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Thomas Jones: Darwinians & Creationists

1 November 2001
... the Booker Prize for True History of the Kelly Gang. The WHSmith Book Award, continuing its flight from elitism, has renamed itself ‘The People’s Choice’. To have a go at being the people’s KennethBaker, all you need to do is submit a fifty-word review of your favourite book – ‘be it a cookery book, thriller or biography’, which covers just about everything – before the end of October ...

Umpteens

Christopher Ricks

22 November 1990
Bloomsbury Dictionary of Dedications 
edited by Adrian Room.
Bloomsbury, 354 pp., £17.99, September 1990, 0 7475 0521 7
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Unauthorised Versions: Poems and their Parodies 
edited by Kenneth Baker.
Faber, 446 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 0 571 14122 6
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The Faber Book of Vernacular Verse 
edited by Tom Paulin.
Faber, 407 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 571 14470 5
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... the figure whom it is de rigueur to invoke at any intellectual or cultural occasion in present-day Britain duly puts in a guest-appearance: Mrs Thatcher. The Ironised Maiden is in evidence, too, in KennethBaker’s anthology of verse parodies, Unauthorised Versions. But then Mr Baker is a Conservative politician, mainstream, main chance. Politically these are authorised versions. One of the entries ...
22 June 1989
Memoirs 
by Andrei Gromyko, translated by Harold Shukman.
Hutchinson, 365 pp., £16.95, May 1989, 0 09 173808 3
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Kennan and the Art of Foreign Policy 
by Anders Stephanson.
Harvard, 424 pp., $35, April 1989, 0 674 50265 5
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... by minute. One of the participants was Andrei Gromyko, just before his recent retirement as President of the Soviet Union. Earlier, on a visit to Moscow, the British Secretary of State for Education, KennethBaker, received from a group of Soviet historians a surprise proposal to organise a joint examination of Soviet history books with English historians, in order to improve the writing of Soviet ...
9 March 1995
... the story is of ministers clinging to office rather than being expelled from it. In this respect, non-resignations can in many ways be as disgraceful as resignations. The leading figure here is KennethBaker, who perfected a theory about why he should slay as Home Secretary despite the succession of calamities that surrounded him, until he was eventually jettisoned by the Prime Minister after the ...
17 September 1987
If voting changed anything, they’d abolish it 
by Ken Livingstone.
Collins, 367 pp., £12, August 1987, 0 00 217770 6
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A Taste of Power: The Politics of Local Economics 
edited by Maureen Mackintosh and Hilary Wainwright.
Verso, 441 pp., £22.95, July 1987, 0 86091 174 8
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... Tories in 1977, when the new Tory leader, Margaret Thatcher, described the GLC victory as the ‘jewel in the crown’. All sorts of ambitious Tories showed an interest in and support for the GLC. KennethBaker wrote a pamphlet demanding that the GLC become more of a ‘strategic authority for London’. Patrick Jenkin wrote in favour of the new Tory creation, and its expansion. Then, in 1981, Labour ...

This Charming Man

Frank Kermode

24 February 1994
The Collected and Recollected Marc 
Fourth Estate, 51 pp., £25, November 1993, 1 85702 164 9Show More
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... serpent, Muggeridge has an accusing face and defensive hands. Betjeman, looking amusingly miserable, is on his knees. Among the bull’s-eyes are Robin Day, Ian Paisley, David Owen, Douglas Hurd, KennethBaker, David Mellor, Alan Bennett. There are a few outers: Jonathan Miller, Stephen Spender, Alfred Brendel, Melvyn Bragg – but even in these he is good on the hair, which, according to Craig Brown ...

Diary

Jane Miller: On the National Curriculum

15 October 1987
... schools and the family buoyant on its BUPA insurance. Those of us who work with teachers and children and go into schools have been astonishingly foolish. We thought that others listening to KennethBaker’s pronouncements as they tumbled out before, during and after the election would be bound to doubt his wisdom and good faith. We thought that other people would laugh, too, at his picture of all ...

Diary

Conor Gearty: Reasons for Loathing Michael Howard

31 October 1996
... than that of the Tories who immediately preceded him in office. If this is true, which is doubtful, it may be simply that he has had more time to accumulate form. The three men whom he followed – Kenneth Clarke, KennethBaker and David Waddington – together occupied the post for just a few months more than he has already served. Baker’s brief romp managed to produce two absurdities, the first ...

