ratification of a final Brexit outcome, no sitting Tory apart from KenClarke, who was the sole Tory rebel in the Article 50 vote, has been prepared to reject the Brexiteers’ flat-earth vision outright. Remaining is a lost cause, as politically relevant as Jacobitism or the ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: Thatcher in Gravesend

9 May 2013
... permitted, for a brief time, to pitch their tents, without nuisance to the paying customers or the money men behind their barricades in Paternoster Square. One by one or in neatly opposed couples – KenClarke and Shirley Williams, say – funeral attendees were interrogated about the legacy. Rarely can such an Alice in Wonderland charivari of local stereotypes have been assembled, some of them ...

Closed Material

Nicholas Phillips

16 April 2014
... of what exactly the House of Lords decided in MB divided the Court of Appeal in another case involving control orders heard in 2008, AF and Others v. Home Secretary. The majority, Sir Anthony Clarke, Master of the Rolls, and Lord Justice Waller, held that there is no principle that the hearing will be unfair in the absence of open disclosure to the controlee of an irreducible minimum of ...

The Tax-and-Spend Vote

Ross McKibbin: Will the election improve New Labour’s grasp on reality?

5 July 2001
... a traditional figure who could probably hold the Party together better than the other candidates. But, unlike Baldwin, he represents the Party’s past rather than its future. The obvious answer is KenClarke. He had the support of the Party membership last time and is almost certainly the most popular Tory in the country. But he clearly does not have the support of the Shadow Cabinet or, it seems ...
16 December 1993
The Downing Street Years 
by Margaret Thatcher.
HarperCollins, 914 pp., £25, October 1993, 0 00 255049 0
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... state had been doing too much.’ Under her, the state had ostensibly done less: yet violence increased. She had trumpeted the enterprise culture with conviction. Yet she still felt obliged to send KenClarke to run the Department of Health because ‘he was unlikely to talk the kind of free-market language which might alarm the general public.’ Was it disillusionment at these strictly muted ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: Exit Blair

24 May 2007
... to familiar problems? There is no evidence that he foresaw what the longer-term consequences of either Welsh or Scottish devolution would be, or that he anticipated his humiliation at the hands of Ken Livingstone over the mayoralty of London. His reform of the House of Lords is stalled, after long vacillation, in a worst of all worlds: a minority of persons of genuine distinction in a sea of ...

His Fucking Referendum

David Runciman: What Struck Cameron

10 October 2019
For the Record 
by David Cameron.
William Collins, 732 pp., £25, September, 978 0 00 823928 2
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... he had always been a pretty Eurosceptic prime minister – but that didn’t mean he had to argue to leave. Anyway, Cameron wanted to know, if Dacre was such a devoted Brexiteer, why had he backed KenClarke to be leader of the Conservative Party? But Cameron knew that expecting consistency from the Mail is like expecting loyalty from Boris Johnson. So he turned his attention to Dacre’s boss ...
23 February 1995
Conservative Century: The Conservative Party since 1900 
edited by Anthony Seldon and Stuart Ball.
Oxford, 842 pp., £20, October 1994, 0 19 820238 5
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... has been exaggerated. Indeed, in his revisionist conclusion, he admonishes Europeans not to be deluded ‘into thinking that the party is less religious than its Christian Democrat counterparts’. Ken Young uses his unrivalled knowledge of municipal politics, especially in London, to expose some of the imperatives which have driven policy in this important field of democratic self-government. He ...

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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... Fenton, Andrew Motion, Derek Mahon, Fleur Adcock, Carol Rumens, Medbh McGuckian, Penelope Shuttle 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 ...

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