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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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... Britain duly puts in a guest-appearance: Mrs Thatcher. The Ironised Maiden is in evidence, too, in Kenneth Baker’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, by Roger ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Darwinians & Creationists, 1 November 2001

... from elitism, has renamed itself ‘The People’s Choice’. To have a go at being the people’s Kenneth Baker, 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, and you could not only have a say in what’s ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... non-resignations can in many ways be as disgraceful as resignations. The leading figure here is Kenneth Baker, 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 1992 election. Holding steadfastly to the view that ...

Long live Shevardnadze

Don Cook, 22 June 1989

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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... of the Soviet Union. Earlier, on a visit to Moscow, the British Secretary of State for Education, Kenneth Baker, 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 history after so many years of toeing the Communist Party ...

London Lefties

Paul Foot, 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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... in the crown’. All sorts of ambitious Tories showed an interest in and support for the GLC. Kenneth Baker 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 regained the GLC. It became clear at once that the ...

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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... is on his knees. Among the bull’s-eyes are Robin Day, Ian Paisley, David Owen, Douglas Hurd, Kenneth Baker, 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, was what he always homed in on. Rosemary ...


Jane Miller: On the National Curriculum, 15 October 1987

... children and go into schools have been astonishingly foolish. We thought that others listening to Kenneth Baker’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 those classrooms in ‘loony left’ boroughs ...

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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... than, say, its waste-disposal system? The sentence in question comes from the introduction to Kenneth Baker’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 not, of ...


Conor Gearty: Reasons for Loathing Michael Howard, 31 October 1996

... it may be simply that he has had more time to accumulate form. The three men whom he followed – Kenneth Clarke, Kenneth Baker 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 ...

Resistance to Torpor

Stephen Sedley: The Rule of Law, 28 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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... It was not until the 1990s that a frontal challenge to the principle of legality was offered. Kenneth Baker, 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 application on the asylum seeker’s behalf to have ...


Patrick Wright: The Cult of Tyneham, 24 November 1988

... 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 fields of EEC oil seed rape and travelled up onto the ...

After the Battle

Matthew Coady, 26 November 1987

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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... which induces a note of caution. He puts the odds at three to one against and identifies smiling Kenneth Baker 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 and a suitably bullying manner’, is just not well ...

Licence to kill

Paul Foot, 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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... 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 cheap oil supplies to the ...

The Common Touch

Paul Foot, 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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... Hanson to the House of Lords in Thatcher’s farewell Honours List in 1991. In the same year, Kenneth Baker 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 Government were selling – for six billion ...


John Yandell: English Lessons, 19 June 1986

... authority: the result, an overwhelming endorsement of existing ILEA policies, should provide Kenneth Baker with plenty to think about. And for thousands of students there is, as always at this time of year, the pressure of public examinations. This tangled web of issues can be looked at through the prism of literature teaching. Since assessment is ...

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