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The Breakaway

Perry Anderson: Goodbye Europe, 21 January 2021

... a couple of days after the Danes were forced into holding a second referendum. At the Treasury, Kenneth Clarke presided over a return to growth, but it was of no electoral avail. The Conservatives were comprehensively thrashed in the elections of May 1997, leaving Tony Blair with the largest Commons majority of any government since 1945.Dramatic though the ...

Fog has no memory

Jonathan Meades: Postwar Colour(lessness), 19 July 2018

The Tiger in the Smoke: Art and Culture in Postwar Britain 
by Lynda Nead.
Yale, 416 pp., £35, October 2017, 978 0 300 21460 4
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... played in the establishment of BBC television’s reportorial and documentary conventions. Kenneth Allsop, Fyfe Robertson, James Cameron, Trevor Philpot, Robert Kee and Slim Hewitt (‘the scourge of Nuneaton’), all worked for it. The roles of writer, photographer and even picture editor often ...

In the Grey Zone

Slavoj Žižek, 5 February 2015

... from all around the world holding hands in solidarity with the victims of the Paris killings, from Cameron to Lavrov, from Netanyahu to Abbas: if there was ever an image of hypocritical falsity, this was it. An anonymous citizen played Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, the unofficial anthem of the European Union, as the procession passed under his window, adding ...

Snobs v. Herbivores

Colin Kidd: Non-Vanilla One-Nation Conservatism, 7 May 2020

Remaking One Nation: The Future of Conservatism 
by Nick Timothy.
Polity, 275 pp., £20, March 2020, 978 1 5095 3917 8
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... when Hill and Timothy became scapegoats for the loss of the slim majority May inherited from David Cameron. But the real surprise wasn’t the downfall of May’s advisers so much as their earlier rise to brief but utter dominance in a party whose upper reaches have in recent times seemed to belong almost exclusively to Old Etonians. Hill was born in ...

Rigging the Death Rate

Paul Taylor, 11 April 2013

... many recent bad news stories about the NHS, its significance underscored by the fact that David Cameron felt it necessary to present the report to the House of the Commons himself, rather than leave it to the secretary of state for health. The public inquiry was set up in 2010 by the then secretary of state, Andrew Lansley, to investigate further the ...

Conspire Slowly, Act Quickly

David Runciman: Thatcher Undone, 2 January 2020

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. III: Herself Alone 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 1072 pp., £35, October 2019, 978 0 241 32474 5
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... later, Thatcher gave her support to Iain Duncan-Smith, helping him to see off Michael Portillo and Kenneth Clarke. When Duncan-Smith proved even less successful than his predecessor, he was replaced by another Thatcherite, Michael Howard, who went down to defeat against Blair in 2005. In truth, it was Blair himself who most appreciated her blessing. When she ...

Necessity or Ideology?

Frederick Wilmot-Smith: Legal Aid, 6 November 2014

... Other potential methods of reducing the cost of the criminal system found no political favour. Kenneth Clarke, who was lord chancellor at the time, sought to reduce the length of sentences for serious crimes; David Cameron publicly overruled him. So, despite representing less than half the legal aid budget, civil claims ...

It’s already happened

James Meek: The NHS Goes Private, 22 September 2011

... NHS with private ones, the effect concealed by large spending increases, long before Lansley and Cameron took charge. If the Conservatives and their Liberal allies are dismantling the NHS, it was Labour that loosened the screws. The first attempt to introduce market competition into the NHS was made by Kenneth Clarke in ...

Wham Bang, Teatime

Ian Penman: Bowie, 5 January 2017

The Age of Bowie: How David Bowie Made a World of Difference 
by Paul Morley.
Simon & Schuster, 484 pp., £20, July 2016, 978 1 4711 4808 8
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On Bowie 
by Rob Sheffield.
Headline, 197 pp., £14.99, June 2016, 978 1 4722 4104 7
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On Bowie 
by Simon Critchley.
Serpent’s Tail, 207 pp., £6.99, April 2016, 978 1 78125 745 6
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Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy 
by Simon Reynolds.
Faber, 704 pp., £25, October 2016, 978 0 571 30171 3
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... was first aired in an interview with Rolling Stone’s bumptious but canny young reporter Cameron Crowe; it soon became notorious. Crowe’s scene-setting picture of Bowie at home featured black candles and doodled ballpoint stars meant to ward off evil influences. Bowie revealed an enthusiasm for Aleister Crowley’s system of ceremonial magick that ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... Scrutiny Committee on 18 January 2018.‘That sounds like a lot of money,’ the Washington lawyer Kenneth Feinberg said when I called him, ‘but it’s not really.’ Feinberg was the formal administrator of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, and he did the same job after the Boston Marathon bombing and after the mass shooting at a cinema in ...

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