Hegel in Green Wellies

Stefan Collini: England

8 March 2001
England: An Elegy 
by Roger Scruton.
Chatto, 270 pp., £16.99, October 2000, 1 85619 251 2
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The Faber Book of Landscape Poetry 
edited by Kenneth Baker.
Faber, 426 pp., £25, October 2000, 0 571 20071 0
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... spirit’? And why should one think that this elusive quality will be found in its ‘landscape’ rather than, say, its waste-disposal system? The sentence in question comes from the introduction to KennethBaker’s anthology of ‘landscape poetry’; he does not pause to ponder its pitfalls. Indeed, there is much that Baker does not pause over, including the scope and title of his anthology. It is ...

Diary

Patrick Wright: The Cult of Tyneham

24 November 1988
... of the local pirate stations. Closing the minister’s volume in dismay, I noticed an image of Nelson dying at Trafalgar on the cover and set off in search of a place where I might try again. Mr Baker’s anthology was on the best-seller list by the summer, when I took it down to Dorset and found the place where it would really come to life. Driving up from West Lulworth, I left behind the yellow ...

Resistance to Torpor

Stephen Sedley: The Rule of Law

27 July 2016
Entick v. Carrington: 250 Years of the Rule of Law 
edited by Adam Tomkins and Paul Scott.
Hart, 276 pp., £55, September 2015, 978 1 84946 558 8
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... legal authority was held in Strasbourg to be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. It was not until the 1990s that a frontal challenge to the principle of legality was offered. KennethBaker, the home secretary, in breach of an undertaking given to the High Court, deported a Zairean asylum seeker and then ignored a court order to bring him back. On appeal to the House of Lords, an ...

After the Battle

Matthew Coady

26 November 1987
Misrule 
by Tam Dalyell.
Hamish Hamilton, 152 pp., £10.95, May 1987, 0 241 12170 1
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One Man’s Judgement: An Autobiography 
by Lord Wheatley.
Butterworth, 230 pp., £15.95, July 1987, 0 406 10019 5
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Changing Battlefields: The Challenge to the Labour Party 
by John Silkin.
Hamish Hamilton, 226 pp., £13.95, September 1987, 9780241121719
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Heseltine: The Unauthorised Biography 
by Julian Critchley.
Deutsch, 198 pp., £9.95, September 1987, 0 233 98001 6
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... Conference star and erstwhile cabinet minister – will realise his ultimate ambition is a question which induces a note of caution. He puts the odds at three to one against and identifies smiling KennethBaker as the man from whom Heseltine has most to fear. About other possible contenders he is refreshingly frank. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, possessor of a ‘powerful intellect ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: At Bluewater

3 January 2002
... the ceremony was about to be called off, while Rachel fled to a house of study in the desert. A life of abstinence and prayer. Bluewater’s anodyne aquarium walkways provoke many such dramas. The KennethBaker anthology of uplifting poems, in relief on every wall, incubates rage. I was ready to tear out the tablets with my fingernails and smash them down on the heads of inoffensive mall-grazers. A ...
10 November 1994
Hanson: A Biography 
by Alex Brummer and Roger Cowe.
Fourth Estate, 336 pp., £20, September 1994, 1 85702 189 4
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... a favourite of Hanson’s, and was guest of honour at Claridge’s when Gordon White finally followed Hanson to the House of Lords in Thatcher’s farewell Honours List in 1991. In the same year, KennethBaker got a job on Hanson’s board. In the Thatcher years, Hanson felt he was part of the Government. He demanded and got an interview with Nigel Lawson in which he offered to buy the BP shares the ...
10 February 1994
Spider’s Web: Bush, Saddam, Thatcher and the Decade of Deceit 
by Alan Friedman.
Faber, 455 pp., £17.50, November 1993, 0 571 17002 1
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The Unlikely Spy 
by Paul Henderson.
Bloomsbury, 294 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 7475 1597 2
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... of credit to Saddam was, Drogoul alleged, a crucial part of the ‘tilt to Iraq’ policy which was started by Reagan and carried on even more enthusiastically by Bush and his Secretary of State, Baker, all through the years when neutrality was the official US policy. The Bush-Baker enterprise was a disaster. The tilt to Iraq so encouraged the dictator that he invaded Kuwait, threatening vital ...

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